Brought to you by Savills Property.
The Covid-19 lockdown has taught us some valuable lessons.
Over the past eight weeks, our homes have become our offices, a place to exercise and somewhere we socialise with friends, albeit digitally.
One of the likely outcomes of the crisis is that employers will become more flexible when it comes to employees working from home. The swift move to self-isolation has shown that it can be done. Technology hasn’t let us down.
For many of us, the lockdown has highlighted some key issues in terms of how we use our spaces; do we need to rethink the traditional design and layout of residential properties?
Here, Catherine McAuliffe, a Director and Head of Residential at Savills Cork explains how life in lockdown has led to new priorities for house hunters:
1. Second living spaces
“Many new home developments have already considered the lack of space for remote working and have incorporated ‘second living spaces’.” Catherine explains.
“One example of this is Aylesbury in Ballintemple, pictured above, where the designer included a workspace on the landing.
“In other developments, such as Reldare on Model Farm Road, Heathfield in Ballincollig, pictured below, and Castle Heights in Carrigaline, a second living area to the rear of the property serves as that extra space required to facilitate different requirements – be it an office, mini-gym or other non-traditional use.
“The open plan property for larger families has definitely been put to the test in recent times, requiring perhaps the teenager to retract to his bedroom because there just are not enough places to get away from parents or siblings! A second living space is an alternative solution for children, teens and adults alike.”
2. New criteria for good work/life balance
While location still is the optimum consideration when deciding where to live, will location criteria change in the future? Pre-COVID-19, we had become a nation of convenient dwellers, close to work, to schools, to shops. But is this really what we want?
“During this enforced pause, have we learned to appreciate the aspects of life we had been missing out on,” says Catherine.
“Do you want to live near a river, or a forest, or the sea, or the countryside? After all, there are shops everywhere, there are schools everywhere – yes, you may have to travel to work, but do we all have to go at the same time?
“Now that we know we can, many of us will work from home more often, moving from home to meetings to the office – ideally not in rush hour!
While many will be unable to continue working from home, certainly a large cohort of people have learned that they can probably do a bit of both, which is likely to improve their productivity with the benefit of giving more time to the finer aspects of life.”
3. Stage of life
“Young professionals are likely to choose city centre locations or close-by. This will be for the lifestyle, the convenience of walking to the heart of the city for employment and, most importantly for socialising, meeting friends, shopping, etc.
“Second time buyers with families are now likely to look at an out of town or suburban location and give up the convenience for that extra bit of internal and external space. They may well consider a second-hand home in the countryside or suburbs and will look for expandability and larger gardens. Those trading down, however, may well look for convenience and accessibility in areas in or close to the city.
“Small developments of apartments close to amenities are likely to attract the trader down with covered parking and lift access being a priority. A very good example of such a scheme is Altus in Sundays Well.”
Whatever homebuyers choose, and whatever stage of life they are at, there is no doubt that many will rethink their requirements post-Covid-19. For more information, or to speak to a Savills expert, visit Savills.ie.