Home Property London Renters’ priorities change as pandemic alters perspective

London Renters’ priorities change as pandemic alters perspective

by LLP Reporter
24th Nov 20 11:08 am

The Coronavirus global pandemic has undoubtedly changed many aspects of our lives in the past year. Most of us learnt to nurture our relationships better, we learned to understand the importance of taking good care of ourselves and many of us even found a new appreciation for being close to nature and having more readily available access to the great outdoors.

With so many shifts in perspectives and life priorities, it comes as no surprise that the way people choose to live, buy and rent properties has too changed. These altered perspectives are particularly visible in metropolitan areas like London, where recent research suggests that Londoner’s home and life priorities have shifted all but indefinitely.

The way that the pandemic has altered attitudes and perspectives on home priorities has had a knock-on effect on long-term rentals. While features like excellent transport links and proximity to leisure facilities were previously at the top of the list, these requirements are no longer ranking as the ultimate priority. The surge in remote working has meant that individuals have moved away from regular commutes and have instead, having spent so much more time at home, begun to focus on the quality of their living spaces. If before, a rented London apartment may well have been seen as a  place to crash that supports a busy social-life or long days in the office, the pandemic has meant that these properties are no longer a suitable option to support many individuals’ “new-normal”. Living in a small space has meant that for many, the work environment and the resting place have become almost one and the same thing and consequently, people have started to look further afield for affordable options that will allow space to breath.

Unsurprisingly, properties that have easy access to parks or private outdoor space have seen a huge surge in interest, with a 28% increase in people searching for properties closer to green areas throughout the pandemic to date. As an additional consequence of the work from home movement, broadband speed has rapidly become another key priority that Londoners now look for when considering a potential property.

One of the most striking differences in outlooks has been the increasing need to live in an area with a close-knit community. A recent study showed that now 39% of Londoners are looking to rent or purchase a property in a neighbourhood with a strong community feel. As a result, counties like Surrey and Kent have seen a surge in demand due to the many towns and villages that are well known for their neighbourly spirit.

For many renters, the pandemic has allowed time to consider purchasing a home, with keen interest being shown in government supported schemes such as the likes of Help to buy and shared ownership. These support schemes allow those that are perhaps not in a position to purchase on the open market the opportunity to become a homeowner with a smaller deposit, something which many renters will find solace in.

Though it’s unclear if the shift in home priorities will remain indefinitely, what is clear is that renters’ have certainly used this time to consider their options for post-Covid, and these changes will ultimately continue to shape the London housing sector.

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