How Have Buyer Attitudes Changed During The Pandemic?
Remote Working and Homeschooling Have Adjusted Priorities
A buyer’s preferred choice of location and the size and layout of property may all be different following the experience of Covid-19.
An increase of 88% in buyer interest was registered in the days which immediately followed the reopening of the housing market. This is partly due to the volume of property deals that were stalled or fell through when lockdown occurred. As vast quantities of buyers return to the market, industry professionals will be waiting to see just how much of a bounce-back effect this has had on the crash of the property market during the pandemic. Some people expect that this flood effect will be merely temporary until the bottleneck clears in the coming weeks. Others predict that the market may return to reasonably normal levels, giving it a brighter future than first anticipated. One aspect of property industry activity that may not have been expected though, is what buyers are now looking for in their next home.
Homeschooling Demand Increases
As many as 2 million school places may be freed up by parents who plan to continue homeschooling following the lockdown. A survey conducted by Childcare.co.uk found that there are 23% of parents who are interested in full-time homeschooling. The reasons for this preference include reduced bullying, being able to spend more time with their child and being able to control what their child is learning. An estate agents Chelmsford team explains that for those homeschooling families who are also interested in moving house, this opens up additional location possibilities as there won’t be a need to be fixed within a favoured school catchment area.
Saying Goodbye To The Commute
With the average commuter spending approximately 226 hours on the road each year according to Imperial College, the lockdown has provided workers with the chance to rebalance their work schedule and win back these wasted hours. It’s widely expected that following lockdown, companies will switch their thinking on remote working, enabling more people to stay at home in the long-term.
What does this mean to the property market? Now, buyers will be able to spread their wings and live pretty much wherever they want to. If they’re expected to still attend a physical office occasionally, then they may want to stay in the vicinity. Yet, these commuters would be happy to move several miles further away from a station if they’re using it less regularly. And for those whose jobs will become entirely virtual, rural locations are now top of the wish list for many current buyers.
As the switch of focus has very much been on home living throughout the pandemic, owners and potential buyers are reassessing their needs. Instead of city apartments with small balconies, buyers are interested in properties with plenty of garden space of their own. Open plan layouts may also become less popular as homeowners now desire quieter study areas away from the distractions of family life as they try to fit their work in. Space will therefore become more of a priority for homeowners who want as many options as possible in which to balance their work and home lives.
It will be really interesting to see what the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will be on the overall property market, but the change in buyer attitudes could actually open up new possibilities to the industry.