Yann Murciano, CEO at Blend, shares his insight on what trends are likely to emerge across the UK property market in 2023.
We are undoubtedly living through times of unprecedented economic uncertainty and financial volatility, the consequences of which are being felt most severely by many in the housing market.
As 2023 gets underway, people often ask me what are the key trends I see unfolding in the property market over the next 9-12 months. So, here’s my take on three property trends to watch for this year.
We want green
According to former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, "green is good, green is right, green works".
This certainly seems to be the current sentiment among prospective homebuyers who are increasingly taking notice and searching for green features when looking for a home. The sentiment is mirrored by landlords who are now keener to review their portfolios to assess whether the investment in making upgrades is worth the return, which according to the data seems to be.
It is also reflected in developers’ behaviour who are now increasingly focusing on including green features in their schemes. Certainly, many developers we lend to at Blend are now building homes with sustainable features. According to the Rightmove Green Homes report 2022, there are now 73% more green features in property listings compared with 2020 and improving a home from an F to a C rating could add an additional 16% to a property’s value.
As climate change and energy costs become much more important considerations, I anticipate this trend will not only continue but intensify this year. I, therefore, expect buyers to be much more aware of the features of a home that will need changing to make it more energy efficient.
It has been taking some time, but there are growing signs that prospective property buyers are actively seeking efficient, healthy, and green-certified buildings to live and work in. Traditional sought-after energy-saving features such as double glazing are now being exceeded by things like solar panels, heating systems, cavity wall and loft insulations. In fact, solar panels have climbed up the ranks from number 500 in Rightmove’s keyword sort in November 2020 to position 98 in June 2022.
We want smart
Over the past decade, smart home technologies have really taken off as devices are being introduced for every room in the house to offer increased security, comfort, energy efficiency and convenience. From making homes more sustainable and allowing homeowners to reduce their energy bills, to increasing interactivity and connectivity and helping families to better manage their homes and lives.
From water supply systems that can detect leaks, monitor quality and automate heating and cooling, to sensors that can check for room occupancy and match patterns to energy use throughout the day. It is easy to see why so many households across the world are embracing smart home technologies. Certainly, many developers we lend to at Blend are now building homes with smart home features.
This is a trend I believe will accelerate this year as users become more aware of the capability of smart technologies to control the basic functions and features of the home either automatically or remotely.
We want small
The buzz around the tiny-house movement – a trend that advocates for downsizing living spaces – is increasing and I expect this to be the most important home design revolution over the next decade. Closely linked to homebuyers growing concern about their homes’ green credentials and energy bills, and propelled by the cost-of-living crisis and the millennial desire for freedom of movement, I expect the tiny-house movement to have its moment in 2023 and beyond.
I can certainly see how the idea that having less space and stuff can create room in our lives for more important things is an appealing one. Tiny Eco Homes UK, Tiny Housing Co., Qube Eco Tiny Home and many more have developed modular portable tiny eco-house models and intelligent living spaces apartments, often in an insulated timber framed structure to ensure low energy usage.
As development finance lenders here at Blend, we’ve certainly witnessed a trend whereby property developers are moving towards smaller homes. So, without a doubt, this trend takes its top spot in my list of three property trends to watch in 2023.