Whether you are looking to buy or sell, or have other interests in the property market, 2020 is set to offer some of the same challenges that have been affecting the market in recent years, along with some fresh challenges whose value is yet to be defined.
As the internet has become increasingly ubiquitous in our everyday lives, with many relying on a good connection to make income working from home, or leisure time revolving around hours of online streaming – property buyers are prioritising fast broadband now more than ever. Studies by The Advisory have found that houses in areas with slow broadband could be a deal-breaker in 2020. There is not much that sellers can do about living in an area with poor connectivity; however, recent years have seen broadband providers aim to service as much of the country as possible.
Recent years have seen the death of the UK’s high street gradually become a reality, and with online giants such as Amazon projected to continue to grow in 2020, there are less local amenities situated near to homes. As paradoxical as it sounds, despite the convenience of the growing online alternatives, property buyers still value having amenities nearby. Data from The Advisory showed that being located near popular high street restaurants added up to 18 per cent value, while a nearby supermarket could add anything between £5,000 to £40,000 to a property’s value.
The integration of smart meters into homes along with an overall drive to pay less for utilities has led to buyers searching for the most energy-efficient homes. It has never been easier for homeowners to be aware of how much energy they are using and paying for on a daily basis, and in 2020 customers are looking to save money long-term and invest in property that is in a high energy efficiency bracket. The good news for sellers in the top energy efficiency bracket is that this can add up to 14 per cent value to your home.
Consistently, reports have shown that the biggest concerns for house buyers are local burglary rates and drug-related crimes. To take the UK as an example, 29,000 house sales fall through each year due to fears over local crime (according to figures from Churchill). Unfortunately, these are two crimes that are not going away in the UK. Crime rates differ from place to place, and yet burglary and drug crime rates are continuing to increase on average. Between 2014 and 2018, the UK reported that crime rates had risen by 12 per cent. Crime continues to be a challenge facing the property market; however, there are steps sellers can take to make their property appear safer.
Another trend that is continuing to grow in 2020 is increased awareness around health and wellness, and how pollution can be negatively affecting us and our family’s well-being. As buyers, particularly families, continue to look for properties that avoid high pollution zones, this is bad news for properties near busy roads, motorways, railway tracks and airports. Pollution is often a factor for reductions in asking prices.
It has long been the case that buyers prefer to invest in properties that offer a nicer view, unobstructed by large, unsightly structures. This is still the case in 2020, as buyers are continuing to avoid properties that are within 1.2 miles of a wind farm, or have visible mobile towers and power lines.
Extreme weather conditions have dominated the news in recent years, and the UK has continued to be hit by stronger and stronger storms. Homes on flood plains can be unattractive to buyers due to fear of flooding and the threat of expensive insurance costs. Flood-damaged properties also come with high costs of repair, which is simply not worth the risk for many buyers.