The global cocooning trend, driven in recent years by progressively convenient digital technology, has been accelerated by Covid-19, says Dawn Bloch, area specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty in Zwaanswyk, Lakeside and Kirstenhof.
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“Most of us temporarily adapted our lives to self-isolate and work or study remotely during lockdown, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that this will, at least to some degree, now be the norm for many people going forward,” says Bloch.
She adds that there is also likely to be much more use of online education and entertainment.
“Many people have lamented the pervasiveness and invasiveness of technology in recent times, but it has certainly made self-isolation more bearable and allowed us to function with a semblance of normalcy during a difficult time.”
“With little to do at home after the first few weeks, many turned to the internet to relieve the boredom and, as a result, new casual gamers have been anointed and others have discovered how easy it can be to take an online course or join a discussion forum of like-minded people.”
Shifting trends in home-buying
Bloch says that as a result, the key factors that people look for in a home have shifted in accordance with their new needs.
“Whilst there will always be a market for well-priced fixer-uppers, most buyers at the moment are looking for move-in ready properties that offer the option to work from home and are fibre-ready for instant connectivity.
“There are also a number of buyers looking to upsize due to the fact that they will continue to work from home and there is greater demand than before for properties that can accommodate comfortable multi-generational living with in-laws and grandparents.
“A second lounge or snug for kids and their games is also a popular request after many families have spent the last few months having to share a telly and confined communal space.
“And with Covid-19 having taught us all to be more self-sufficient when it comes to cooking for ourselves, a priority that’s topping the list is a clean, bright and beautiful kitchen, preferably open plan, along with additional entertainment space such as a covered patio large enough for couches and a dining table.”
Bloch says that these shifting trends are already evident in the requests she is now receiving from buyers and the homes which are attracting the most interest.
“Those that are getting the most enquiries are the ones with spacious gardens, preferably with kids play areas and equipment like jungle gyms and homes with added extras like gyms, dedicated office space and fully equipped chef’s kitchens.
“Large gardens were becoming very unpopular in recent years, but many of my clients have expressed how grateful they have been for their gardens during lockdown and we are now seeing a resurgence in demand for larger homes and gardens," notes Bloch