What we want from our homes now

The pandemic has resulted in a significant change to our property preference, with a widespread shift to working from home. With more time spent at home, there was a degree of inevitability that what we want and need from our properties would change.

New research from insurer Royal London looks at the property features that made lockdown life harder to tolerate, as well as the new features we most desire, along with the parts of the country we want to live in.

According to the research, property features making lockdown life harder include a small garden or outdoor area, lack of indoor space, or no outdoor space at all.

Respondents also said that a lack of space to work, absence of car parking, poor quality Internet availability, and a lack of natural lighting were all features hampering lockdown life.

Thinking about property preferences in light of the pandemic and the ‘new normal’ for our lifestyles, extra space for pets is high on the list, with 28% of house movers looking for this additional space.

Home movers are also searching for space for a home office, high-speed Internet connections, more open floor plans, and more space to park cars.

51% of respondents who are moving into the house or bungalow said they wanted more indoor space, with 39% of people moving into a flat saying the same.

In terms of where we want to live in the future, 17% of people who are actively moving home said the pandemic has changed where they want to live.

There’s a widespread move from city living to the countryside, although those living in London are interested in moving closer to a city.

Commenting on the findings Mona Patel, consumer spokesperson at Royal London, said:

“The restrictions and lockdown measures have seen millions of households in the UK set up remote offices from their kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. With so much time being spent indoors, it was inevitable that people would start thinking about their home environment.

“Unsurprisingly, space is the most desirable feature for home movers who want more room both indoors and outdoors. While cities have always been popular home buying locations, the pandemic has seen a shift in attitude as our research shows that there is a greater demand for rural locations.”