Member Article

How the pandemic has changed what we want from our homes - Zen

**New research reveals post-Covid demands of house hunters, with homeworking and more outdoor space among top reasons for moving. British homeowners are even now citing better broadband connectivity as a key reason to up sticks and are willing to pay £1,500 more for a house with full fibre broadband. **

In a new survey, 72 per cent of people said that Covid was a factor in why they have or are moving home1, with more than a third of people naming homeworking needs within their reasons to move.

The poll of 2,000 UK house buyers by broadband provider Zen Internet, also discovered that the legacy of the pandemic is not only driving people to buy a new home but has marked a fundamental shift in how they’re choosing a property, with more people saying the following factors are now MORE important than before the pandemic: low crime rate, good schools and local amenities, close to family and an area with better internet services. Conversely, less important factors are now proximity to travel hubs, commute to work and local hospitality venues.

Working from home and more outdoor space is driving desire to move. The need for more space (29 per cent), a bigger garden (19 per cent), being near the countryside (15 per cent) and proximity to family and friends (14 per cent) were amongst the top 10 reasons for wanting to move. But new ways of working are also driving people to move with people citing the need for a property more suited to long term home working (27 per cent), a home office (nine per cent) and because no longer need to be near the office (seven per cent) as their reasons.
In contrast only nine per cent of those questioned are intending to relocate to a major city for a job or better amenities in the next 12 months.

**When asked what the key factors of a new home are now, compared to before Covid-19, there were some significant shifts, where our sense of community has increased – and so has our desire for connectivity. ** Schools, crime rate, local amenities and being close to family are more important to our home buying decisions now than they were pre-Covid, according to the research2 - highlighting an increased focus on community in choosing a new home. In contrast, commute time and proximity to travel hubs have declined in importance as more people accept home working will be the norm long term. Among the top five most important factors when moving to a new home is now good internet/broadband connectivity (up from 22 per cent to 26 per cent). In fact, internet connectivity is now such a crucial factor in our household set up that • 75 per cent of house hunters would NOT buy a home if they knew that the internet connectivity was poor. • And three quarters (75 per cent) would be MORE inclined to buy a house that was full fibre enabled and would also pay on average £1,514 more for a full fibre enabled house – offering faster and more reliable internet connectivity - increasing property value by approximately 0.6% of the average UK house price3. • 91% would rate the consistency and reliability of their broadband connectivity as more important than ever in the home-buying process

Such is the importance of reliable internet connectivity, nearly eight in 10 (79%) homebuyers are calling for housing developers and estate agents to offer broadband quality tests before they move in so this can be factored into the decision-making process.

Georgina Lord, Managing Director from Zen says: “It is clear that the pandemic has prompted a real shift in what people want from their homes. The research uncovered a strong sense of people craving community, open space and being near loved ones, whilst the changes to many people’s work set up was clear to see too.

“For many the past 12 months has seen a huge step change in the way we work and with employers now fully adapted to this remote way of working, it is likely that long term home working will be a way of life for years to come. Our desire for smarter, more connected spaces is also growing.

“With reliance on remote-working and internet connectivity in the home at an-all time high, the majority of respondents (91%) stated the consistency and reliability of broadband connection is now more important than ever in the home-buying process.

“The fact that people will pay more for a home with better broadband only goes to show how key an amenity it has become.”

“Our survey findings also uncovered a growing desire for homebuilders to start factoring technology into homes at build stage” adds Georgina, “with 70 per cent of those questioned agreeing that it should be part of the fabric of the home.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Kirsty Hunt .

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