Since March 2020, we've had three national lockdowns. This has led to an inevitable shift in what we demand and expect from our homes - over a third of people looking for a new home (38%) have been convinced of the need to move by the pandemic.
But how exactly have our preferences changed and what are we looking for in a new house or flat? To answer this, we’ve compiled a report to reveal the features people favour in a new home, including a fresh approach to layout, how a change in working habits has affected decision making, and the coveted luxuries we can’t go without.
A greater appreciation for the space we call home
As we’ve all spent longer tucked away in our homes, there’s been a growing appreciation for the space around us. Over the course of the three lockdowns, the restrictions have led people to reflect on whether their home still suits their demands for freedom and comfort.
According to our report*, over half of respondents rank more indoor space as their top priority when moving into a new house. The same view was echoed by over a third (39%) of flat movers, also valuing space above all else. Similarly, open floor layouts are an in-demand feature for more than a quarter of people scouring the property market for a house, bungalow, or flat, for the fluidity of movement and easy arrangement they offer.
This is a prevalent theme in pet owners, too, with 28% and 13% of those moving into a house and flat, respectively, requiring sufficient space for cats and dogs. However, with 23% of new home hunters actively on the lookout for a less open plan property, it’s clear to see it’s a trend that divides the nation!
Freedom to enjoy the outdoors
Moving beyond the interior, the limited lifestyle we’ve all led these past twelve months has helped induce a heavy demand for more outdoor space. Supporting this, our report reveals that 46% of people looking for a new house require the freedom to enjoy the outdoors within the boundary of their home, while 30% of those moving to a city flat need a balcony to enjoy.
With greater appreciation of our spaces comes the need to protect our home for the future, for our families. Whether this is by taking out mortgage life insurance, or just simply by ensuring the space we have is one we can truly call home; it comes as no surprise that since the first lockdown, 42% of people have been motivated to carry out DIY projects in their home, to help transform their space.
Working the home around our professional lives
It’s no secret that 2020 brought about a shift in mentality when it comes to working life. For many, the days of a 9-5 job and the daily commute to the office disappeared overnight, and the home became the new office. With this, those looking for new homes have begun to place greater priority on functional features that help facilitate working life.
In fact, according to our report, 27% of those moving into a new house consider a home office as non-negotiable, while 21% of flat movers require either office space capacity or a designated work area. Similarly, high speed internet is one of the top preferences for house and flat movers, with 25% and 33% of respondents, respectively, slating fast broadband as a priority.
Placing greater emphasis on practical luxuries
After spending so much of the past year at home, it’s only natural that we’re beginning to crave practical features we’d usually overlook. Our survey shows a third of Brits are drawn to properties that offer more natural lighting, with impractical and poor windowing a dealbreaker when deciding on a new home.
Finally, with cars having barely moved from the immediate perimeter of our homes over the past year, demand for permanent parking spots and driveways is in high demand, with over 20% of survey respondents picking this as one of their top preferences. As habits have changed, the need for regular travel has halted, and Brits are keen to keep their cars within eyeline for the long-term.
As the pandemic has brought about fresh restrictions, it’s clear to see our priorities for the home have evolved to accommodate a new lifestyle. Discover the latest from us for even more expert insight from our advisors.
*All figures stated in the article have been taken from a survey we conducted with 1,000 current and pending UK home movers. We have defined current and pending UK homeowners as respondents who stated they were currently moving home or planning on moving within the next 12 months. Survey was conducted via The Leadership Factor.
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