The “new normal”. What are home-buyers looking for as lockdown restrictions ease?

June 3rd 2021
By: Hawes & Co

The restrictions of multiple lockdowns have forced the UK public to change how we live, shop and work. As the restrictions slowly ease and we move forward from the challenges of the past year, we look at what is important to home-buyers in the “new normal”.

Flexible working

Before the pandemic, only 32% of British employees worked from home some or all of the timeU. According to the Office for National Statistics, during the first lockdown in April 2020, this rose to 47%*. Employers adapted to the crisis, but workers have now had a taste of the work-from-home lifestyle, and many (57%) have voiced a reluctance to give it up once the pandemic is overU.

This will be important for home-buyers looking for increased flexibility in their working arrangements, who want to balance the commute (requiring good road and rail connections) with more frequent home-working (additional working spaces).

Private outdoor space

One in eight households (12%) in Great Britain had no access to a private or shared garden during the coronavirus lockdown&. Private outdoor space was the most valued quality of a home during the pandemic. It's no surprise that buyers and renters have been in search of private outside space, with ‘Garden’ the most popular search term in 2020.

Green living

Reports of air pollution plunging across the UK during the first two weeks of lockdown% provided stark evidence of the staggering impact we have on the world around us. For many, this resulted in a desire live more sustainably in homes incorporating heating and energy solutions with a lower carbon footprint.

A sense of Community

The restrictions on meeting people face-to-face, being unable to see loved-ones or interact with our community as we have before have had a significant impact on the levels of loneliness in the UK, with 41% of adults reporting they felt lonelier than before lockdown$. Although social distancing and lockdown measures will continue to be eased, loneliness will remain, so living somewhere with an active community will become more important for home-buyers.

Other new priorities

Home-buyers may be looking for a range of other features from their ideal home. According to a survey by Skipton Building Society^, these include more natural light (35%), to be within walking distance of local food shops (30%) and a state-of-the-art kitchen (29%).

Building new homes that fit the “new normal”

Hawes & Co. Managing Director Max Chapman said “We recognise that what home-buyers want is changing. This is why developments like the exciting new Pluma apartments at the heart of the London SW20 community are so important. They provide so many of the things that people are now looking for.”

Find out more about Pluma

Pluma is a development of eighteen one and two bedroom homes, each with their own balcony or terrace, located above an architect-designed contemporary church. The inspirational building is situated on the site of a former fountain pen factory and provides stylish living with everything you need on your doorstep.

The brand-new apartments are smart and freshly decorated with a pristine German kitchen by Nobilia providing a practical, open-plan and sociable space perfect for relaxing, home-working and socialising. Underfloor heating and sophisticated air source heat pumps provide a cosy, low carbon heating solution.

Limited showhome viewings now available!

Book your viewing now

We continue to do everything we can to make sure we offer safe property viewings – watch our short video to see what you can expect.


& Dataloft, ONS, Place Alliance, Zoopla