Lockdown impact – UK consumers re-evaluate their property decisions.

The pandemic crisis is having a fundamental change on the way we work and live, and this is having an immediate effect on where we choose to live and the type of property we choose to live in.

Backed by External Stats

The Office of National Statistics showed that nearly 86% of people were working from home due to the coronavirus.

According to Zoopla, some 34% of buyers and renters anticipate working from home more often in the future as well as the demand for rural properties rose by 80%.

Barclays Mortgage’s research show that almost a third of people in Birmingham and London strongly wish to leave and move to greener areas.

The Rationale Behind the Change

Imagine you have lived in one bedroom flat in London throughout lockdown and going forward you know that your working patterns will change because you are only required to travel into the office for one day per week. Knowing this, you will no doubt want a lifestyle change, reinforced by the fact you will be able to sell up and move to a 4-bed large detached house in the home counties with a lower mortgage than what you have now. Why wouldn’t you look to move as soon as possible?

We’ve looked at our data to see if Covid-19 has changed consumer behaviour for good and whether a new audience, that didn’t exist before, is now looking to move.

The Facts from our Data

On average, people only move home every 19 years. So, if we can see a change in the number of people looking to move home compared to last year as a result of Covid-19, this would suggest that this change in consumer behaviour is more permanent rather than temporary.

So, what does our data show?

If we look at the volume of Sales Agreed throughout July and August 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, sales have increased by nearly 150%. This tell us sales are up but it’s not enough to prove that these sales come from a new audience of movers. We will have to look deeper into the kind of sales that are being agreed in 2020 versus 2019.

Gardens:

In the summer of 2020, the number of properties sold with a garden rose by 55% and properties sold without a garden rose by 31%. So, people are more likely to buy a property with a garden.

Number of Bedrooms:

Now people are also more likely to buyer larger properties. The volumes of 4-bed properties sold increased by 72% and 5+ bedroom properties by 79%.

Rural Vs. Urban:

Turning our attention to urbanity, we found that the volume of sales agreed in summer 2020 had risen 62% for property in rural areas when compared with 45% for property in urban areas.

Property Type:

Finally, a look at property type in the following chart shows the percentage increase in the volume of sales agreed in summer 2020 when compared with summer 2019.

We see that people are now more likely to buy detached properties.

Covid-19 has changed property purchase behaviour

We, at TwentyEA, believe that the pandemic and the impact of lockdown has caused UK consumers to re-evaluate what matters to them. Our view is that these are likely to be permanent lifestyle changes as the average homeowner purchases a home infrequently. A new audience of home movers looking to move out of cities or regionally, moving into greener, more rural spaces.

Posted on

1/09/2020 by Katy Billany

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