Location, location, location will always be top of the list of priorities when people are looking for a new home. However, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last year has seen some property features become more popular.
This desire for a different kind of property has helped to sustain high levels of demand and activity in the property market in recent months.
On top of this, the stamp duty holiday - which was recently extended until the end of June
- has also provided an incentive for buyers to enter the market.
All of this has made selling conditions favourable, with Rightmove recently declaring a sellers' market. If you're looking to take advantage of increased demand, it's important to know what's hot and what's not with prospective buyers.
With this in mind, we take a look at a recent homebuyer study carried out by Aviva to find out what buyers are prioritising this year.
Gardens, parking space and good broadband are top must-haves
According to Aviva's study, which spoke to over 6,000 consumers, the most sought-after property feature for buyers is currently a garden (43%).
This comes as no surprise as the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of outdoor space with people forced to spend more time at home.
As we approach the summer months, gardens will be even more valuable to sellers as spending time outside and entertaining will be at the forefront of buyers' minds.
Last year, we looked at research from Rightmove which suggested that a south-facing garden could bag sellers an additional £31,000
above the average regional property price.
Aviva's study also found that 10% of participants were looking to move because they're planning to get a dog - another reason why gardens have become so important.
The second top priority for buyers was parking space, which has long been important to buyers but may have taken on extra prominence over the last year as people's cars have been left stationary for longer.
In third place was broadband speed - something which has gradually been moving up the list of buyer priorities in recent years but has cemented itself near the top of the list as a result of various states of lockdown and increased working from home.
Number of bedrooms, crime rate and large kitchens remain important
The study also found that the number of bedrooms in a property is important to property buyers. This has been demonstrated by the 'race for space' over the last year in which buyers have looked to upsize due to the prospect of spending more time at home.
Moreover, a low crime rate remains important to buyers and this is something which is unlikely to ever change. If you're selling in an area with a low crime rate, it can pay to promote this to prospective buyers as part of your marketing campaign.
Next on the list of priorities noted by survey participants was having a large kitchen. This comes as no surprise as the kitchen is frequently cited as the most popular and important room in the house, with people spending so much time cooking, eating, working and socialising in this space.
Buyers taking part in the study were also keen to stress that being close to friends and family was important when choosing where to live. The impact of not being able to see loved ones frequently over the last year may have contributed to this.
Lower down the list, but still priorities for buyers, were distance to local shops, privacy from neighbours and good transport links.
The trend of homeworking was also taken into account by 6% of participants saying a home office was essential
, while others said they would be looking for separate rooms for people to work in.
Take advantage of favourable selling conditions
As we mentioned above, people’s desire to move driven by the pandemic, combined with the incentive of the stamp duty holiday, is boosting demand and making it a great time to sell a property.
With a high number of buyers in the market, sellers can expect to carry out a higher number of viewings and attract more offers. As a consequence, the chances of selling quickly and for the best possible price are vastly improved.
In order to take advantage of favourable selling conditions, you need to make sure your home has the right asking price and is presented in tip-top condition. What’s more, the help of a proactive local estate agency can make sure your property is marketed to the widest possible audience of eager buyers.
Here at Farrell Heyworth, our team are on hand to advise you
an any part of the moving process and can provide you with a virtual property appraisal. You can also kickstart the sales or rental process by requesting a free and instant online valuation
We are doing all we can to help our customers navigate moving home under Covid-19 restrictions safely. You can read more about our safe and responsible service here
We encourage all our customers to register with our My FH portal
, which will give you access to the most up-to-date information; remotely and at your convenience.