The Central Belt is back under tight local lockdown restrictions. With working from home recommended and most hospitality shut or severely restricted, we are once again spending most of our time confined to our flats and houses. But has the way we are currently forced to live changed how we feel about our homes? As a leading letting agent in Glasgow, we are in a good position to spot changes in the property rental market. We see first-hand the kinds of properties that are attracting the most attention.
The underlying message, not surprisingly, seems to be that buyers and renters want more space. This may not be a permanent change, but coronavirus is certainly making many people think about how and where they work and live.
With city-centre accommodation tending to be less spacious, it is not surprising that Rightmove, the UK property website, has reported a significant rise in the number of people searching for homes further from town and city centres. Popular properties tend to come with larger gardens and space for a home office.
In addition, many of us have come round to the conclusion that we can work very effectively from home. More importantly, many of our employers are in agreement. With no detriment to business and individuals saving time and money on the commute into the office, this seems like a win/win scenario. This is already having an influence on the market. The switch to working from home, even on a part-time basis, is driving the desire for additional space.
What all this means is that in many cases the home is no longer considered a refuge from work. For many, it is doubling up as an office space, a classroom, or even a gym! With the desire to have a separate room or adequate space for these new activities, “space, space, space” is becoming the new mantra similar to the ever-popular, “location, location, location”.
Many potential buyers and renters are embracing the idea of a new way of living. However, despite an increase in people searching for homes further from city centres and towns, there is still a desire with a significant part of the rental population to be close to city centre attractions. Alongside this however, is the desire to find locations close to outside green space. The health and wellbeing benefits of having easy access to parks, playgrounds, gardens etc. during this pandemic, have been well documented.
With limited access to restaurants and cafes, home cooking has become the norm. Having an open-plan living and kitchen area at the heart of a property is becoming increasingly popular and will remain a design staple throughout this pandemic and probably beyond. As you would expect, homes with gardens, balconies, terraces and private roof decks, which are already prized amenities for any prospective buyer, have become even more in demand in recent months.
With reference to the rental market, a good letting agent has always been appreciated by both landlords and tenants. However, with all of us forced to spend a lot more time indoors, a property manager who can be relied on to act quickly when a shower breaks or a lock sticks can greatly reduce the stress and anxiety felt during these difficult times. Similarly, a fast response to emails or phone calls can help keep the blood pressure down as we all struggle to manage the effects of this pandemic. With everything else that is worrying us at this time, it helps to know that there is a safe pair of hands looking after your property and tenants.