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Pandemic Changes UK Homebuyers’ Needs

The pandemic has irrevocably changed the way that we all live our lives, with shifts to remote working and the way companies conduct their business, and Brits reassess their housing needs.

According to a report from London-based bridging lender Market Financial Solutions (MFS), 92 per cent of UK buyers consider the garden or outdoor space to be the single most important factor when house hunting.

The square footage was most important to 89 per cent of survey respondents and reflecting the shift to working from home, broadband connectivity is now the third most important consideration, with 88 per cent saying it was a crucial factor, compared with 82 per cent in 2019.

The Homebuyer Wishlist 2021 report shows quality and finish of the interior (85 per cent) was fourth on the list, with proximity to public spaces and parks rising six places to number five — 84 per cent of homebuyers consider this to be important, whereas only 79 per cent said the same two years ago.

Adequate transport links fee by 13 per cent from 2019 to only 67 per cent of buyers in April 2021 citing them as important, rejecting a major shift in housing needs. Proximity to the nearest town or city also fell, with 74 per cent selecting these options compared to 87 per cent in April 2019.

Industry data from throughout the pandemic has indicated an exodus of homebuyers from towns and cities to more rural areas, with larger properties and much greater access to green spaces.

MFS’s research found 24 per cent of buyers had become more tempted to live in a rural area since March 2020. But, when it comes to long-term outlook, 27 per cent think remote working will remain the norm post-pandemic.

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