UK Cities Attract More Property Hunters as Searches for Flats Soar

According to Rightmove, demand for flats outpaced that in homes in the fall, indicating that the ‘race for space’ may be decreasing.

In the fall, demand for flats in UK cities outstripped that for homes, the latest hint that the pandemic-fueled “race for space” may be receding. During the pandemic, UK property values reached new highs as factors such as the increase of homes and flexible working fueled a purchasing frenzy outside big cities. However, when employees returned to workplaces with flexible and hybrid work schedules in the fall – prior to the launch of Omicron — demand for apartments increased.

“There was an instant demand for space from purchasers looking farther afield from the city when the housing market reopened in May,” said Tim Bannister, director of property analytics at the property marketplace Rightmove.

UK cities attract property hunters

“However, we’ve witnessed increased interest for homes near London in recent months, with buyer inquiries returning to pre-pandemic levels.”

This is occurring faster than many people expected, and it’s likely due to many companies supporting hybrid rather than entirely remote working.” According to Rightmove, flats have surpassed the popularity of houses as the most in-demand property type among potential buyers across the globe. “

The total shift in demand from larger homes to flats presents a picture of society opening up again, with a group of individuals preferring to live closer to city centers,” Bannister said. “Despite lower demand for flats when the market reopened, with greater availability than other property types and more consistent average asking price rise over the previous year, flats might be an excellent opportunity for anyone wanting to move or get on the ladder next year.”

Rightmove’s figures coincide with those of mortgage lender Halifax, which reported that apartments sold for 10.8% more in November than the same month last year, while detached homes sold for 6.6 percent more.

Despite the rise in popularity of flats, Rightmove predicts that the longer-term trend toward larger properties in suburban, rural, and coastal areas will continue. According to Rightmove, prospective buyers have expanded their search for their dream property by an average of 50 square kilometers (19 square miles). A detached home’s average asking price was 76 percent greater than a semi-detached dwelling in October.

Bannister said. “The epidemic altered the function of the house and put a new focus on its value, and people sought greater space to work, exercise, and even educate under one roof,” “People have broadened their search area, indicating that proximity to vital transportation hubs isn’t as important as it once was, or that living a little farther away from the main street may open up more houses that a buyer can afford, or that they may receive more for their money,” Halifax predicted this week that the UK housing price bubble would come to an end next year as family budgets become more strained.

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