Demand for homes with gardens and nearby greenspace rockets among cooped-up buyers

New buyers are looking for outside areas and green spaces after being cooped up during lockdown, a poll has found.

Buyers are looking for homes with gardens after being stuck inside for weeks.
Buyers are looking for homes with gardens after being stuck inside for weeks.

In its monthly poll of surveyors, RICS Scotland found that 81 per cent of respondents felt that there will be an increase in desire for properties with gardens or balconies over the next two years. Meanwhile, 74 per cent predict an increase in demand towards homes located near green spaces; and 68 per cent are of the opinion that properties with greater private and less communal space will become more desirable.

At the other end of the scale, 78 per cent of respondents said they sensed there will be a fall in the appeal of tower blocks and 58 per cent feel properties located in highly urban areas will be less enticing. However, the majority expect no change in the desirability of homes located near transport hubs.

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However, the indicator for new buyer enquiries in Scotland remained close to a record low of -81 per cent and the indicator for newly agreed sales was at similarly low levels of -84 per cent.

Hew Edgar, head of UK government relations and city strategy at RICS, said: “As Scotland eyes up the highly anticipated reopening of the housing market, potentially next week, this month’s survey feedback provides valuable insight that can inform the Scottish Government and developers of new housing requirements. It is clear that post-lockdown buyers are beginning to reappraise high-density living and looking for more space. Space inside their future homes and outside.

“What is also clear is that the Scottish workforce is looking to spend more time at home, and this will inevitably increase bills for owner-occupiers, and tenants in both the private and social rented sectors. As such, the Government should look at ways to incentivise the repair, maintenance and improvement of existing properties as a means to ensure the health and wellbeing of individuals working from homes in Scotland, as well as restricting a possible increase in fuel poverty.”

Instructions to sell remained firmly in negative territory, with 100 per cent of Scottish respondents saying that the number of new instructions from vendors fell last month. However, 12-month sales expectations turned positive for the first time since February.

Alex Inglis, surveyor at Galbraith Group in the Scottish Borders, said: “Little sales activity has taken place during the lockdown but selling clients are generally still keen to get things under way when the lockdown is eased. Potential buyers are generally still hoping to move. There is particular demand for rural and village or small town properties.”

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