Across the board, the UK property market is picking up momentum and remaining remarkably busy. The London housing market in particular saw a jump in activity in March. With lockdown restrictions lifting and the success of the vaccination program, international investors looking to relocate to the UK are returning to the market, and many are in search of townhouses.
At Chestertons, we saw a 57% increase in buyers from February to March. There was also a 28% rise in offers made by buyers and 40% more new properties coming on to the market for sale. This is the most active market since 2006 based on the volume of property transactions and conducted viewings, in addition to the number of buyers entering the market.
There are a number of factors causing the market to continue picking up pace. This includes the extension to the stamp duty holiday, pent-up demand and improved confidence levels. On top of that, buyers are reassessing their housing needs as people’s lives changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and successive lockdowns.
As we have spent more time in our homes this past year, many are rethinking their living quarters. Some international investors looking to relocate to the UK are even in search of not just a new property investment but a place they can set up as their own home. And with the recent BNO passport changes, more Hong Kong investors are expected to relocate to the UK.
Why are townhouses in high demand?
Currently, demand is dramatically increasing for townhouses over apartments. Townhouses can provide attractive alternatives for people who want more from their properties than most apartments can offer.
More adaptable space
Across the board, buyers and investors are looking for extra indoor and outdoor space. Townhouses, which typically have three floors, offer flexible rooms and areas spread across multiple floors. This provides buyers and occupants the ability to modify rooms as their needs change.
Meets lifestyle changes
As people are preparing for life after lockdown, finding a new suitable home that fits with their changed lifestyle is a top priority. With the rise in remote working, buyers and investors are prioritising properties that can provide enough space for a home office. Additionally, many townhouses come with appealing services and amenities, such as access to gyms and pools, that will be attractive to many people with new work-life balances.
Townhouses are also typically more family friendly. The multiple floors can provide a range of separate and together space for parents and kids. Apartments can sometimes feel too small and cramped for families. Additionally, with townhouses, occupants won’t have the noise of upstairs and downstairs neighbours to worry about. There is just a shared wall between the neighbouring townhouses.
A strong sense of community
With many neighbouring households, townhouse developments typically come with a strong sense of community. Living close together usually allows neighbours the opportunity to get to know each other more. And many townhouse developments come with common areas and shared facilities to socialise in.
Freehold property options
In some cases, townhouses are freehold properties instead of leasehold, which provide additional benefits. Freehold properties are where the property owner owns the property and the land it’s situated on, and this is often the preferred property type. With leaseholds, the owner of the property does not own the property outright as the freeholder owns the land the property sits on. This is common with flats and maisonettes, which often come with ground rents.
Throughout 2021, buyers and investors will be prioritising larger properties with adaptable spaces that match their new lifestyle changes. And townhouses will tick a lot of boxes for many people.