Research from the Skipton Building Society reveals more than a quarter of the 2,000 adults polled admit their vision of the perfect house have changed in the three months since lockdown measures were introduced.
A further quarter are now prepared to spend more money to find and live in their dream property.
Property requirements have shifted dramatically during lockdown, with 52% of people now wanting a life in the countryside, according to the research. Half are looking for a garden, or any outdoor space, which is larger than they currently have and a further third of adults say they want more space to grow plants and fruit and vegetables.
Meanwhile, more than a quarter surveyed say they will now insist on finding a property with space for a home office, for easier working-from-home.
Alex Beavis, Skipton’s head of mortgages, said: “With the nation having spent so much time indoors lately people have had the opportunity and time to decide whether their home is really giving them everything that they want and need – as well as highlighting features that are missing from their current home.
“Usually when people look to move it’s because of space. They either want more of it, less of it, or they want their own space after a relationship breakdown or flying the nest. The lockdown has really given us all time to hone in on exactly what we want from our living arrangements and what our top priorities are if we were to move.”
A third of respondents would want to move somewhere with a bigger kitchen, so they can perfect their baking in the case of another lockdown. And three in 10 would be looking for a garage to store bicycles or other exercise equipment.
However, almost one in five say their future dream home would even include luxury items like a hot tub or an outdoor swimming pool.
The pandemic and lockdown has changed human behaviour and this is now reflected in the requirements for a house. A bigger space for indoor activities, downstairs toilet facilities for more frequent hand washing, and larger kitchen cupboard space to allow for stockpiling now all feature on the list of what Brits want from their ‘dream home’.
Beavis added: “Living in the countryside would naturally limit your contact with other people more than being in a city centre.
“Who knows what habits and living observations we’ve picked up during lockdown that might stay with us long after social distancing measures are relaxed. But what will be interesting is watching if this filters right through the housing market – we could start seeing new build properties with bigger gardens or home office areas designed in direct response to many of us getting used to working from and spending more time at home.”
However, 30% of homeowners believe there is potential in their current home to make it their dream residence. And Brits reckon it would cost them just under £20,000 per household to get their current place up to scratch.
And of those who have decided not to move in the near future, a fifth have realised they’re actually perfectly happy where they are.
A further 17% would consider re-mortgaging their current living space to turn it into their dream home. With mortgage rates at a historical low, some want to take advantage and bring out the sledgehammer.
However, the majority – 38% – would like to revamp their kitchen to make their house closer to ‘dream home’ status.