Kitchens are no longer top priority – Rightmove reveals new property search trends

Housing experts reveal how 2020 has shifted search priorities, offering advice to those looking to sell

So much has changed already this year, including property search trends. According to Rightmove almost half of renters, 49 per cent, and 39 per cent of buyers in the market claim lockdown has had an impact on what they’re looking for from future properties.

The things it has impacted most are wanting bigger gardens or at least access to one. Wanting to live in a bigger home with a better home workspace. Wanting to live closer to parks and green spaces and wanting access to a parking space or a garage.

Searches by potential buyers for homes with gardens are up 42 per cent in May, compared to May 2019. With the same search even higher for renters, up 84 per cent.

Related: Phil Spencer reveals his prediction for house prices in 2021 

small garden with table and chair and brick wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Keith Henderson)

For the first time in years flats have dropped out of as the most sought after property types, as home-hunters seek bigger gardens and better workspaces.

‘Traffic has hit its highest ever level with many starting out on a new journey towards their next home and a change in lifestyle,' observes Rightmove Housing Market Analyst Miles Shipside.

'Which could come with a very different wish-list to the one they had a few months ago. During lockdown people have been re-evaluating what their must-haves are.'

'Both buyers and renters are craving a home with its own outside space rather than a flat. It will be fascinating to see how the trends unfold over the course of the rest of the year.'

Rightmove property advice 2020

garden sitting area with brick wall and sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachel Whiting)

'Usually home-movers tell us the kitchen photographs are the most important, when they’re looking at a property advert,' Miles goes on to say.

'But now agents should consider giving greater prominence to pictures of gardens and outdoor spaces to attract the attention of prospective renters and buyers.'

The focus for buyers and renters alike is gardens right now. So making outdoor spaces and gardens the priority if you're hoping to sell is a must.

As are home office spaces. ‘Usually sellers living near a train or tube station use this as a selling point and can command a premium price for their home,’Miles explains.

‘But that isn’t going to be such an important selling point for those buyers now expecting to work from home more. It’s now all about showcasing a spare room in the best way. If a room is currently set up as a small bedroom, sellers would do well to acquire some cheap office furniture, so they can show people how their home office could look.’

Related: Kirstie Allsopp has an urgent warning for anyone buying a house right now

Rightmove's recent findings uses both site data and a new survey conducted between Thursday 21st May and Tuesday 26th May. With 4,692 respondents.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.