UK homebuyers looking for 'fancier' amenities amid COVID-19

Abigail Fenton
·2-min read
UK homebuyers are looking for houses with pools, among other 'fancy' features. (Nils Schirmer/Unsplash)
UK homebuyers are looking for houses with pools, among other 'fancy' features. (Nils Schirmer/Unsplash)

Brits are turning away from practical home features and towards more lavish amenities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research from Good Move says that searches for apartments with a balcony shot up 147% compared to 2019 – the highest increase for any property feature.

This is likely due to buyers looking for properties with more outdoor space due to the impact of the pandemic, the research suggests.

Overall, “fancier” features that allow owners to enjoy leisure activities at home had more growth in searches year-on-year than most “practical” features.

In addition to balconies, apartments with hot tubs (139%), and houses with tennis courts (127%) or swimming pools (109%) saw the biggest increase in searches.

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Meanwhile, driveways (up 106%), conservatories (101%) and double garages (77%) saw smaller increases.

“This could be due to people spending more time at home and looking for properties with more fun, active amenities they can enjoy,” Good Move said.

When it comes to the type of houses for sale, the most popular searches with the biggest year on year growth were two-bed houses.

Searches for “two-bedroom house for sale” were up 64% year-on-year, with “two-bed house for sale” also racking up a 47% increase.

The research also found the counties with the biggest growth of homebuyers searching for homes there are Buckinghamshire (up 73%), Berkshire (72%), Yorkshire (69%), Hertfordshire (61%), and Surrey (59%).

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Meanwhile, on a city level, Bradford (up 52%), Liverpool (51%), Sunderland (48%), Preston (45%) and Newcastle (42%) saw the biggest growth in interest.

Interestingly, except for Liverpool, the top cities with the highest overall searches compared to 2019 were all in northern England — despite West Yorkshire being the only northern county people were searching for.

“Against all odds, this year has positively impacted the UK housing market and completely transformed the way buyers and sellers look at properties,” said Good Move director Nima Ghasri.

“More and more people are moving away from flats and apartments and into homes with outdoor space, and we’ve also seen many people looking to move away from cities into more rural areas.

“It’s interesting to see that they have been searching for more luxurious features such as a swimming pool and tennis court – no doubt due to the increase of time spent at home and leisure facilities closing due to the pandemic.”

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