Property must haves: home offices and gardens top home wishlists for life after lockdown

Home office space and access to a garden have shot up the league table of property “must haves” since the start of the lockdown, according to a survey today.

Buyers’ “non-negotiable” demands since the property market reopened in the middle of last month were ranked in order with a dedicated extra room for home working topping the list.

Second came outside space in the form of garden, roof terrace or balcony, followed in third place by proximity to a park or cycle routes, according to the findings from London estate agents Dexters.

The company said the preferences marked a major shift from previous surveys when “vanity factors” such as external appearance, size of kitchen and number of bedrooms had ranked higher.

Dexters chief executive Andy Shepherd said: “The shifts in the top ten ‘must have’ features show that suddenly people are needing more space and not just for working from home. In our transformed Covid-19 world, life has become more home-based and this will no doubt become the norm for some while to come, from eating and socialising to gardening and exercising.

“While some househunters plan to move out of London, many are looking to move locally within the capital, or even closer to work.

“Cycle routes are the new travel lines into town, walking distances to schools and how far it is to the park are now what everyone wants to know.”

The findings came as a separate survey revealed almost 60 per cent of Londoners who do not normally work from home said they would like to do so more often once the lockdown is lifted.

Research from consultants Deloitte found that London workers are among the most likely in the country to say they have enjoyed the enforced period of working from home.

Thirty-four per cent of employed and self-employed Londoners say the lockdown has had a positive impact on their well-being, with 14 per cent saying it has had a very positive effect — among the highest proportion in the country.

Three in five (61 per cent) of those in London for whom the lockdown has had a positive impact say it has given them more time to do the things they want to do, such as hobbies, reading and gardening.

More than half say it has allowed them to get more sleep, while 50 per cent say it has given them more time to maintain their general well-being through exercise or meditation.

Partner Will Gosling said: “When the stay-at-home order was imposed, many business leaders were sceptical over the impact remote-working would have over productivity, as well as communication and collaboration within teams. But the lockdown period has underlined the positive impact working from home has on well-being and engagement.”

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