Cotswold Life

A bet­ter work­life bal­ance

- Business · United Kingdom · England · London · Savills

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 jm­

 ??  ?? Charles Elsmore-wick­ens
Charles Elsmore-wick­ens

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