Demand for homes with gardens is set to rise as the pandemic reshapes buyers’ preferences, according to a survey that points to strong market activity and house prices spiking in every region except London.
In August, 83 per cent of surveyors in the UK anticipated demand increasing for homes with gardens over the next two years, and more than two in three surveyors expected an increase in desirability of properties with more private and less communal outside space, according to the monthly survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
“The results provide a further pointer to more substantive changes taking place in household behaviour in the wake of the pandemic,” said Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist. “Increased demand for properties with gardens and near green spaces has if anything increased,”
The survey also shows that the property market is enjoying a mini-boom, but not in London. At the national level, the survey “score” for prices rose to 44 per cent, up from 13 per cent in July and the strongest reading since 2016. It is calculated as the proportion of surveyors reporting an expansion in prices minus those reporting a contraction. The significant jump marks a dramatic turnround from the 33 per cent contraction registered in May.
Nationally, a growing share of surveyors expected house prices to rise in the next three months, suggesting the market exuberance will continue in the autumn. London was the only part of the UK to not record a significant rise in prices, with the report saying this probably reflected a shift in demand towards areas outside the capital as homeworking becomes more common.
”Lenders are still willing and able to facilitate great mortgage rates for those with a particular financial pedigree and demand at the top end,” said Hugh Wade-Jones, managing director of the mortgage broker Enness Global Mortgages. “[They] tend to be the ones driving demand for larger homes and more outdoor space, with an eye on a potential second wave and the ensuing lockdown that could follow.”