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

Craig TowerThe 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%.

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, commented:

“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.”

Amenity Buyer Demand Stock %
Garden 13% 51%
Balcony 11% 59%
Gym 6% 31%
Pools 6% 24%
Boroughs with the highest % of garden new builds
Borough Stock %
Bexley 82%
Hounslow 69%
Barnet 67%
Barking and Dagenham 65%
Enfield 64%
Haringey 62%
Hammersmith and Fulham 60%
Lewisham 59%
Brent 59%
Hillingdon 57%
Boroughs with the highest % of balcony new builds
Borough Stock %
Barking and Dagenham 86%
Greenwich 82%
Newham 82%
Lewisham 76%
Hounslow 74%
Brent 73%
Tower Hamlets 68%
Hammersmith and Fulham 67%
Wandsworth 66%
Haringey 65%
Boroughs with the highest % of gym new builds
Borough Stock %
Tower Hamlets 63%
City of London 54%
Greenwich 50%
Lambeth 48%
Hammersmith and Fulham 45%
Newham 42%
Southwark 42%
Hackney 41%
Islington 37%
Westminster 32%
Boroughs with the highest % of pool new builds
Borough Stock %
City of London 70%
Tower Hamlets 52%
Hammersmith and Fulham 50%
Lambeth 48%
Hackney 38%
Southwark 35%
Kensington and Chelsea 34%
Greenwich 32%
Newham 32%
Islington 28%

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About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents. With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 14 international offices.