New Year, New Home! How Lockdown has changed our home moving priorities.

There’s no escaping the massive impact the global pandemic has had on our way of life in 2020! The pandemic has brought about changes in consumer behaviour, shifting the relative importance of house buyer requirements - but has this affected the housing market in Abingdon and the surrounding villages? 

Abingdon and the villages overview

According to Zoopla, the average price for property in Abingdon stands at £426,588 in December 2020. This is a rise of 2.28% in the last three months (since September 2020), and a rise of 5.55% in the past 12 months. 

Dataloft statistics show us this is an improvement on the previous year, which reported a 3.41% decline in average house prices! 

Despite the availability of fewer mortgage products across the marketplace, in October 2020, 97,532 mortgages were approved. An annual increase of 51.1%, this represents the backlog caused by lockdown and the post lockdown surge in demand!

A change in home buyers priorities

We’ve all got to grips with home working, zoom conferencing, a new way of interacting with each other, new hobbies, new pets, and possibly much, much cleaner hands too. As a result, our priorities in life have drastically changed too! 

What we are now looking for when we buy a new home has now diversified to reflect the ‘new normal’ - longer periods of time at home mean homebuyers would now consider moving to a home that is over 60 miles away from their place of employment! 

Here’s our list of top requests from both vendors and renters;

A garden is crucial

According to Zoopla, ‘Garden’ was the most popular search term throughout 2020 for both buyers and renters alike! The Property Academy Home Moving Trends Surveys 2020, analysed by Dataloft, found that for buyers and renters whose priorities had changed since the start of the pandemic, a garden had become more important to 67% of renters and 64% of buyers. 

Time for home improvements

People have spent an increased amount of time at home this year, encouraging home improvements! Builders have seen a 47% increase in their workload this summer and online planning applications have increased by 20%.

Broadband speeds have bearing on buyer choice

We weren’t surprised to read that during lockdown internet users spent 18% more time online! As a result, the importance of broadband speed to homemovers has increased and can be an influencing factor when choosing the next home.

  • In 2019, 74% of home broadband connections were superfast products,, compared to 66% in 2018, 58% in 2017 and 49% in 2016.
  • Dataloft's Homemover Survey revealed that for 16% of buyers, broadband speed had become more important than before lockdown.

Vendors should consider improving internet speeds in their homes, often an easy change to make!

How green are our homes? 

Climate change was high up in the agenda before COVID-19 – with the majority of forecasters predicting climate change as the big theme for the property market in 2020! Green homes are something worth thinking about for landlords too! According to the English Housing Survey, 86% of tenants said that an environmentally sustainable home is important or nice-to-have. 

  • The Green Home Grant will help cut energy emissions. 
  • The average SAP rating, used to calculate EPC, is now 63, up from 53 in 2008. 
  • A third of dwellings are now in the highest EPC band, A - C.

Priorities Have Changed for Renters Too!

Priorities have changed for over a quarter of tenants following the pandemic, according to The Property Academy Tenant Survey 2020. 

  • The survey, based on 14,000 tenants, found that over two thirds of tenants said affordability (68%), and a garden (67%) had become more important than they were pre-lockdown.
  • With the government encouraging working from home, it’s no surprise that 63% of tenants said broadband speed was more important, and 61% said space to work from home was more important now.

Landlords should consider renters priorities, for example; assisting access to fast broadband, providing office furniture, and assessing rental values could help keep tenants happy. 

Keep it fresh with Simpsons

At Simpsons, we’ve had some great successes for our home vendors by launching Fresh to Market. Our freshest properties for sale are launched via our own marketing channels (website & social media platforms), a full 72 hours before being added to Rightmove, Zoopla and On The Market. Here are some of our sales statistics;

  • 10% of properties achieved full asking prices.
  • These sold within 2 days of advertising via 'Fresh to Market'
  • 15% of the properties we advertise via 'Fresh to Market' have sales agreed before going to the open market.

As you can see from the stats, alongside our traditional marketing methods we’ve found it to be another great tool for selling your homes. 

Considering moving home?  

Have you been dreaming of a new home in Abingdon and the surrounding villages? Complete with your own office or converted garage, super fast broadband, 60+ miles away from work, an eco-friendly abode complemented nicely with a larger than average South facing garden? (Us too!) 

Take the first step towards your new home and start your search today!