Coronavirus makes UK, Spain and France top choices for homebuyers seeking to relocate, survey shows

By Cheryl Arcibalcheryl.arcibal@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3096278/coronavirus-makes-uk-spain-and-france-top-choices-homebuyers-seeking?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp&utm_content=3096278 | August 13, 2020 3:49 PM SGT
Homebuyers see the UK, Spain and France as their top relocation choices for better housing and health care facilities as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey published by Knight Frank.
The survey, conducted in June with 700 buyers across 44 markets globally, sought to analyse buyers' attitudes towards the property market as a result of the public health crisis, the property consultancy said in a report published on Wednesday.
The UK garnered 30 per cent of the votes, Spain 17 per cent and France 9 per cent. The trio outranked more than 13 other countries that collected 2 to 4 per cent of votes from respondents who were inclined to move away from their current locations, the report shows.
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"The crisis has fundamentally changed the way we live our everyday lives with the home now a hub from which we work, exercise, learn, socialise and relax," said Kate Everett-Allen, head of international residential research. These changes "will have repercussions on property markets around the world."
An aerial view of Paris near the Eiffel Tower. A government's handling of the Covid-19 crisis is a key consideration in a relocation decision. Photo: AFP alt=An aerial view of Paris near the Eiffel Tower. A government's handling of the Covid-19 crisis is a key consideration in a relocation decision. Photo: AFP
Still, only 25 per cent of the people surveyed had indicated their likelihood to move to a new property at home or abroad within the next 12 months, Knight Frank said. About 23 per cent of them were less inclined to uproot while 52 per cent were likely to stay put.
In general, those seeking to acquire a new property - whether at an existing location or a new country, cited the need for an upgrade as the main reason. Improved access to health care came in a close second, according to the survey.
"The desire to upgrade their family homes is - and has historically been - the primary motivator for many residential buyers in Asia-Pacific," said Victoria Garrett, head of residential, Knight Frank Asia-Pacific.
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Although not all of these countries are considered a model of success in putting the coronavirus pandemic under control, they are still perceived to have efficient health care systems.
The survey also confirmed the growing preference of buyers for more space, given that the long period of 'confinement' had made them appreciate the importance of having an outdoor area or a garden.
About 61 per cent of the survey respondents expect to spend more hours working from home, while only 7 per cent of them expect to work fewer hours.
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Those seeking a second home put a high value on how a government's effective handling of the coronavirus crisis helped to stem the outbreak.
Countries such as Germany, Austria, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and New Zealand, may rate highly among second-home buyers in the coming months, the Knight Frank report said.
 
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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