When the housing market in England reopened on May 13, it was unclear how the industry would truly be affected by the continued pandemic.
While some wondered whether the pandemic would kill the mood for moving, it turned out that, for the most part, it was back to business
Mary-Ann from Ringley believes working from home has allowed employers and staff to realise how easily it can be done, and that this will also have an impact on development moving forward.
“We’re seeing just how demand is changing,” she explains.
“It’s been proven that a lot of people can work from home successfully. People living in the city are beginning to push away as they find bigger or better quality houses outside of the centre.
“They no longer need to spend an hour and a half commuting to work - everyone’s attitudes are changing.
“That’s also reflected in what homeowners want. There will be a big focus on home offices, study spaces, and outdoor areas. Housing demand is shifting towards that new era.”
'Rent is going to have to come down'
Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director of Ringley, who has over 12,000 properties under management in London and Manchester, says they were already seeing people leaving the city centre before lockdown.
“Take London for example,” Mary-Anne says. “I’d say around 25 pc of young professionals who would be sharing properties have left London in order to furlough with their families.
“Central London has felt like a ghost town, even before lockdown. Very few people are travelling and that’s had an impact on tenancies coming to an end and has put a downward pressure on rent.
“That’s something we’ve seen replicated through other cities and is most acutely noticeable in Manchester.”
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