Lengthy stints of lockdown restrictions have caused many homebuyers to reevaluate what they want from their bricks and mortar investment. The conclusion? A bigger home, more outdoor space and a move away from the city.
While this has been a trend that has intensified over the last year, the latest research from Warwick Estates has revealed that demand for apartment living remains strong in a number of the UK’s major cities.
Warwick Estates analysed homebuyer demand based on the number of apartments and flats in each city that were already sold subject to contract (SSTC) or under offer, attributing a demand score based on this level of stock as a percentage of all flats listed for sale. So if 100 flats are listed and 50 are already SSTC or under offer, buyer demand in that particular city would sit at 50%.
UK demand for flat living
When looking at overall demand across the UK’s top 20 major cities, an average of 40% of all flats listed for sale have already been snapped up by buyers.
However, in some major cities, the demand for flat living is far higher. Glasgow ranks as the flattest place in the UK property market at present, with buyer demand at 71%.
Nearby Edinburgh is also a flat homebuyer hotspot, with 60% of all flat and apartments listed for sale already SSTC or under offer.
Outside of Scotland, Bristol ranks top for flat demand in England at 55%, while Plymouth (53%), Bournemouth (47%), Portsmouth (45%), Leeds (42%), Southampton (42%), Nottingham (42%) and Sheffield (41%) also rank high.
Most in-demand flat property features
When looking at what features of a flat are most sought after amongst buyers, the availability of garden space within a development is the hottest requirement in the current market. 44% of all flats with garden space listed for sale on the market are already sold or under offer.
Parking and garage space ranked as the second most sought after feature of an apartment property (42%), with a balcony and terrace (36%) placing ahead of a porter or concierge (27%).
COO of Warwick Estates, Emma Power, commented:
“There’s no doubting that the monotony of lockdown has caused many to look to greener, larger, pastures, that allow them the space to escape the confines of their four walls even under lockdown restrictions.
However, this certainly doesn’t mean that flats and apartments have become redundant in today’s market and in many cities, this is quite the opposite.
For some, it’s simply a lifestyle choice, others will be looking to downsize and for many more, the generally more affordable price of apartments allows them to get a foot on the ladder with a place to call their own.
With a lockdown escape plan now in place, we expect demand for flat living to strengthen as our major cities once again become the hub for our professional and social lives.
Of course, with the pandemic and memories of lockdown still very fresh in our minds, homebuyers of all property types will continue to prioritise size and outdoor space when searching for their perfect home. ”
|Table shows overall buyer demand for flats listed in each city, as well as individual demand for flats based on each property feature|
|City||Overall demand||Garden||Parking or Garage||Balcony or Terrace||Porter or Concierge|
|Average of all 20 UK Cities||40%||44%||42%||36%||27%|
|Data sourced from Zoopla (18/03/2021). Demand based on the number of properties sold subject to contract or under offer as a percentage of all properties listed.|