Quarter of Britons see property needs change since COVID started


More than a quarter of UK renters and landlords (26%) have found that their property needs have changed since the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a study by Wayhome.

After more than a year of telecommuting and months of non-essential shops and restaurants being closed to the public, once “high-value” real estate amenities have fallen to the priority list.

Indeed, among tenants and landlords whose real estate needs have changed in the midst of the pandemic, the least important characteristics are now easy access to work (17%), being close to shops and restaurants ( 17%) and live near public transport (14%). ).

Progressive research on homeownership providers indicates that a new set of property amenities will take priority once the lockdown is lifted, given the extended time spent at home and the likelihood of hybrid work for office workers in the future.

When asked which property features have become the most important since March 2020, more than a quarter (26%) said it is increasingly essential to have space for a home office. appropriate.

And, given that so many working parents have had to juggle work and childcare commitments, the need for decent offices has jumped to 30% for parents, compared to 22% for non-parents.

Besides a specific space for a home office, the lock has sparked a general desire for more space, whether for work or play. Almost a third (30%) of all owners and renters wanted more space in general, and a quarter (24%) said a larger bedroom was needed.

And as more and more of us spend time indoors, having access to a private garden has become more and more important. 36% said it had become more important in the past year – a desire more popular among older people, especially 55-73 year olds at 52%, falling to 43% of 43-54 year olds and 35% of 24 -42 years old.

Likewise, a fifth (21%) of all respondents felt that living near a public garden or green space was important to them, and the same number prioritized being near friends and family. family – a characteristic that resonated more with women (25%) than with women (25%). for men (17%).

Nigel Purves, CEO of Wayhome, said: “When you narrow down your search for the perfect home to rent or buy, most of us will have a wish list, usually broken down into ‘essentials’ and ‘nice to well-off’. . .

“Our next report clearly shows how much these wishlists have changed as the pandemic has progressed. In most cases, we’ve seen a complete reversal, with tenants and potential owners prioritizing things that would make living and working in this space most comfortable and fit for purpose.

“While having the flexibility to choose a desired property based on its amenities and special features doesn’t seem like too much of a challenge – for many people, it’s nearly impossible.

“Too often tenants are pressured into buying smaller first homes or properties in unsuitable locations. Despite a good income, it is insurmountable to make a deposit large enough to secure a decent home and meet the affordability criteria set by mortgage lenders – as evidenced by the fact that full-time workers should spend at least $ 7. , 8 times their annual earnings to be able to afford a house in England.

“With the end of the foreclosure in sight, this would be an opportune time for the industry to re-assess the real needs of tenants and landlords after the pandemic and to support innovative and alternative routes that get more people up the ladder. property.”

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