Now we are all armed with our road maps out of the pandemic, will we see a return to the old ways, or will there be medium or long-term changes in our living and house-buying behaviour?
Craig Fuller of Stacks Property Search believes that some elements of our Covid lives will remain imprinted and will change buyer behaviour for at least the next decade. People will continue to update their homes to suit a lockdown lifestyle, and will factor these elements into their priority lists when buying.
“There will be a long hangover from the year we have all just experienced; and while it has been a struggle, many people have taken away positive changes which will affect how they choose to live in the future.
“Gardens have taken centre stage for the year of Covid, those that have been lucky enough to have some outside space have squeezed every drop of joy out of it. Gazebo sales have gone through the roof, builders have been creating verandas and terraces, the DIY minded have been turning sheds into home pubs, and putting up cabins, while the previously non-green-fingered have discovered the joys of growing vegetables and plants.
“Working from home is the biggest shift, the idea that we will return to the old days of a non-negotiable 9-5, five days a week, seems unlikely. Anyone whose work revolves around a desk is likely to view properties with a firm eye on where a home-based desk will be.
“Everyone will want good outside entertaining space. Those buying small flats will seek out properties that come with roof terraces, balconies, or shared outdoor space. Large gardens will be expected to perform, or have the potential to perform well. Buyers will want good ergonomics between house and garden that allow for outside kitchens, outside shelter, and a variety of areas that can be used by different members of the household who don’t necessarily all want to socialise with the same people at the same time.
“Another element of outside space that has become something of a ritual for those living in villages and towns is a space at the front of the house. A bench on the pavement, or a seating area in a front garden, or an ‘open porch’ has facilitated a new way of socialising and has encouraged community behaviour, allowing people to get to know their neighbours in a very relaxed manner.
“Another aspect of Lockdown life that has been a degree of multi-generational living. Many parents in their 50s and 60s have found themselves sharing their homes with young adult offspring, and while this dynamic can sometimes be tricky, plenty of families have found much pleasure in the arrangement. We expect a good proportion of this generation to delay the downsizing moment, preferring to keep the space for their 20-somethings to return to more frequently than had become the norm pre-pandemic.
“Finally, it goes without saying that excellent Broadband or 5G now features as an absolute non-negotiable priority for all home buyers.
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