What Will Really Matter In The 2023 Property Market?
Buying a home is a huge decision, and one that is obviously going to be influenced by the prevailing economic climate and personal financial situation. That said, while the housing market, along with the rest of the economy, may be experiencing a period of uncertainty at the moment, this doesn’t mean that people won’t be moving home.
When it comes to choosing the right new home, every buyer has a list of must-haves and need-to-haves that will be used to assess properties listed for sale. So, what is it that buyers are looking for in 2023? According to a recent survey, 54% of potential buyers were looking for a garden as their top asset, 50% wanted a nice kitchen, 44% prioritised parking or garage space, and 36% were looking for a nice bathroom. Add to that the rising importance of having an energy efficient home, and a picture appears to be emerging. Let’s take a closer look.
According to Rightmove, buyers are now increasingly searching for sustainable properties or homes that have at least some eco-friendly features. Not that long ago, green home features were seen as nice to have by homebuyers keen to make a positive contribution to the environment. However, the current cost of living crisis, skyrocketing energy bills and the global oil and gas crisis have put energy-saving features firmly into the ‘must have’ camp.
Searches for properties for sale that have solar panels or heat pumps fitted have increased significantly over the last few years, and the trend is set to continue. Even without any new technologies, buyers are now more concerned than ever before about energy efficiency.
From double-glazed or even triple-glazed windows to loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, high-efficiency boilers and LED lighting and more, there are many ways that a property can achieve a favourable EPC rating and add value.
Private outdoor spaces
Ever since the recent pandemic-induced lockdowns have shown us the importance of having access to a garden, a patio or even just a balcony, properties with outdoor space have become much more sought after.
A simple, lawned garden space may be all that’s required for buyers to be interested, as long as it’s well-maintained and easy to look after, or presents an opportunity to get creative. Wooden decking or paved patios are also high on the list, either as a no-maintenance urban garden option or for dining, socialising and entertaining and as a peaceful space to relax.
Creating a seamless connection between outdoor and indoor living spaces is another major trend, epitomised by the ubiquitous bifold doors adorning kitchen/diners and living rooms. And it’s not just about ‘bringing the outside in either. These days, ‘taking the inside out’ means creating living spaces in the garden, be it outdoor kitchens, alfresco dining rooms, or lounging and chillout areas. The latest pergola designs come with retractable roofs and side panels for shade and shelter as you can see here, fully able to withstand the elements and ensure year-round use.
Large family kitchens
The kitchen has long since been hailed as the heart of the home, and this trend isn’t going anywhere fast. This is the room where family and friends congregate, and not just at mealtimes.
Some would argue that the kitchen is the most important room in the house and it’s a well-known fact among estate agents that kitchens sell houses. A generously proportioned, welcoming and convivial space with a kitchen island is what most buyers will want to see.
Kitchen redesigns can be expensive and disruptive. A recently updated kitchen with modern cabinetry and plenty of storage, and in a style that complements the rest of the property, is one home improvement that is sure to pay big dividends.
Open plan kitchens/diners are still the gold standard for interior layouts, however people are also rediscovering the advantages of having separate living spaces. Perhaps the lockdowns are also responsible for this shift in perspective. After all, when the entire family is spending time at home, it’s useful to have doors you can close to provide peace and privacy. Even a separate snug, den or box room can make all the difference – plus it has the potential to be transformed into a home office for working from home.
Kitchens may sell homes but bathrooms are also receiving a lot of attention. As the concept of self-care is becoming more widespread, buyers are looking for recently updated bathrooms that have separate showers and baths to accommodate different needs: function and rest. A traditional shower over the bath can be seen as old-fashioned and not up to speed with current lifestyles.
Bathrooms are also a prime contender for underfloor heating, which adds a luxury feel. There’s nothing like stepping out of the bath or shower onto warm floors below, especially during colder months, and especially in our temperate climate. Indeed, luxury and indulgence are the main watchwords for bathroom features.
Finally, it is interesting to note that the absence of a downstairs WC can be a dealbreaker for many potential buyers. Whether there’s space under the stairs to fit a small washroom, or it can be added (along with a utility room) with a house extension, it’s an investment well worth making when it comes to sell.
Home security system
Having a modern home security system to protect the property against intruders is proving to become a popular feature that home buyers are looking for. From smart doorbells to security cameras or intruder alarms, there are many ways to add extra security features to keep the occupants safe.
Then there’s the automatic control of electronic devices in the home, such as lighting or heating but also including Internet-of-Things devices such as smart fridges and home security devices, via internet technology that can be controlled remotely to make life more convenient and save on bills. Whether you’re a property manager looking after a property for sale or rent, or you’re a homeowner looking for your next home, smart home automation is the gold standard.