While the impact of COVID-19 has been immediate, it is also likely to be long-lasting. The property market in England is operational again, but it is certainly not business as usual as of yet. It will be interesting to see what changes occur in the market, but there are already signs that buyer demand is shifting slightly.
It will come as no surprise to learn that gardens are even more critical for buyers right now. If you plan on buying a home, you will be looking for an outdoor space you can relax, socialise, exercise and perhaps become more self-sufficient. If you plan on selling your home, you need to realise buyers are looking for garden space.
You don’t need to have a massive garden or highly cultivated outdoor space to attract attention, but you need to maximise what you have. If you are looking for guidance on how to make the most of your garden space, even with flats and smaller houses, get in touch with Country Properties Hitchin, and we will be happy to help.
Leading industry evidence suggests gardens matter for buyers
Many people in the housing sector place significant importance on the monthly market survey reports issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, RICS. The first report since the re-opening of the housing market has provided the following information:
- 81% of agents predict an increase in desire for homes which have a garden or a balcony
- 74% of respondents predict an increase in demand for homes located close to a green space
- 68% of respondents believe properties with privacy and less communal space will be in greater demand
There are clear reasons why gardens and outdoor space are in greater demand right now, and it is comforting to know there are statistics which confirm most people’s hunch about a current trend in the housing market.
Simon Rubinsohn is the Chief Economist at RICS and he said; “There are already signs that those looking to buy a house are responding to the conditions created by the pandemic by seeking out properties with gardens or balconies and nearer green space. These and other similar features are likely to increasingly command a premium over higher-density urban locations, according to respondents to the survey.”
Gardens have always been popular with buyers, but demand has increased
The increased level of demand for gardens has also been confirmed by Zoopla and Rightmove. It is not as though the demand for garden space is a new thing in the housing market. For searches in 2019, Zoopla listed gardens in their top three returns. However, since lockdown, gardens have featured more prominently in buyer searches, and there is a good chance it will be the leading search term for 2020.
Rightmove have also found an increased level of buyer demand for gardens. Rightmove’s housing market analyst Miles Shipside said; “During lockdown people have been re-evaluating what their must-haves are, and both buyers and renters are craving a home with its own outside space rather than a flat. Usually home-movers tell us the kitchen photographs are the most important when they’re looking at a property advert, but now agents should consider giving greater prominence to pictures of gardens and outdoor spaces to attract the attention of prospective renters and buyers.”
Currently, in line with Government guidelines, our Hitchin branch has reopened and is again staffed with sales and lettings personnel. To clients old and new, if you have any queries or need advice on property sales and lettings then please call 01462 452951 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.