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A recent survey of first time buyers across England has revealed that, since the pandemic, a private garden, fast broadband and access to open space have become more important to those looking to get onto the property ladder.

In the survey, commissioned by leading property portal Share to Buy and housing association Peabody, 64% of the potential first time buyers stated that having a private garden has grown in importance to them since the start of the pandemic.

In second and third place, 62% of those surveyed highlighted fast broadband as a top post-COVID-19 priority, while 61% said access to nearby open space was now more important to them.

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Londoners place ​more importance on proximity to local outdoor space, with 68% stating this factor had become more important to them, compared with 62% in the rest of England.

For those outside of London, a private garden tops the wish list, with almost 70% of those surveyed confirming this has become a higher priority since the pandemic.

Next on the list for the first time buyers surveyed across England, all of whom have registered an interest in alternative homeownership schemes such as Help to Buy or Shared Ownership, was local amenities within walking distance (55%), followed by space to work from home (50%).

However, the pandemic has not deterred first time buyers in their quest to get onto the property ladder.

Just 4.5% of respondents stated that they were now less inclined to consider buying a home than previously, while nearly 50% confirmed they are keener to purchase a property than they were before the pandemic.

These changing priorities and an added determination to get onto the ladder may be a result of a move towards ‘hybrid working’. 60% of those surveyed across England expect to work from home for at least part of the week, even after a successful COVID-19 vaccine, growing to nearly 70% in London.

Nick Lieb, Head of Operations for Share to Buy, comments:

“Following a year when we have spent more time in our homes than ever before, first time buyers are thinking even more carefully about where they want to put down roots.”

“While buyers’ priorities in what they would like in a home may have changed since COVID-19, it is encouraging to see that there is still confidence in the housing market with most of us being just as, or even more, determined to purchase a home in 2021.”

“This result mirrors our own experience at Share to Buy as we saw record numbers of registrants on our property portal in 2020.”

Lisa Crush, Director of Sales and Marketing for Peabody, comments:

“With 2020 behind us, a year when we’ve all spent most of our lives inside our homes, where we live has never felt more important.”

“People’s appreciation of the space they inhabit, their immediate surroundings and the lifestyle that can be enjoyed from it, is more significant than ever.”

“We know that a home is more than just a place to live and we are placing greater emphasis on amenities such as outdoor space, roof gardens, fitness areas and co-working facilities.”

“The home has become far more than just the four walls that surround it.”

“At Peabody, we aim to make a positive difference for thousands of first time buyers and continue our ongoing commitment to our communities.”

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