Ultimate lockdown home

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the global property market to reprioritising what buyers found important when hunting for their new homes.

Ultimate lockdown home header

How COVID-19 has reshaped the world’s property market

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the global property market to reprioritising what buyers found important when hunting for their new homes.

With the pandemic confining the world to their four walls, both the general and luxury real estate market has witnessed a huge surge of lockdown demands from home gyms and garden space to swimming pools and stables as people begin to adapt to a post-pandemic lifestyle. 

Using Savills, a top end property agency, we collated the key property highlights from each country as well as search volume data from the last 12 months. We then used this data to help identify which property features have increased in demand since the start of the pandemic to help understand how COVID-19 has reshaped the demands of the luxury market as well as the general population. 

Top priorities when luxury house hunting by country

Using our research into increasing property demands since the start of the pandemic, we’ve created the ultimate luxury lockdown home, equipped to satisfy the world's prestigious property market. The property combines the world's most deluxe and practical priorities and includes a pool, elevator, stable, parking space, gym, balcony and glass roof to provide natural light and scenic views of the city and sea. 

Using our research into increasing property demands since the start of the pandemic, we’ve created the ultimate luxury lockdown home, equipped to satisfy the world's prestigious property market. The property combines the world's most deluxe and practical priorities and includes a pool, elevator, stable, parking space, gym, balcony and glass roof to provide natural light and scenic views of the city and sea.

Top property feature results for each country

CountryProperty feature
AustraliaParking spaces
CyprusSwimming pool
FranceSwimming pool
GreeceSwimming pool
IrelandStable block
ItalySwimming pool
PortugalGarden and swimming pool
South AfricaSwimming pool
SpainNatural light
SwitzerlandSwimming pool
ThailandSwimming pool
UAEBalcony
UKSwimming pool
USAElevator
VietnamCity view

Swimming pools are the world’s top priority when luxury house hunting

Swimming pools have climbed to the top of the priority list when it comes to house hunting for the more financially fortunate during COVID-19. Nine different countries including the UK, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland and Thailand, had pools ranked as their top home highlight when house hunting for their premium pads.

Having spent over a year confined to the parameters of a house, people are looking to upgrade their properties and have easy access to physical activity;  a pool is the perfect escapism. 

Over the past 12 months, the shift to prioritising mental wellbeing around the world has seen search volume for houses with pools for sale increase by 49% and after a stressful year for many, it’s no wonder that people want to invest in a peaceful oasis on their doorstep. 

The USA demands elevators in their premium post-pandemic pads 

Many would assume that the pandemic has encouraged the world to get in their daily dose of exercise by partaking in daily walks or alternatively taking the stairs, but not for Americans. 

Our study has shown that the USA has seen a 15% increase in Google search volumes for homes with elevators when looking to buy their new lavish properties. Luxury apartments with the city and sea views have become more desirable during lockdown, making elevators in higher demand and a necessity for those embracing a more opulent lockdown lifestyle. 

Ireland's elite saddled up during COVID-19 and are now demanding stable blocks

Throughout the pandemic, people have had plenty of free time to acquire some new hobbies. Some countries made TikToks and banana bread but Ireland's luxury market saddled up for the long haul. 

Whilst the rest of the world was busy buying pandemic puppies, Ireland's high society dedicated it's time to riding horses, with search volumes for properties with stables for sale seeing a 103% increase over the past 12 months! With people desperate to find activities that adhered to social distancing rules, horse riding was an expensive but perfect lockdown solution for those with some serious cash to invest in a new hobby and reignited the Irish love for those majestic beauties. 

Be at one with nature as balconies and views become an essential asset for luxury homebuyers 

Having access to nature has been essential throughout lockdown and has therefore made balconies, views and natural lighting some of the most desirable and luxurious features when buying a house post-pandemic. 

Nearly every country has increased their search for panoramic views, particularly in Spain seeing search volume for properties with sea views increase by 113% over the past 12 months. Search volume for city view apartments in Vietnam have also increased by 100%, whilst apartments with balconies in the UAE have increased by 37% over the last 12 months. 

Having spent a year inside, it’s not surprising the world is craving access to the outdoors and providing scenic views and natural light is now seen as a luxury and pricey asset worth paying for in a post-pandemic world. 

Key property features worldwide

The demand for gardens has increased by 74% worldwide!  

When looking to buy a home, search volumes for ‘houses with gardens for sale’ have increased by 74% worldwide over the last 12 months, emphasising how lockdown has shifted home buyers priorities. 

Despite gardens being top of the priority list for many home buyers pre-pandemic, we can assume that this new surge of demand is a reaction to lockdowns ‘working from home’ lifestyle. With many city homeowners beginning to migrate into more suburban and rural areas, the opportunity to own properties with gardens has never been more achievable, and thus the demand for gardens worldwide has skyrocketed throughout the pandemic. 

Gyms are an essential feature in all homes when house-hunting post pandemic!

As a result of the world closing its doors to public gyms and leisure centres, home workouts became all the rave throughout lockdown with the UK, Spain and Cyprus being the countries most inclined to maintain their fitness journeys. 

Our study shows that Google search volume data for home gym space increased by 100% in the UK and over 50% in both Spain and Cyprus during lockdown, emphasising how gym space is becoming a new essential asset for all home buyers. 

Lockdown has highlighted just how accessible home workouts are and with many people utilising home gym equipment, there is and will continue to be a greater demand for space to maintain a fitness routine within the comfort of your own home. 

Working from home has made good wifi a global priority!

Working from home has not only changed the way businesses are being run, but also the property market, with home buyers beginning to prioritise fast internet when looking to buy a house.

Search volumes on the availability of fibre optic internet to a property has increased by 91% worldwide since March 2020. As people begin to adapt to working from home, spare rooms are being transformed into home offices and fast wifi has become a necessity for households around the world. Fibre to property may still be considered a luxury as of now, however it won’t be long before fibre optic internet becomes a mandatory feature for all modern day houses. 

Aussies parked up and settled down for COVID-19

With the world being brought to a halt, Australian’s found themselves parking up their lives and requiring more car parking spaces when looking to buy a new house. 

A combination of limited public transport and travel restrictions meant that space to store cars throughout the pandemic became all the more desirable and on-street parking in much shorter supply as people hunkered down in their hometowns. 

With people working from home and limited public transport, parking spaces have become an essential aspect of day to day life due to COVID-19. 

Australia, Spain, Portugal and the UK want higher ceilings and more natural light

Being confined to your house throughout lockdown has provided people a lot of spare time to analyse their properties. The living areas which were once seen as cozy are now considered dark and claustrophobic, and people are wanting lighter and higher living spaces. 

Property highlights for both natural lighting and high ceilings featured in 250 Spanish properties when analysing Savills search data. The study also shows that between Australia, Portugal, Spain and the UK there has been a 15% increase in search volumes for homes with high ceilings within the past 12 months. 

Velux windows are also in high demand with our search volume data showing that between these four countries, searches for velux window installations have increased by 50% since the beginning of lockdown in March 2020. It seems as if more people are wanting more space and more light in their post-pandemic pads. 

Top priority features in the UK and USA

The overall consensus of the study highlights how the world’s lifestyle has shifted significantly to prioritise our mental and physical well being. Open spaces, physical activity and nature have never been in such high demand and the world is craving easy access to it all. 

If you’re considering moving during these unprecedented times, make it easy on yourself and compare mortgages to find our best deals for you. As the world begins to consider a post-pandemic lifestyle it is these invaluable features that will continue to shape both the luxury and general property market and the real estate industry will soon become a reflection on how people adapted to COVID-19. 

If you're a first time buyer or looking to move house or remortgage, we can help you find the best mortgage deal to suit your needs.

Methodology

Key highlights of homes were collected using scraped data from Savills website from their selection of countries. The number of times each feature was mentioned was used to calculate its popularity and show which property feature is most desirable a year on from the beginning of the pandemic. We also used a keyword tool to help analyse an increase in search volume for a particular house feature over the past 12 months (March 2020-March 2021). 

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