Moving on up!23/08/21
Even with the end of the Stamp Duty holiday, the UK housing market is still looking buoyant. Property website Rightmove suggests that months of “frenzied buyer activity” has driven the average asking price for a home in Britain to a new high. Properties are showing a 6.7% increase since the start of the year and the sector is seeing the busiest first six months of the year recorded since 2000.
Style over substance?
So with all this activity, what sort of properties are proving to be most popular? Is it the modern, new build or the older, more traditional style – or even the new build, designed to look old? Each type of property has its advantages, but looking at recent trends, post-lockdowns it appears that potential homebuyers are putting certain practicalities at the top of the ‘must-have’ list, rather than necessarily the style, design or age of the property.
Give me space
If there is one thing the lockdowns have shown, it is the importance of a decent living space. Whether this is space to work, study or play, it is definitely now a major priority for many people. And it’s not just indoor space that has increased in importance and desirability. Outdoor living is also, in many cases, being seen as an essential rather than a ‘nice to have’. According to a report by Nationwide at the end of 2020, a well-kept garden is more essential than ever before. It reported that nearly 30 per cent of people considering moving home were doing so because they wanted a garden, or to be near parks and other outdoor space.
While central heating, double glazing and off-road parking all remain high on the list, so now are some factors that might not previously have been seen as so important. In addition to gardens and home offices, decent connectivity has also moved up the ‘must have’ list. Broadband and mobile reception might previously have been ‘nice to haves’, but with more people working from home in the long term, dodgy mobile reception and poor internet connectivity can be a deal breaker for potential purchasers.
The need for properties to be energy efficient has also risen. Energy efficiency benefits homeowners financially, which is important as people spend more time in their own environs. With environmental initiatives, like home solar power and other alternative renewable energy sources, all moving up the agenda this is becoming more achievable. Considerations like having a home EV charging point is also something that is starting to be considered.
Whatever people are looking for, the current positive housing market looks likely to continue throughout the year. Savills are forecasting that house prices will continue to rise throughout 2021, potentially by as much as 4%. So whether you are thinking about buying or selling, contact the Forge team about how our RICS certified surveyors can help you with a Home Buyer’s report. We offer an RICS-approved Home Buyer report service, which provides a detailed and accurate property ‘health check’, giving you the peace of mind to having your ideal price accepted on a residential property.