The COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc and mayhem to industries across the world; however, what has been shocking is the way it has caused a boom in the UK housing market. The landscape of the market has changed and the way people buy, sell and rent property.
Our first national lockdown saw the UK property market come to an effective halt for seven weeks. With ‘Stay at Home’ orders preventing property professionals from working, the number of transactions dropped drastically over this period. In the following lockdowns, rules and regulations were put in place, allowing for the selling, buying and property to take place safely. People felt more confident in the property market, and as a result, the UK saw the beginnings of a boom for the first time in four years.
Lockdown also caused a shift in people’s behaviour, which contributed to increased demand for property. With people forced to work from home, they began to recognise issues with their homes, making them uncomfortable or unsuitable for their needs. In summer 2020, Rightmove saw the number of sold properties, subject to contract increase by 125% compared to the same period the year before.
Need for More Space
The number of lockdowns we have faced have shown many homeowners that the space they live in is just not enough. In September 2020, Santander released data showing that more people than ever were applying for loans to expand their homes’ space. Similarly, during the COVID-19 boom, space has been an essential factor when purchasing homes. Many buyers want larger properties with spacious living areas, more bedrooms and outdoor space. People no longer wanted to feel cooped up in smaller homes or apartments but instead have the space to relax and find time for themselves.
Property investors need to take note of such important desires of potential buyers. Whereas renting may have been a profitable and comfortable investment in the past, larger homes which take advantage of space are currently in demand. If investors want to take advantage of the UK property market’s current climate, then these types of properties should be taking up their portfolio.
Seeking a More Rural Life
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown lifestyle have influenced the types of homes people wish to buy and their locations. Before the pandemic outbreak, many people opted for the city lifestyle, with houses and apartments closer to the city where they had easy transport links and short commutes.
However, since the lockdowns, people’s preferences are changing as many more have the opportunity to work from home. With no need to commute to the city, they have more opportunities to look for a house they truly love. With predictions that working from home will be the norm for many industries in the future, buying a home further afield is no longer a risk.
Lockdown has also shown many of us that the city lifestyle is no longer desirable. Infections and disease can spread quickly in these overpopulated spaces, the cost of everything is higher, and the busy lifestyle can be overwhelming. Instead, a more rural lifestyle is desired by the latest buyers wanting to sit back and unwind with fewer pressures around them.
As this boom in the UK property market continues, the buyers’ desired locations are something that cannot be ignored. Buying property in the right place is vital for ensuring a profitable sale which satisfies both the seller and buyer. Property investors need to look for hotspots in the market right now and take advantage of this increasing demand.