A quarter (24%) of future home movers in the UK are reconsidering what they want from their next home, according to research by housebuilder Redrow.
Those with children under the age of 10, or who are currently expecting a child, were most likely to have changed their priorities (53% compared with a national average of 24%), followed by those who have been working from home due to COVID-19, either part-time or full time, or who have been placed on furlough (39%).
The majority of respondents (60%) stated that having access to private outdoor space will be the most important factor when choosing their next home.
Two-fifths (40%) will look for a home with a large kitchen, while 29% will want excellent levels of energy efficiency.
In London, respondents are more concerned about access to high-speed broadband, with more than a third (34% compared with national average of 27%) agreeing that it would be a top priority.
More than one in five (22%) agreed that being able to walk or cycle to work will be important in the future; this increased to 45% for those living in London.
Proximity to green open spaces was touted as the most sought-after community feature post-lockdown (35%), followed by proximity to smaller shops (33%), and a doctor’s surgery (32%).
A quarter (25%) agreed that finding a home within a strong community will be more important to post-lockdown; this increased to 33% of those aged 18 to 35, and 42% for those who are either expecting a child or who have children under 10.
Almost a quarter (23%) also agreed that going forward they will make more of a concerted effort to get to know their neighbours when they move.
Nearly two in five (38%) people had tried their hand at home improvements during the lockdown, but almost half of UK homeowners were only ‘somewhat satisfied’ with the results of their last home renovation.
James Holmear, group sales director at Redrow, said: “Lockdown has changed our lives dramatically.
“More time spent in the home has made us reconsider how we use the space that we have, and how our homes can adapt to more permanent change in the future.
“Even as more offices reopen, many people will opt to work at home, and people are planning to replace public transport with greener modes of community when they do commute.
“This change has translated to huge shifts in buyer preferences on the ground.
“Now, we are experiencing more customers adapt their search to homes with extra space to work, and more people are looking for proximity to green space and local shops, over good schools, and cafes and restaurants.
“However, planning and budgeting for changes in the home is simplest when buying a new build. With a renovation on an existing or future home, it is very possible that you will run into unforeseen problems which will see your costs go up.
“With a new build home, not only are you protected with a 10-year warranty, you can also expect the latest technology and ‘smart home’ features.
“Buying off-plan often means you can have a say in the design of your home too.”