Time to value property differentlyPublished on 28 May 2019
Home buyers prioritising quality over quantity
The property industry is changing. Buyers are starting to appreciate good design over square footage and postcode to assess the value of a property, according to Albert Hill, Founding Director of The Modern House. “Our ‘high-design’ properties go for 12% above local equivalent market value on average,” he told guests at a recent Stonehage Fleming ‘Curiosity Calls’ event in London. “That proves people are willing to pay for something special.”
While there is the pull in the industry towards ‘PropTech’ and automated valuation methods, Albert and the team, feel the European market is increasingly aware of their flaws. “We don’t agree you can reduce homes down to data. Algorithms cannot appreciate the nuances nor the emotional pull of homes,” he said.
The mission at The Modern House is to challenge the received wisdom of property. “Historically, the industry has struggled to get to grips with the idea that you should value good design”, said Albert. But perceptions are changing, he said. “Property valuations based on the number of bedrooms or number of square feet are becoming outmoded and outstanding design and sustainability are coming to the fore”.
The reasons for this are due to social and cultural changes, according to Albert. “Buyers are beginning to view homes as lifestyle purchases or collectors’ items in the same way that they would buy a watch or a car. By investing in quality design they are improving the way they live – it is a more long-term approach to home buying. It’s about the experience as much as the space itself.”
Albert also notes the crumbling barrier between workspace and living space. “More people are working from home and they want their workspace to reflect some of the intimacy their domestic space gives,” he said. “People are becoming more aware of the relationship between buildings and wellness and they expect good design.”
Albert was clear, the market should focus on getting the basics right. “Maximising natural light, using high quality materials and functionality all count for a lot. Roman author and architect, Vitruvius said there are three things that make good design: strength, beauty and practicality. Those three things still hold true today.”