News: COVID-19 to impact designs of houses across the world

Sep 23, 2020

Among the potential COVID-19 inspired changes include the provision of advanced telecommunications and space for home offices as well as healthier and greener living environment.

COVID-19 could impact the near-term and long-term design of homes around the world, according to a research by Knight Frank. 

The survey showed that among the 160 global developers across 22 nations, almost six in 10 have delayed projects due to the spread of COVID-19, which “broke down supply chains and prompted a wholesale rethink of how and where people want to live”.

Of those that delayed projects, over four in 10 are making changes to designs which were once considered complete.

Among the COVID-19 inspired changes include the provision of advanced telecommunications and space for home offices as well as healthier and greener living environment.

In fact, 38% of developers consider integrating facilities for bicycles compared to just 17% who said that they will consider parking space availability.

A third of developers also plan to adjust the mix of commercial and residential elements in their projects, while two in five developers indicated that they would be more sensitive to the domestic market’s requirements.

The survey revealed that urban appeal remains strong among developers, with 45% of the respondents indicating that they are more likely to focus on cities versus 41% who plan to develop in a mix of locations, cities and rural areas.

Almost two-thirds of developers also believe that sales will be geared towards virtual offerings from now on.

“COVID-19 has altered what homeowners need for their home – where there is a higher requirement to rest, work and enjoy activities in the same unit without experiencing over-integration of work and life,” said Alice Tan, Head of Consultancy at Knight Frank Singapore.

She noted that while many residential developments in Singapore have already obtained planning approvals prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, developers’ considerations in “home design elements that encapsulates functionality, usage flexibility, wellness and some form of social distancing features in communal facilities are starting to brew”.

“With heightened awareness and requirement for health and convenience, we could see projects that have these elements, as well as projects with retail amenities and proximity to parks and gardens to possibly receive greater interest,” added Tan.

Residential purchasing sentiment in recent months showed that larger sized homes were favoured by Singapore homebuyers, especially those with a study area or those that present an opportunity of carving one out in bedrooms or the living area.

“This has arisen from the fact that working from home for a portion of each work week could very well remain as the norm going forward. Nonetheless, the shift of demand for upgrading a full room size, from a three-bedroom unit to a four-bedroom one, has still been muted except for the usual reasons of expansion of family size,” said Evan Chung, Head of KF Property Network in Singapore.

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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