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Prime buyers’ hunt for garden space driving market bounce

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Written by: Lana Clements
24/06/2020
An increase in demand for country living has been matched by a preference for gardens and home offices
Prime buyers’ hunt for garden space driving market bounce

Activity at the top end of the UK property market has surpassed expectations since restrictions on home moving and viewings were lifted in May, as buyers are driven by a desire for gardens and more outdoor space.

Agreed sales in the prime residential market for the week ending 21 June were 48 per cent higher than the weekly average for the same month last year, analysis has showed.

Pent up demand from lockdown is accounting for the bounce, according to estate agent Savills.

But the group warned buyers are price sensitive amid the uncertain economic backdrop.

In London average values slipped by -1.1 per cent for prime residential homes in the second quarter of the year, though on average they remained unchanged across other prime UK markets.

Prices across the country have been supported by an increase in demand for country living, Savills said.

Almost all Savills agents in London reported an increased demand for homes with a garden or outdoor space, while 82 per cent noted increased demand for a separate place to work from home, and 71 per cent found proximity to a local park.

Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research, said: “Market activity has been buoyed by pent up demand, in part at least, but we have been surprised at the extent to which lockdown has made people reassess their housing needs and, more pertinently, act upon it.

“That said, buyers appear to be keeping their feet on the ground when it comes to what they will pay, meaning sellers must retain realistic price expectations if this momentum is to be sustained.

“The experience of working from home has made people aware of the limitations of their existing homes, and increased inside and outside space has become an all-important driver of demand.

“Not only has this changed the balance of demand between town and country properties, it has also underpinned the value of prime houses such as those along the established wealth corridor of south west London, particularly where they offer decent garden space.”

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