Property professionals anticipate surge in demand for outdoor space when housing market reopens

Property professionals anticipate a surge in demand for green space when housing market reopens
Ryan McAleer

THE coronavirus lockdown has prompted a surge in demand for homes with outside areas and green space, according to a new housing survey.

The latest monthly residential market report from the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank, found that with the housing market still effectively on hold, property professionals are anticipating a pent up demand for homes with space.

According to RICS, restrictions weren’t lifted on estate agents in Northern Ireland during May like they were in England.

The Department for the Economy said the restriction regulations here have not required estate agents to close. But the implication of preventing people viewing properties or moving home has effectively had the same result.

According to a UK-wide survey among property professionals, 81 per cent anticipate an increase in demand for properties with gardens or balconies, while 74 per cent predict an increase in demand towards homes located near green spaces.

Some 68 per cent are of the opinion that properties with greater private and less communal space will become more desirable.

Residential spokesperson for RICS in the north, Samuel Dickey, said: “As we await the further lifting of restrictions in Northern Ireland, it is unsurprising to hear that what potential buyers want from their homes is shifting due to their experiences over recent months and that gardens, balconies and proximity to green spaces are increasingly desirable.

“This should provide some useful insight for government and developers of new housing requirements.

“It also ties in with our own experience that whilst the market has been effectively shuttered, people have been considering their future housing requirements, and that there is some pent up demand.”

Ulster Bank’s head of personal banking, Terry Robb, add: “There is mortgage demand but at the minute valuations aren’t being completed on a physical basis and desktop valuations only cover a proportion of the mortgage market.

“To get the housing market to operate to some degree of normality, we need to see physical valuations happening again. This is something that we expect to see in the near future and will help the market start to function again.”

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