Searches for properties with outdoor space and bike storage have risen substantially since lockdown, according to research from property rental app Movebubble.
Data from over 700,000 users of the app has revealed the growing appetite for properties with a garden, with searches up 193%, while interest in terraces rose by 204%.
There has also been a surge in a demand for properties with bike storage, up 1,500% since mid-March.
Aidan Rushby, CEO of Movebubble, said: “We have noticed a seismic shift in rental behaviour, with a readiness to adopt new ways of moving by using mobile and video technology.
“Since the lockdown came into effect, not only have we seen behaviour rapidly adapting to video viewings – but we can also see a pattern of desires coming to light in the search for a new home.”
Movebubble recently launched a Home Walkthroughs feature, which reduces in-person contact by removing the need to view a property physically.
Since the launch of Home Walkthroughs, over 12,000 renters search the virtual video viewings platform, and following the government reopening the housing market, the platform is tracking a day-by-day increase of 20% of people using Home Walkthroughs to find their next rental property.
Rushby added: “The shock of coronavirus sweeping the globe has forced us into a total re-evaluation of our lives from top to bottom.
“Over the past 18 months, we have recorded a 1,300% increase in renters showing intent to virtually view or transact online. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this change in consumer behaviour dramatically.
“Our internal data shows evident post-corona trends in property priorities – with an overwhelming desire in renters wanting open spaces, fresh air and nature.”
Searches for solo properties have dropped by 5%, while areas such as Camden in London have seen an uplift of 173% area searches of those looking to move as a couple.
Rushby added: “In the wake of coronavirus, life as we know it has permanently changed and social distancing is set to become a longstanding aspect in our society.
“As we evolve and adapt to new ways of working and living, video viewings will become the new norm, paving the way to solve many of the problems around physical viewings.
“In fact, we predict that by 2025, physical property viewings in the rental market will become a thing of the past – with all viewings taking place virtually via smartphone.
“With our Home Walkthroughs function, we are looking to empower the renter – enabling them to confidently virtually view as many properties as they’d like, all from the safety and security of their current home.
“Our app allows renters to virtually step through different rooms in the property and view a series of short 15 [to] 45 [second] video clips that are designed to connect with the consumer and offer a fully unfiltered viewing – with zero human contact.”