Two-fifths ‘would prioritise a home office when searching for a property’

Two-fifths (40%) of people would prioritise space for a home office if they were searching for a new property, a survey has found.

One in six (16%) people said they have become more interested in updating their home since the coronavirus lockdown started, the Home Builders Federation (HBF) found.

Nearly a fifth (18%) of people want to change the style of their home, according to the research, carried out ahead of New Homes Week Unlocked between July 20 and 27, which showcases the benefits of new build homes.

Interest in interior design appears to have particularly increased among Millennials, with nearly a quarter (22%) of 25 to 34-year-olds saying they have become more interested in this during the lockdown, the survey of 2,000 people across the UK found.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at the HBF said: “Lockdown has been an extremely testing time, during which people have spent much more time than usual in their homes.

“This has led to a re-evaluation in how people see their homes and what they want from them.”

He added: “New Homes Week Unlocked will give those who have developed itchy feet an opportunity to update their space according to their new priorities.”

The findings were released as Halifax said that in June, mortgage applications from first-time buyers nearly doubled. Halifax saw a 96% increase from May as buyers looked to step on to the housing ladder.

Halifax said East Anglia, the North West and the North East in England are proving some of the most popular choices for those looking for a new home after lockdown, with mortgage applications already higher in these regions than levels seen before the pandemic.

A survey from Halifax of more than 3,000 people found that over half (57%) of workers who had been working from home now think that there is less need for people to live in a city. Many said that being close to their office is no longer an important factor when purchasing a property.

Online mortgage application inquiries to Bank of Scotland have also jumped 75% in the past week, as the property market in Scotland started to move again.

Tom Martin, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “We’re… beginning to see a clear shift in where people are now looking to buy homes, with the likes of East Anglia and the North West already more popular than before lockdown.

“This may reflect how people see their lifestyles changing after the pandemic, with greater flexibility to work from home and a desire for more outdoor space.

“For those with existing mortgages, we’re also seeing more and more people move back to regular payments, which is a positive sign after many took the opportunity for a little breathing space during this uncertain time.”

Alex Rose, director of new homes at Zoopla, said: “Home offices have spiked in popularity as more people plan to work from home more frequently, while gardens and proximity to outdoor space have also become a prerequisite for many buyers.

“Despite the pressures of social distancing, demand from home hunters has been served by best-in-class technology, CGIs and virtual viewings made available by house builders.

“Buyers have also been able to visit empty show properties, making social distancing easier to navigate, enabling new homes purchases to move forward.”

More information about New Homes Week Unlocked is available at

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