Priorities for buyers and sellers in the UK prime housing market will change in light of the ongoing pandemic and the extended lockdown, according to property giant Savills.
According to a new survey from the property group, attitudes regarding moving intentions, budget, size of property and location will all be impacted following the crisis.
The firm surveyed almost 700 registered buyers and sellers between 21 April and 27 April to explore how their attitudes to moving had changed and how that could impact market activity going forward.
The survey pointed to a slowdown in activity in the short term, with a recovery later this year and into 2021. However, while 37% said they were less likely to move within the next six months, 27% of respondents said that a move was more likely within this period.
Meanwhile, 49% said they will be more inclined to work from home after current restrictions are lifted, and therefore 44% of respondents said a separate work space has “assumed greater importance”, rising to 61% amongst the under 40s.
Space has also assumed a greater importance for buyers, with 39% of respondents under 50 stating an “increased inclination” to upsize, rising to 42% among the under 40s.
The desire for a garden or outdoor space has also become a “more pressing consideration” for 71% of this age group, according to Savills.
Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research, said: “It is clear that the current crisis has made people think more about the space they live in, the attributes they most value in a home and in some cases, where they want to live, all of which is likely to drive activity at the top end of the market as we come out of lockdown.”
Frances Clacy, an analyst at Savills, added: “Greater space has become a prerequisite for those anticipating increased home working and those with children. More outdoor space and access to the countryside are also likely to be of greater importance to parents looking for a new home.”
Moving to the countryside has also become more appealing to buyers and sellers, with four in 10 respondents saying they would now find a village location more appealing than previously.
Clancy said: “The potential for a rural renaissance comes at a time when country property looks increasingly good value compared to prime houses and flats in our most desirable towns and cities.”
Meanwhile, just under half of respondents did not expect the selling price of their existing home or the amount they would be willing to spend on a new property to change as a result of Covid-19.
The other half felt both would fall, while only 5% of respondents believe the value of their home could have risen.
Cook said: “This suggests there is likely to be some downward pressure on pricing in the short term, coupled with a period of much lower activity.
“Reassuringly, the survey suggests that buyers and sellers broadly agree on how they believe the lockdown has impacted values, and this alignment should help underpin the recovery as we come out of lockdown and buyer caution begins to lift.”