01 March 2021

Revealed: The property features that made lockdown harder and how this has changed buyers’ requirements for their next home

5 min read

Meera Khanna, Consumer PR Manager
Meera Khanna

Corporate PR Manager - Protection

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A new report by Royal London has revealed the most desirable property features home buyers are looking for, as well as the property features that made lockdown harder.

  • 38% of home movers stated that the COVID-19 pandemic convinced them to move home
  • Space for pets, natural lighting and parking were all revealed as important requirements for future homes, according to current UK home movers

The Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown measures have seen millions of UK households set up remote offices in their homes.

With so much time being spent indoors, it was inevitable that there would be a change in what people want and require from their home.

A new report by Royal London has surveyed current and pending home movers to reveal the property features that made the lockdown harder, the new property features they desire, and the areas of the UK they’re looking to move to, whether these be more rural or urban.

The property features that have made lockdown harder

Spending so much time indoors is challenging for anyone. However, according to new research by Royal London, the top features that made lockdown harder, according to home movers were small garden/outdoor area (33%), lack of indoor space (27%) and no outdoor space (24%).

The full list can be seen in the table below:

Feature % of respondents
Small garden space/outdoor area 33%
Lack of indoor space 27%
No outdoor space 24%
Lack of workspace 21%
Lack of parking 17%
The location has poor quality internet 16%
Lack of natural lighting 16%

 

The property features home movers now desire

It would appear that lockdown has changed much more than how our homes and gardens are laid out.

Since the lockdown in March, there have been 90,000 Google searches every month for ‘dogs for sale’ 1– so, it is no surprise that 28% of house movers are now looking for extra space for pets. Additionally, we can also see that house movers are beginning to look for properties in a location with home offices, and high-speed internet, as well as those with more open floor plans and more parking.

The most sought after features for house movers and flat movers are:

Feature % of respondents moving into a house/bungalow % of respondents moving into a flat
More indoor space 51% 39%
More outdoor space 46% 30% (balcony area)
More natural lighting 34% 30%
Space for pets 28% 13%
More open floor plans 27% 25%
Home office 27% 21%
The property to be in an area where high-speed internet is available 25% 33%
More parking 24% 21%
Fewer open floor plans 23% 23%

The areas of the UK more people are moving into – urban or rural?

One in six (17%) people actively moving, or looking to move, to a new house in the UK said that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed where they want to live.

Many are packing up their bags for the country as they look to move to a more rural area. However, some people, particularly those living in the London area are looking to move closer to a city.

The report reveals the areas UK home hunters are looking to move closer to.

Area Looking to move closer to a city Looking to move into a more rural area Looking to move to a village location Looking to move a town location
Belfast 7% 57% 14% 14%
Cardiff 5% 53% 21% 3%
London 27% 46% 25% 12%
Manchester 14% 45% 16% 1%
Liverpool 10% 42% 15% 10%
Leeds 12% 40% 28% 3%
Nottingham 3% 38% 27% 3%
Southampton 11% 37% 24% 11%
Norwich 12% 36% 15% 18%
Bristol 17% 35% 9% 9%
Birmingham 13% 33% 9% 6%
Edinburgh 4% 29% 8% 4%
Glasgow 9% 26% 22% 9%
Sheffield 13% 26% 26% 9%
Newcastle 8% 25% 8% 11%

Commenting on the findings Mona Patel, consumer spokesperson at Royal London said:

“The restrictions and lockdown measures have seen millions of households in the UK set up remote offices from their kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. With so much time being spent indoors, it was inevitable that people would start thinking about their home environment.

“Unsurprisingly, space is the most desirable feature for home movers who want more room both indoors and outdoors. While cities have always been popular home buying locations, the pandemic has seen a shift in attitude as our research shows that there is a greater demand for rural locations.”

Full information can be seen at https://www.royallondon.com/articles-guides/life-insurance/what-home-buyers-want/

For further information please contact:

Meera Khanna, Corporate PR Manager - Protection

Notes to Editors

Methodology

Survey conducted by Royal London to 1000 UK current and pending home movers.

Sources:

Google search volume data accurate as of January 2021

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £139 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and 4,348 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2020.