Our newly-released How London Lives report reveals how Londoners are taking a more thoughtful approach to their property search.
London’s renters and buyers are increasingly prioritising their health and wellbeing when looking for a new home.
So says our new How London Lives report, which highlights the rise of the ‘Mindful Mover’ – a new generation of house hunters taking a more holistic approach, looking beyond the traditional asks, like location and size, for features that help them live their best lives.
While location, size and transport links remain of primary importance for renters and buyers, an increasing number are placing greater importance on home amenities that were once considered ‘nice to haves’, including green space and pet-friendly features.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, in an era of clean living and ‘fitspiration’ Instagram posts, one of the major trends identified is a rise in those who are prepared to spend more in return for fitness features. More than a third of existing Foxtons’ renters say they’re prepared to pay extra for a gym, and over a quarter are happy to pay more for access to a swimming pool.
Other trends identified include a rise in demand for pet-friendly features. Almost 80% of our Lettings Negotiators are seeing more renters seeking tenancy agreements with pet-friendly paragraphs – clauses with claws! Meanwhile, over a quarter of Foxtons’ renters said they would be prepared to pay more to live in a pet-friendly property.
But it’s not just furry friends that Londoners are making space for. 40% of Foxtons’ renters are prepared to pay more for a roof terrace, and one in six want to pay extra for a barbecue area. And when outdoor space isn’t available, Mindful Movers are getting creative and bringing the outside in too. The nation’s growing green obsession is already evident on the high street, with IKEA exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show for the first time ever, and house plant sales increasing 20% compared to last year.
Turning to the future, our agents predict that the ‘next big thing’ for London’s property scene is likely to be a rise in demand for so-called ‘smart homes’ – properties with internet-connected appliances. As this technology helps to unlock a culture of convenience, enabling us to access whatever we want through our laptops, phones and TV screens, our priorities are set to change too.
We already know that millennials tend to value experiences over possessions, and that two-thirds of young people want to connect with a social issue or cause. This rise of ‘community consciousness’ is why we’re predicting that Mindful Movers are likely to priortise face-to-face connections and meaningful links with their neighbourhoods in the future. In fact, as the report notes, growing demand for communal spaces, remote working and ready-made groups is a trend that is already beginning to be seen in various developments across the capital, such as Queenhurst in North Kingston and Goodluck Hope in East London.
In an age of unprecedented change, the most that can be said with too much certainty is that the living preferences of Londoners are always evolving. But what is becoming clearer is that Mindful Movers are on the forefront of a trend that looks set to continue into the next decade and beyond.
Click here to read the full How London Lives report.