01 Apr 2021

UK lockdown transforms home buyer behaviour and priorities

Research from Purplebricks shows virtual viewings and use of apps on the rise as four in 10 homeowners increase their use of technology during lockdown.
UK lockdown transforms home buyer behaviour and priorities

Research from Purplebricks shows virtual viewings and use of apps on the rise as four in 10 homeowners increase their use of technology during lockdown

 

  •     20 per cent hope they never have to set foot in the office again, even after lockdown restrictions are lifted
  •     Two-thirds would now look to move to a house that was better designed for home working
  •     More than half (51 per cent) would be happy to try out a virtual viewing and 42 per cent would be prepared to use an app to help manage the entire sale of a property
  •     A third of house hunters would use Google Street View to scout out a new neighbourhood
  •     And 52 per cent of the older generation have ditched the property section in the local paper in favour of apps

 

NEWS Wednesday 9th December: Homebuying has been turned on its head this year, with people significantly changing not only what they are looking for in a new home but how they are going about buying them.

Research of 2,000 homeowners commissioned by Purplebricks, the UK’s largest estate agent, has revealed how technology is changing the way people view and buy homes.

 

Location, Location, Location

With 20 per cent of homebuyers admitting they have no plans to work in the office ever again, even after lockdown, it is unsurprising that homebuyers would now consider moving to a home up to 70 miles away from their place of employment. As a result;

  •  Two-thirds would now look to move to a house that was better designed for home working
  •  30% of people said a big garden was now their biggest priority in a new house
  •  Homebuyers now also put having an office as a higher priority than a garage, or a house that is eco-friendly, while a bigger garden is also key.

 

Technology transforming home buying

More than four in 10 homebuyers have increased their use of technology this year. And 87% of people say they would be willing to embrace technology when searching for a home in the future. While six in 10 think technology, including home viewing apps, makes the process of buying a property quicker, compared to ‘traditional’ methods like ringing estate agents or flicking through the newspaper.

 

Seeing more detail about a property before even stepping in the door and having easy access to information about the local area are the main reasons homeowners think technology speeds up the process of looking for a home.. Of those surveyed:

  •  More than half (51 per cent) are happy to try out a ‘virtual viewing’
  •  42 per cent are now prepared to use an app to help manage the entire sale of a property
  •  A third of house hunters said they would use Google Street View to scope out a new neighbourhood
  •  Almost half of homebuyers (49%) would prefer to communicate with their solicitor and estate agent through electronic means
  •  One in 10 are even happy communicating with their solicitor and estate agent over WhatsApp when trying to get a house move over the line.

 

Older generation now onboard with technology

Age is no barrier to the use of technology, with 70 per cent of over 65s revealing they wouldn’t mind viewing a home virtually and 78 per cent believing apps can make the process quicker as it’s easy to access the key details. While almost 80% of the over 65s say that their favourite thing about technology is that they can get a detailed understanding of a property before they see it.

The property section in the local paper may even become a thing of the past, with 52 per cent of older generations ditching this in favour of apps.

Christian Howes, Managing Director at Purplebricks said: “The fact that people are using technology so much more during lockdown, whether that’s to work from home or keep in touch with loved ones, means it’s no surprise that technology has impacted the home moving process as well.

 

“We’ve seen more interest in virtual viewings as potential buyers look to keep on the move, despite certain restrictions over these difficult periods. It is also interesting to see how the use of technology has increased across all ages of homebuyers during this time.”

 

ENDS

 

Research carried out by OnePoll of 2,000 UK homebuyers between 16 November - 18 November 2020.

 

About Purplebricks

Purplebricks is the UK’s technology-led estate agent and offers customers a transparent and convenient way to buy, sell, or let. Purplebricks gives customers the combined support of Local Property Experts, an online platform and a central customer service team. More information can be found at www.purplebricks.co.uk.

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