Property search website shows buyers want gardens and ability to work from home

Blackheath House, London, Walker Bushe

Blackheath House, south-east London, by Walker Bushe

Two in five prospective home buyers have changed what they are looking to buy because of the experience of the covid-19 crisis, according to property search portal Rightmove.

The firm said buyers of new homes are significantly less interested in purchasing flats, as they prioritise gardens and outdoor space. Rightmove said that all of the top five most sought-after properties for both renters and buyers are now houses rather than flats, whereas just before the covid crisis two of the top five were flats.

Rightmove’s housing market analyst Miles Shipside said: “During lockdown people have been re-evaluating what their must-haves are, and both buyers and renters are craving a home with its own outside space rather than a flat.”

Half of renters (49%) currently in the market and surveyed by Rightmove, and 39% of buyers said lockdown had had an impact on what they’re looking for, with both now prioritising garden space or wanting to live in a bigger home.

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It found buyers in particular were also focused on ensuring a new home would offer the ability to work from home, with one in five saying they wanted to make their current enforced home-working permanent.

Shipside said: “Usually home-movers tell us the kitchen photographs are the most important when they’re looking at a property advert, but now agents should consider giving greater prominence to pictures of gardens and outdoor spaces to attract the attention of prospective renters and buyers.”