London new-build buyers still valuing outdoor space over exercise amenities


The capital’s new-build homebuyers are still opting for homes with balconies and gardens, as outdoor space in which to relax takes precedence over other lockdown stress relieving outlets such as gyms or swimming pools.

London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, analysed current market stock listed online to see which property options were commanding the highest interest from new build homebuyers when it came to a balcony, garden, swimming pool and gym.

The research shows that across London’s current new build offering, some 24% of listings offer a swimming pool within the development.

However, buyer demand for these properties currently sits at just 6%. This level of demand was the same for developments with an on-site gym, although the level of stock offering this amenity did climb to 31% of all new builds listed.

Just over half of current new-build stock listed (51%) included a garden while 59% of London new-builds provided a balcony and it’s a good thing too, as these currently remain the most sought after features for those London homebuyers currently looking to purchase, despite the pandemic market lockdown.

A garden was the most sought after with demand at 13%, while homes with a balcony are currently seeing demand at 11%.

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Barking and Dagenham (86%), Greenwich and Newham (82%) are the boroughs home to the highest level of stock with a balcony at present and the best places to start your search, while Bexley (82%), Hounslow (69%) and Barnet (67%) have the most new-builds complete with their own green space gardens.

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, said: “Demand is understandably muted across the board at present and in regular market conditions, the ratio of homes being snapped up to those still for sale would be far higher.

“However, the new-build market and the fact that these brand new homes are lying uninhabited offers the chance for many homebuyers to kick on with their search and to progress to a point where they can at least make an offer.

“However, the ongoing threat of the coronavirus means that the traditionally sought after amenities of a gym or pool have dwindled in popularity as people remain aware of social distancing requirements.

“At the same time, gardens and balconies remain popular as people long for some outdoor space to break up the monotony of staying at home.

“It’s clear that buyer demand is alive and well but while the government continues to restrict the estate agency sector from servicing this demand, market activity will remain subdued.”

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