A quarter (24%) of future home movers in the UK are reconsidering what they want from their next home because of the experience of lockdown, according to new research from Redrow.
The housebuilder asked 2,000 UK adults on their home buying preferences post Covid-19 and found that many were reassessing how they want to use the space in their home and what community features and facilities they want to be surrounded by.
Surprisingly, those with children under the age of 10, or who are currently expecting a child were most likely to have changed their priorities (53% vs national average of 24%), ahead of those who have been working from home, either part-time or full time, or who have been placed on furlough (39%).
The majority of respondents (60%) stated that having access to private outdoor space, such as a garden, terrace area or balcony, will be the most important factor when choosing their next home.
But 40% will be looking for a home with a large kitchen with ample space for food preparation, while 29% will be after high levels of energy efficiency.
Access to high-speed broadband was also a priority with 27% of people, rising to 34% in London.
Where we want to live and the facilities we want to surround ourselves with have also changed. As lockdown eases, the report found that more than one in five (22%) agree that being able to walk or cycle to work (rather than drive or take public transport) will be important for them. This increased to almost half (45%) of those living in London.
In terms of community features and facilities, proximity to green open spaces will be most sought-after post-lockdown (35%), followed by proximity to smaller shops (33%), and a doctor’s surgery (32%).
A quarter (25%) also agreed that finding a home within a strong community will be more important to them post-lockdown. This increased to a third (33%) of those aged 18 to 35, and 42% for those who are either expecting a child or have young children under 10-years-old.
Almost a quarter (23%) also agreed that going forward they will make more of a concerted effort to get to know their neighbours when they move.
James Holmear, group sales director for Redrow, said: “Lockdown has changed our lives dramatically. More time spent in the home has made us reconsider how we use the space that we have, and how our homes can adapt to more permanent change in the future. Even as more offices re-open, many people will opt to work at home, and people are planning to replace public transport with greener modes of community when they do commute.
“This change has translated to huge shifts in buyer preferences on the ground. Now, we are experiencing more customers adapt their search to homes with extra space to work, and more people are looking for proximity to green space and local shops, over good schools, and cafes and restaurants.”