A better worklife balance
Adesire for improved work-life balance is driving a dramatic increase in activity across the UK’S prime housing markets, according to a new survey by Savills.
Three-quarters of those active in the market say that Covid-19 has led them to reconsider their work-life balance, a trend that has been seen across the Cotswold’s. Charles Elsmore-wickens explores current buyer preferences and what they mean for the housing market.
Over 550 buyers and sellers registered with Savills were surveyed in the final week of June, some six weeks after the reopening of the housing market in England and just a week before the Chancellor’s surprise announcement of a stamp duty holiday on all purchases up to the value of £500,000.
Even before the stamp duty cut was announced, we had seen a substantial mindset shift in the affluent prime markets and an increased commitment to moving home. This was already underpinning record levels of new buyer inquiries and viewings seen across the prime market in June.
Pent-up demand is playing a large part in building a sense of urgency, but there are more fundamental lifestyle factors at play. And the Chancellor has now given buyers and sellers a March 31, 2021 deadline to beat, which will be particularly pertinent to buyers in the £400,000 to £600,000 sweet spot who stand to gain most relative to the price of their new homes.
This increased urgency reflects the desire for additional space - a key finding of our April survey when 39% of those under 50 expressed an increased inclination to upsize and 49% said the amount of garden or outside space had become more important in their search for a home.
Despite this, the market remains price sensitive and the survey results suggest that’s unlikely to change over the coming months, even though stock levels are relatively constrained and competition remains strong.
The survey tells us that buyers and sellers within the affluent prime markets are highly committed to moving, perhaps more than ever, but they are not prepared to compromise on price, location or lifestyle.
As everyone tries to make sense of our new world and the changes that are already taking place, many of my clients are revaluating their working practices and questioning hitherto solid orthodoxies, such as whether they need to be in their London office five days a week. It turns out video conferencing does work and will continue to improve. This, combined with a yearning for more space and good connectivity, means the Cotswolds has never seemed more attractive.
No doubt the future will continue to surprise, but having a good buying agent to help navigate the complexities of an unpredictable market will prove its worth and more. If you would like to discuss your plans do please do get in touch. Contact Johannes Hodson on 07789 901867 or visit jmchase.co.uk