What A Buyer Wants


2020 was a year like no other. A global pandemic and two national lockdowns meant that people were faced with the reality of large swathes of time in their homes. People got up close and personal with the size of their living rooms, and their access or lack of, to outdoor open space; with many feeling the effect of their environments on their wellbeing.

With a post-COVID-19 world on the horizon thanks to the vaccines, independent data from Atomik Research, commissioned by Canary Wharf Group, reveals exactly what buyers want from their homes in this unchartered future. The data reveals the changing habits of purchasers, how a move to the countryside may not be on everyone’s mind and maps what city life may look like in the future.

When asked what factors were most important to them when moving home, 43% of people said that the ability to visit family and friends and the proximity to shops, cafes and green spaces ranked highest. This suggests that after almost a year without seeing those closest to us, as well being unable to visit amenities and many people not having access to outdoor space, these will become top of purchasers’ wish lists when looking for their next home.

Many people’s wellbeing has been affected by their living environments during the lockdowns and data has also revealed what they think will improve this when choosing where to live next. 51% of people said that having access to outdoor space, an abundance of natural light and pleasing views onto water or green space would improve their wellbeing.

The importance of water to wellbeing has been proven in various studies, which suggest that living near a body of water means that people are encouraged to be more physically active and can lead to the reduction of stress. In addition, research suggests spending just 20 minutes in a park or open outdoor space is one of the best ways to improve wellbeing.

What 2020 and COVID-19 has really shown is the importance of community. Researchers revealed that community activity and involvement gives people a sense of purpose and identity, so it is no wonder that 61% of respondents have said that it is important to them to live in a thriving neighbourhood.

The data suggests that what purchasers are really looking for is light, bright homes in communities that benefit their wellbeing, provide interest and convenience.

As has been reported many people moved to the countryside to find these homes, but according to a Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, this doesn’t mean that cities will be empty. Many people enjoy the benefits of city living and want these types of homes in central locations. The question is, what will inner city living look like in a post-COVID-19 world and how will homes be designed to cater for purchasers changing habits.

One developing neighbourhood that features strategic design focused on purchasers changing habits is Wood Wharf, Canary Wharf’s new district. The new neighbourhood represents the future of inner city living, a self-sufficient community that caters to buyers changing habits.

Wood Wharf will comprise up to 3,600 new homes, c.2 million sq.ft. of office space and 350,000 sq. ft. of retail. The neighbourhood will also feature Harbour Quay, a long waterside boardwalk of up to 350m and nine acres of parks and open spaces. Additionally, Wood Wharf and the wider Canary Wharf estate organise a number of cultural events helping to boost community engagement. This includes everything from pilates and outdoor yoga classes to art exhibitions and eye-catching installations.

10 Park Drive is a key part of Wood Wharf. The apartments have been laid out to maximise the stunning vistas of the surrounding views. Residents benefit from first-class amenities, including a private Sky Terrace on the 13th floor and access to private residential fitness club Third Space. Remaining apartments are available from £790,000.

Having moved to10 Park Drive, Fruzsina and her fiancé Chandan, comment, “We were keen on the community aspect of the development. We were also excited by the idea of living by the water. We’re on the 16th floor and we can see out across the river; it feels very intimate and private as the balconies are slightly set back.”

One Park Drive is another unique residential offering in Wood Wharf. The apartments feature bespoke interior designs and comprise of three main typologies:  Cluster, Bay and Loft. Remaining one, two and three-bedroom apartments are available from £850,000.

Brian De’ath, Director of Residential Sales at Canary Wharf Group, comments, “The pandemic has altered the way people look at their homes and given many of them time to think about their future. As can be seen from the data, people want more from the places they live, both in the physical bricks and mortar as well as the immediate external surroundings; things such as access to green space and amenities are now priorities in their search for a new home. 

“It will be up to developers to truly adapt to these changing habits and wants, and design schemes that positively impact the communities around them.”

For more information regarding Wood Wharf and the various residential offerings at Canary Wharf visit https://residential.canarywharf.com/ or email: residential.sales@canarywharf.com or Tel: 0207 001 3800

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