The Government’s roadmap out of Covid-19 is well and truly underway, but as the nation tries to return to normal, the property industry has seen a change in buyer behaviour that Hancock & Partners believes is here to stay for the long-term.
Despite it being a very difficult year, people are embracing the positives into their lives to improve the way they live in the future. Elements such as gardens, fast broadband, outdoor entertaining and working from home have all shot to the top of their house-hunting lists. This is especially true for those relocating from London who have been cooped up in tiny properties over the last year with little to no outdoor space, and are now realising West Sussex can offer them far more value for money as well as a relaxed, rural lifestyle. We have seen a 50% increase in London based enquires since the pandemic began, and so properties in and around Chichester that can meet this demand are selling quickly as a result – many at sealed bids due to multiple offers being made.
Over the last year or so, Covid-19 has forced us to make the most of our gardens whether they are big or small. From popping up gazebos and growing flowers and vegetables, to building a pub bar and building patios or decking, we did what we could to embrace spring and summer living. This activity has not only allowed the gardening industry to explode as a result, but it has helped improve our health and wellbeing too. Properties with any kind of garden space are now highly sought after, attracting a premium over those that don’t.
Fast broadband speed is very much at the top of the list for obvious reasons – without it, you will most likely struggle to secure a buyer. Luckily, most of our area offers good broadband speeds and it’s something that we ensure we highlight to buyers when conducting property viewings.
Working from home
Just over a year ago, I don’t think anybody could ever fathom losing the 9am-6pm five-days a week work routine, but the pandemic has proved to many employers that working from home has improved productivity and happiness of their staff. Obviously not all industries are able to work from home, but for those who can home office space is high on the agenda. If they’re looking at a large family house then a designated study or a separate office in the garden is highly sought after, but purchasers will also think about turning a bedroom into their study or maximising smaller space by installing a folding desk which can be tucked away into the interior once their working day is over.
Summer holidays at home
Although people can travel abroad now, there are many who don’t wish to until the pandemic is more controlled or in an ideal world, over. Instead, they are looking to invest in properties which can offer the joys of summer holidays at home. For example, homes with swimming pools and tennis courts, or the land to build them.
Having embraced the outdoors and feeling it a far safer way to socialise with friends and family, today’s house buyer is looking for somewhere they can create an idyllic outdoor entertaining set up. For example, sunken fire pit patios, BBQ areas, hot tubs, sofa corners, outside kitchens, fairy lights, garden pub bars, lanterns and so on. Meanwhile flat buyers are looking out for balconies, terraces, roof terraces or communal outdoor spaces.
Access to local footpaths and bridleways
During the first national lockdown, outdoor exercise was one of the few things we could do. Running, walking and cycling has since grown in popularity as people embrace the joys of being outdoors. 34% of cyclists are cycling more than they were before the pandemic, while 38% of walkers are walking more, according to the latest National Travel Attitudes survey from the Department of Transport. This trend looks set to continue with over 90% of walkers and cyclists keen to keep their outdoor activity going. In and around Chichester, we have plenty of rural and coastal footpaths, bridleways, and parks for people to explore and it’s definitely one of the main questions we are asked on our property viewings.
Thinking about selling?
If you are looking to sell your property in the near future and feel your home meets the requirements of today’s buyer, we hope that this blog has helped reassure you that demand is very strong at the moment. Here at Hancock and Partners, we will provide you with everything you could possibly need to sell quickly and for the best price. Get in touch here.