Zoopla surveyed more than 2,000 buyers and renters to reveal just how much their attitudes have changed since the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, introduced strict measures on 23 March 2020.
First up, what are homehunters’ appetites for moving now?
The picture looks promising. An enormous 86% of buyers and renters who intended to move home before the coronavirus crisis took hold still expect to do so.
94% of first-time buyers across the UK remain committed to moving in the next 12 months, with 13% saying the lockdown had accelerated their plans to snap up property.
However, concerns about the impact of coronavirus have hampered some people’s plans. Of those who have delayed their property search, 31% were mindful that house prices may fall, 30% were worried about the UK economy, and 22% were concerned about their employment and household income.
But of all the age groups, it’s young buyers and renters that expect to be most impacted by economic uncertainty, with 61% of under 35s citing concerns about their employment, income and getting a mortgage or deposit.
So what features are homehunters prioritising?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the new property ‘must-have’ is an office. More than one in five of those surveyed (22%) claimed that having an office area has become more of a priority, with this increasing to 34% among those aged between 35 and 49.
Properties that are located close to friends and family (21%), and that offer the ability to do exercise at home (20%), have become more important for homehunters of all ages too.
Interestingly, proximity to pubs and shops has come in further down the ranking, with just 13% of respondents prioritising it.
The survey also revealed that one in five young homehunters (aged under 35) are more likely to strike a compromise on their criteria, such as expanding their search area in order to afford a garden. In contrast, 60% of those aged 35 and over haven’t changed their property priorities at all.
However, it is not just features that are being reassessed. Some 44% of buyers and renters whose criteria have changed now want to be closer to the countryside, parks or the coast.