Buyer Search Changes In 2020

It is fair to say 2020 was a year like no other, and this was reflected in the housing market.

The end of the year was a strong time for the property market, but there was also a period earlier in the year when the market was placed on hold. So, there were a lot of ups and downs.

There was also a lot of fresh challenges, which changed the way people evaluate what is important to them. The lockdown periods saw many people spend a lot more time at home, and this has resulted in a shift in what prospective house buyers deem important in a property.

What matters to you in a home?

Information provided by Good Move offers insight into what buyers were looking for, and how this differs from previous years.

The searches which experienced the highest growth compared to the previous year are as follows:

  • Apartment with balcony (147%)
  • Apartment with hot tub (139%)
  • House with tennis court (127%)
  • House with swimming pool (109%)
  • House with driveway (107%)

The rise in searches for a balcony shows how important fresh air and privacy are for people!

Functional searches matter in the new normal

Other increases worth paying attention to are functional searches. There was a 106% increase in searches for a driveway, a 101% increase with respect to conservatories and there was a 77% increase in searches for a double garage.

Where were people searching for homes?

There was a lot made of people leaving London, and we have experienced an uplift in demand for homes in and around Petersfield.

The following list shows some of the most notable uplifts in property searches:

  • A 73% increase in searches for houses for sale in Buckinghamshire
  • There was a 72% rise in searches for houses for sale in Berkshire
  • West Yorkshire experienced a 69% increase in house searches
  • There was a 61% rise in searches for homes in Hertfordshire
  • Surrey experienced a 59% rise in searches for houses for sale

Nima Ghasri, Director at Good Move, comments: “Against all odds, this year has positively impacted the UK housing market and completely transformed the way buyers and sellers look at properties. More and more people are moving away from flats and apartments and into homes with outdoor space, and we’ve also seen many people looking to move away from cities into more rural areas.”

Nima Ghasri also said; “As we approach the New Year, we wanted to look back on the year in property search and reveal what potential buyers were actually looking for this year. It’s interesting to see that they have been searching for more luxurious features such as a swimming pool and tennis court, no doubt due to the increase of time spent at home and leisure facilities closing due to the pandemic. It’s also fascinating to see the areas where people are searching for properties the most, with South-East and Northern England the two hotspots. As we move into 2021, we look forward to seeing how the property market adapts to buyer’s needs.”

At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to support the Petersfield community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today.

Reliable Broadband Becomes Even More Pressing

With remote working becoming an increasingly popular factor in the housing market, we know people are expanding their property search. An area like Petersfield is likely to appeal to more buyers now, as there is a greater sense of freedom.

Of course, just because people have greater freedom to live further from their place of work doesn’t mean they have freedom from work. There is a need to have a suitable home office set-up, and this means broadband dependability is essential.

If you plan on selling your home, you must ensure your broadband is dependable, as it is a vital factor for buyers in the modern era.

Reduce internet speeds cause problems

A study by comparethemarket.com finds 36% of homes have reported reduced internet speeds. This comes at a time when 74% of households are using the internet more. If this extrapolated across the country, close to 10 million households will have suffered in this manner.

The study indicates more than one in ten respondents’ class their internet connection as “bad”. However, 84% of respondents haven’t yet switched or even considered changing broadband supplier.

80% of people struggling with their broadband say their work is negatively affected by these issues. 23% say they have been unable to work at these times.

Some of the most pressing concerns for users occur when:

  • Multiple users are online at the same time
  • When they have to use video calls
  • When they stream
  • When their service drops out regularly

Holly Niblett is the head of digital at comparethemarket.com, and she said: “The millions of people who rely on their broadband at home for a wide range of reasons – work, paying bills and keeping in contact with friends and family – know first-hand how frustrating and inconvenient a poor internet connection can be. We know from our own research that the COVID-19 lockdown has seen almost three-quarters (74%) of households increase their internet usage, yet many are stuck on inadequate and expensive packages that don’t meet their requirements.”

While there is frustration at broadband problems, only 16% of internet using households in the UK have switched or are considering switching.

There are many reasons to switch service

Of the people who have switched, the following responses have been found:

  • 48% switched for a faster and more reliable service
  • 44% of these movers have chosen to pay the same or less for a better service
  • 38% of people switching did so to ensure their broadband and TV package come from the same provider

Holly Niblett added: “In shopping around for a better deal, customers have access to a range of fast and affordable broadband packages that can cost less than their existing deal. When comparing broadband packages, customers should be mindful that many providers bundle broadband with TV packages, which can work out cheaper than purchasing the two separately.”

 

 

At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to support the Petersfield community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today.

Will Help Turn Tenants Into Buyers?

The stamp duty holiday scheme has been of significant help to many people in the housing market, but not first-time buyers. Many FTBs have felt overlooked in the property market, but at their recent party conference, the Conservative Party have claimed they will usher in new assistance for first-time buyers.

Boris Johnson announced plans for a new scheme to help people arrange long-term fixed rate mortgages for up to 95% of their home’s value.

What help might be on offer?

Zoopla have classed the key points from the Prime Minister’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference as:

  • The Prime Minister has promised to increase the availability of mortgages for buyers with small deposits
  • The government believes it will enable an additional two million people to buy a property
  • Johnson said it would represent the biggest expansion of homeownership since the 1980s

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, comments: “We welcome the Prime Minister’s comments today which shows a positive change in tone by promoting a generation of renters to become a generation of buyers. We encourage lenders to come on board and support this initiative to enable first time buyers to enter the property market by future proofing the financial burden many face. We want to see intent become action quickly so that first time buyers can make the most of the current stamp duty holiday and continue to stimulate the housing market.”

Industry experts have their say

Craig McKinlay, New Business Director at Kensington Mortgages, comments: “The ‘Generation Buy’ scheme will be, in effect, a replacement for Help to Buy. Only a few lenders are dipping in and out of the high LTV market at present with ‘flash sales’ due to sheer demand – so this should reassure some lenders to enter more permanently and support first-time buyers.”

Craig also said; “However, for others, the scheme could lead to further capacity issues for those being selective with their offering to manage demand. On the whole though, like the introduction of Help to Buy in 2013 helped boost confidence and ease lenders back into the small deposit market, we hope this scheme will do the same.”

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, comments: “Today’s (6th October) announcement will no doubt excite a nation of aspirational homebuyers who have already been sent into a frenzy over the prospect of paying no stamp duty. However, for Boris Johnson to claim this will help fix our broken housing market is not only laughable but quite frankly an insult to those who find themselves priced out of homeownership. The cause of the dire situation we find ourselves in is the Government’s sustained failure to build enough affordable housing year in, year out.”

James also said; “The inadequate supply of housing to meet demand is one of the driving factors that has caused house prices to spiral and to continue to mask this failure by further fuelling demand is irresponsible. Instead, their time would be better spent reallocating wrongly classified green belt land so it can be utilised for housing and preventing the big housebuilders from drip-feeding housing supply in order to keep their profits up.”

At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to support the Petersfield community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today.

 

Connect With Buyers And Sell Your Home

At Williams of Petersfield, we know the clock is ticking with respect to the stamp duty holiday. If you are looking for guidance and assistance in making the right move, get in touch, and we will be more than happy to help you.

There is increased buyer demand for homes, and if you are thinking about selling your home, now is the ideal time to make your move.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of Property Data, said: “Increased competition for second-stepper homes has pushed prices to a record this month for those looking to take the next step up the ladder. Needing more space has always been the most popular reason for moving house, but now there’s a new urgency for extra space to be able to work from home, which means that there are different sets of buyers competing for the same type of property.”

Tim continued by saying; “At the start of the year a fourth bedroom was very much a luxury for buyers trading up, but it’s now emerging as a must-have for those who are able to take that step. With overall asking prices just a few hundred pounds shy of July’s record, and buyer demand at an all-time high, those currently looking for their next home are likely to find that only offers close to the asking price will be considered, especially for larger homes.”

Do you know what buyers are looking for?

If you want to connect with willing buyers, you need to give them what they are looking for. If you aren’t sure what buyers look at during the viewing process, help is at hand.

An innovative study carried out by comparethemarket.com offers insight into what prospective buyers look at, and test, when viewing a prospective property. These might not be the factors which make or break a buyer’s resolve to make an offer, but if problems arise, a buyer might not be inclined to follow up their initial interest in the property.

Some of the most commonly considered points include:

  • The quality and condition of radiators
  • Access to a garden space
  • The level of water pressure
  • Cupboard doors
  • The comfort of beds
  • How well the oven works
  • How light switches work
  • The accessories which add a touch of personality to the property

Mark Gordon, head of mortgages at comparethemarket.com, said: “UK house prices are currently on the up and with the stamp duty holiday prompting more buyers to get on the property market, it’s a competitive time for homeowners looking to sell their home. We conducted this experiment to determine the areas of the home buyers look at most to help sellers maximise their chances of a sale. Some sellers may not have considered these factors when preparing their homes for viewings, so we hope our insight will help them focus on the areas they should check and freshen up.”

At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to support the Petersfield community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today.

 

Buyers Need A Community To Feel At Home

There are many reasons to enjoy life in Petersfield, but we feel the sense of community is one of the most important features for people looking at property in the local area. We know many people have always understood the importance of community, but in recent times, it is fair to say it has become even more important.

As we come to terms with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and look to make our way forward, buyers will re-evaluate what is important to them. At Williams of Petersfield, we believe community features and facilities will be vital for buyers.

We know there have been studies highlighting demand from buyers for gardens and larger homes. Given the impact of the pandemic, it makes sense buyers want these things, but buyers have long wanted these features at their home. The changing issues buyers are looking for comes with the impact of remote working, and what is around people’s homes.

What is important to you at home?

We have considered the findings of a recent study by Redrow, the UK house builder. They spoke to more than 2,000 adults in the UK, and they have compiled a Top Ten of features buyers want. The Top Ten is as follows:

  • A park or village green with open spaces cited by 35% of respondents
  • Access to smaller shops such as grocers, baker and a Post office said by 33%
  • Having a Doctor’s Surgery nearby was listed by 32% of respondents
  • 31% of respondents requested bus and train routes nearby
  • The importance of a large supermarket close-by was cited by 28% of respondents
  • 17% of people who answered stated they wanted local cafes and restaurants
  • A pharmacy was listed by 15% of respondents
  • Good schools was only listed by 14% of respondents
  • Pubs and bars were named by 14% of respondents
  • Only 11% of respondents cited the importance of a hospital close-by

James Holmear is the Group Sales Director at Redrow, and he said; “Lockdown has changed our lives dramatically. More time spent in the home has made us reconsider how we use the space that we have, and how our homes can adapt to a more permanent change in the future. Even as more offices re-open, many people will opt to work at home, and people are planning to replace public transport with greener modes of community when they do commute.”

Buyer demand has shifted

James continued by saying; “This change has translated to huge shifts in buyer preferences on the ground. Now, we are experiencing more customers adapt their search to homes with extra space to work, and more people are looking for proximity to green space and local shops, over good schools, and cafes and restaurants.”

We believe Petersfield has a lot to offer with these aspects, and if you would like to learn more about the local community features, please get in touch.

At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to support the Petersfield community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today.

Vendors Must Keep In Touch With Buyer Demand

While vendors should focus on what they want to achieve when selling their home, there is a lot to be said for being aware of what buyers are looking for. If you can tailor your home or offer to better meet the needs of likely buyers, you will find it easier to connect, hopefully assisting you in the sales process.

At Williams of Petersfield, we are keen to help buyers and vendors connect. We know the local market, and we know what buyers are looking for. With our help, Petersfield vendors can connect with buyers, and enhance their chances of selling their home.

NAEA Propertymark figures offer insight into house hunters looking for homes

There has been a lot of information and statistics issued in the housing market since it re-opened after lockdown, but some bodies and organisations are more highly regarded than others. When NAEA Propertymark issues information, people listen. This is because it provides realistic information from estate agents across the country.

Some of the leading statistics revealed by the organisation include:

  • The number of house hunters registered per NAEA branch member increased by 7% between February and May
  • The number of house hunters registered per NAEA branch member rose from 322 pre-lockdown to 344 post-lockdown
  • In May, 70% of properties sold at a price that was lower than the initial asking price
  • The average number of properties available, per branch as of May 2020, was 35
  • This figure is a fall from the figure of 41 per branch recorded in May 2019
  • The supply of homes, based on year-on-year, figures fell by 15% between March 2019 and March 2020
  • Sales to first-time buyers in May stood at 32%, increasing from the 22% sales to first-time buyers in February

Mark Hayward is the Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, and he said; “It’s great to see the market up and running again, bringing some much-needed confidence back. With estate agents following new socially distanced protocols and the demand for viewings soaring, we are set for an exciting summer.”

Mark continued by saying; “It will be interesting in the coming months to see if the lifestyle changes triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic will have an impact on house sale locations, especially in and around commuter towns.”

More support for first-time buyers?

There have been calls from MPs for more to be done to support first-time buyers looking to step onto the property ladder. Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols said; “The Government must be proactive in ensuring that the banks assist first time buyers rather than wealthy landlords to access homes on the market. Too many young people are losing life opportunities to the Covid-19 pandemic, and this must not be another instance of that. I have written to the Secretary of State for Housing to ask what measures will be taken to support first time buyers.”

Eleanor Williams is a Finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, and she said; “First-time buyers are a vital part of keeping the mortgage market moving, and so it comes as great news that lenders are again starting to relaunch products in the higher LTV tiers. Concern has been raised about the possibility of house price falls and consequential potential negative equity situations, making lenders understandably more cautious about lending in these higher-risk circumstances.”

Eleanor continued by saying; “Lenders have also found though that they have been overwhelmed by the level of demand for these brackets of products, resulting in some needing to withdraw deals only recently relaunched in order to manage their workload. Consumer demand is clearly evident, and the re-introduction of more deals for those with a 10% deposit, or even less, by more lenders would hopefully provide prospective purchasers with the choice they need to move forwards with buying a home.”

At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to support the Petersfield community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today.

Property Demand Remained High During Lockdown

The re-opening of the housing market in mid-May saw a high level of activity in the housing market, but this shouldn’t have been a surprising outcome. There were many households whose lives had been put in limbo due to the housing market being paused. These people would have been keen to conclude their deals as soon as the market was up and running again. Continue reading “Property Demand Remained High During Lockdown”

What Do Home Buyers Want?

If you are planning on selling your home in 2020, there is no harm in planning what you want to do. You will likely have some thoughts about the sales process, but the most important thing to remember is you want to appeal to the buyer. When you know what home buyers want from a home, you are in a much better place to provide them what they are looking for, which helps you sell your home.

At Williams of Petersfield, we are pleased to say we have helped many local vendors sell their property. We help connect vendors with people looking to buy a home, and we know how to provide them with what they are looking for. Our local knowledge and expertise make a massive difference in selling homes in Petersfield, and if you are looking for guidance, we are here to assist you.

Do you know what buyers love to see?

We also stay in touch with the latest studies and findings relating to the property market. A recent survey carried out by Hyperoptic indicates the following issues are very important for buyers when they look at property:

  • The number of bedrooms in a property is an important factor
  • Having a fast and reliable internet connection is crucial for buyers
  • Buyers want to be located close to a pub

While the importance of a local pub may change for some buyers, it is easy to see all three factors matter when it comes to selling your home. The number of bedrooms in a property has always been crucial. When a buyer searches for property, one of the criteria they normally search on is the number of bedrooms.

Broadband connectivity is crucial for buyers

It is also fair to say that a fast and reliable internet connection is essential these days. So much of modern life is dependent on the internet, and a lot of people will struggle if there is no reliable broadband at home. Whether someone wishes to work, or they want to stream live sports and the best boxsets, internet connectivity is a crucial factor for buyers.

Even if you aren’t too bothered about staying close to a pub, it is correct to say most buyers are looking for the chance to shop locally. When there is a sense of community in the local area, people feel at home, and this allows people to make the most of life. Online shopping provides flexibility for people, but there is no getting away from the importance many people place on shopping locally and meeting people.

Other factors which were cited in the study include living close to a train station and having a post box or post office close to the property. If you have these elements in your local area, make sure you inform potential buyers of their availability, as this may draw additional attention to your home.

If you are looking to sell your home, contact Williams of Petersfield and we will be more than happy to assist you. We are pleased to say we have helped many local homeowners connect with buyers, and sell their home.

5 Things Buyers Search For When Looking At New Homes

As a vendor, you need to know what buyers search for when looking at new homes. While you know your property and there will be features you appreciate, at this stage, it doesn’t matter what you like or admire about your home. You must present your house in a way that appeals to buyers, and if you can align critical features of your home to the items buyers want in a home, you improve your chances of achieving success.

In the past year, Rightmove has offered a search facility on site, allowing users to narrow their search and focus on the most suitable homes. This has been a great boon for buyers, but it has also helped vendors learn about buyers intentions and what they desire in a house. Rightmove has issued the leading terms used by buyers, and if your home has some of these features, you have a fantastic opportunity to engage buyers.

Do you know what buyers search for when looking at homes?

The Top 5 search terms used by buyers on the Rightmove site are:

  1. Garage
  2. Annexe
  3. Acre
  4. Garden
  5. Detached

Of course, there is also the fact that everyone searching property on sites like Rightmove aren’t necessarily buying a home. A lot of people like to idle away the hours looking at houses and imagining their dream home. Therefore, it is more likely that people are going to use terms like garden, acre and detached because they are looking for something grander and apart from the standard range of houses on the market.

buyer listing

However, there is a realisation that space is essential for buyers, and if you can offer space to buyers at home, you should make this clear. The importance of keywords in your property listing cannot be overstated. Unless you make sure your property is seen by people who are likely to have an interest in the house, they won’t see it.

The way that property portals are used

Miles Shipside is the Property Expert for Rightmove, and he said; “Conventional wisdom points to the fact that garages are still valued by buyers and that’s because they have so much potential. They’re great for storage and can also be converted into living space. Regarding annexes, some families are seeing the opportunity of running one larger property rather than two. An annexe for a teenager has its benefits as it offers space, responsibility and independence as they have their quarters and keeps their noise at a distance from their parents. Of course, there is also the option of gaining a rental income by letting the annexe out, but I’d advise seeking all the appropriate guidance regarding tax and tenancies first.”

Any homeowner looking to make home improvements, and who can afford to do so, may wish to consider the factors buyers search on, and see if they can incorporate these elements into their home.

If you want to ensure your property is promoted most effectively, contact Williams of Petersfield. We’re delighted to say we’ve helped many local homeowners sell their home, and we look forward to assisting you as best we can.

What Makes A Forever Home?

When it comes to the property market, there is a lot of focus on first-time buyers. In recent times, there has also been a growing level of interest in last-time buyers, which is natural given the ageing population in the United Kingdom.

The movers in the middle of these groups receive less attention than other buyers, but they are still relevant concerning the housing market. Many households in this area are on the lookout for their forever home. As the name suggests, a forever home is the property where people are supposed to settle down and stay for many years. First-time buyers aren’t looking for their forever home, they want to get on to the property ladder, and it is essential to know that there are differences between properties and your outlook.

A forever home has a dependable design

It should go without saying that a forever home has a design and style that you can rely on for many years. A lot of this is down to functionality, as you want to be confident about the structure of the property. Be sure to look out for cracks, dampness and foundation issues, or at least enlist the services of someone who will spot these problems on your behalf. This information is crucial in property transactions.

A forever home offers the flexibility of space

Your needs for today and the near future may be very different from your needs for decades to come. Therefore, a forever home is one that has the potential to be flexible. A child’s playroom in your current house could become a gym or home office in the future. If you welcome guests, will you have enough space to meet different needs?

Your forever home is about more than just the house

For you to feel truly settled, you will need to feel comfortable in your surroundings. The impact neighbours have on how you feel at home is enormous, and you want to settle in an area where you feel a sense of community.

Transport, educational facilities and shops matter when you are looking for your ideal house, but you also need a community where you belong and can have an influence. The perfect location for you may be entirely unsuitable for another person, and of course, you need to have an eye on the future.

If you have a young family, or you don’t yet have a family, but you intend to, look for a house in an area that provides you with a wide range of attractions and activities for kids of all ages.

Buyers need to think about what they need from a forever home before they purchase property, but vendors should also consider what people need from a forever home. If you have a house that can meet the needs of buyers, you are likely to attract attention and interest.

Anyone looking to sell their home will find that Williams of Petersfield is on hand to offer support and guidance, so please get in touch.