Interestingly, unlike the previous lockdown, the housing sector is still allowed to operate in the following four weeks.
The FTSE 250 property construction firm, Redrow, is to start offering home offices in their new builds for the first time in history. This follows a rise in buyer demand for greater space to both live and work in since lockdown started earlier this year. Buyers would be provided with home office options, including built-in desks and cupboard space.
It was recently announced that the furlough scheme has been extended until March 2021, along with the continued closure of most office buildings in the UK as employees are advised to work from home.
Redrow’s decision comes as workers now reflect on their previous lockdown experiences, and what could make working from home more comfortable. And this has certainly been met with delight, and demand.
Redrow’s order book now stands at roughly £1.5 billion, which is up 10% from the previous year. The average selling price of their private properties in the last 18 weeks has further increased by 2% to £396,000.
Back in March, Redrow’s sales were hit massively. This is because when lockdown was announced, buyers were urged to stop moving, house viewings were halted and construction sites temporarily closed. As restrictions were eased in May, the market saw a slight boost. This boost was further raised by Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s introduction of a stamp duty holiday in July.
This decision to build home offices into new builds comes as rust belt cities have been declared as more desirable. Office workers are no longer required to commute to their buildings in big, bustling cities like London. Or, if they are, this is only for a rota of two or three days a week. The rust belt cities, where much of Redrow’s property sites are situated, are much cheaper than city prices.
As such, the decline in workers commuting to their office spaces, coupled with Redrow’s consequent decision to build structured and comfortable offices, not only boosts the property firm’s revenue, but could also work in the favour of regenerating rust belt areas like Middlesbrough and Hull.