Home offices are already the most-demanded must have from prospective tenants says James Hay, director at Surrey lettings agency, The Home Club.
And he forecasts that this requirement will remain popular next year too.
“The rising fear of a New Year lockdown has seen family renters' wish lists dramatically change, prioritising home office space over larger gardens, school catchment areas and even affluent residential areas. A property that would once have flown out the door due to its open plan living space and large garden, is being put to the side in favour of stock with an extra boxroom” he says.
“The trend is especially evident in young professionals, where once they would look for a studio or one-bedroom rental to avoid overspend on a second bedroom, they are now actively seeking out two-bedroom rents to enable a work from home space - both to protect their relaxation and personal space but also save embarrassment of being in their bedrooms for virtual work meetings.”
Hay adds that the need for outside space, while still more keenly felt than pre-Covid times, is now something negotiable again, as opposed to earlier in the year where it was essential.
Despite the fight for outdoor space in 2020 due to the first lockdown in stunning sunny weather, the 2021 lockdown didn’t deliver quite the same shine, he suggests.
Instead, working from home made renters realise the limitations of some properties.
Hay says: “It would seem the nation has learnt the hard way and ‘once bitten, twice shy’ could well be their motto heading into 2022 and making house choices to ‘Pandemic Proof’ their new living environments.
“In the last few weeks, we have been getting more and more demands for larger living spaces to enable a home office set up away from day-to-day home life - often at the compromise of a nicer side of town or a bigger garden.”