When the conversation turns to property, the usual topic is house prices. The property market is a perennial media headline favourite at the best of times, even more so since the pandemic. Back in May 2020,
the Bank of England warned that house prices could fall by as much as 16% as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However the latest Halifax House Price Index revealed that average property prices were up 9.8% in 2021, an increase of over £24,500.
It could be that changes in spending habits during the pandemic have prompted a likewise desire for people to change where they live. A report from Lloyds Bank suggests many current and aspiring homeowners have been persuaded to re-evaluate what they want from their homes in the wake of the new style of hybrid working. Plus prospective home buyers have been able to save more money for larger deposits. We look at the three main non-house price-related property trends that appear to be influencing the housing market in 2022.
Space is at a premium, which has led some homebuyers to sell their existing property and buy larger or more rural homes. In early 2022 the finance company Market Financial Solutions published its survey listing the top 15 items on a homebuyers wish list. Garden and outdoor space, the proximity of public parks and spaces, and the potential for conversions or extensions out-ranked things like square footage, quality of the property and how built up the local are is in terms of importance.
Usually affectionately referred to as “Granny Annexes”, it was reported that during 2020 enquiries for properties with an annexe rose significantly. Buyers are now looking for increased space for home working, be that for an office or perhaps a therapy or consultation room, and an annexe provides the perfect answer: somewhere separate to lock yourself away from the main house without having to create a makeshift space in an extra bedroom or dining room.2
The house building industry has its work cut out if it’s to be able to meet the UK Government’s sustainability targets, and the same Lloyds Bank report mentioned above also comments that more prospective homeowners are placing emphasis on energy efficiency – and not just for the impact on their energy bills. According to Lloyds, properties with the highest energy ratings are currently worth up to £40,000 more on average than those that are les sustainable.
It’s fair to say that since demand from buyers for UK property is continuing to rise while supply is at an all-time low, even with interest rates on the rise many industry experts are still predicting that the UK property market will carry on doing what it does best in 2022 – grow!