Homes with a garden become the new must-have for buyers

Average property prices continued to fall across the country last month, with the property market more subdued than at any time since 2010, a report suggested today.

Nearly a third of estate agents and surveyors said they saw average prices drop in the last three months, marking the worst performance in ten years, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said. 

England’s property market having been unlocked on 13 May, although with lockdown restrictions on the market still in place across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Queries from potential new buyers and sales outlooks across the UK look ‘slightly’ better than they did in April, Rics added.

More than 80 per cent of insiders working in the sector surveyed said they think buyer demand for a home with a garden or balcony will grow significantly over the next two years as a result of lockdown restrictions.  

Price matters: A chart showing the impact of the pandemic on house prices so far

Price matters: A chart showing the impact of the pandemic on house prices so far

Green spaces in demand 

Nearly three-quarters of property insiders surveyed think demand for a home near a green space like a park will rise over the next two years, while 68 per cent believe properties with more private space and fewer communal areas will be top priorities among potential buyers.

The desire to get outdoors during lockdown has triggered a drop in the number of buyers looking for a home in a block of flats, the Rics said.

Nearly 80 per cent of estate agents think buyer demand for a home in a tower block will fall over the next two years, while nearly 60 per cent believe properties in urban areas which are very built up will also become less desirable to prospective buyers.

The majority expect no change in the desirability of homes near transport hubs, such as train stations and bus stops.

In demand now: Over 80 per cent of insiders working in the sector surveyed said they think buyer demand for a home with a garden or balcony will grow

In demand now: Over 80 per cent of insiders working in the sector surveyed said they think buyer demand for a home with a garden or balcony will grow

Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist at the Rics, said: ‘There are already signs that those looking to buy a house are responding to the conditions created by the pandemic by seeking out properties with gardens or balconies and nearer green space.

‘These and other similar features are likely to increasingly command a premium over higher density urban locations according to respondents to the survey.’

New normal for viewings

The property market may have been reopened in England last month, but it has been turned on its head. 

In-person viewings are being carried out with social distancing measures in place, with some estate agents choosing to simply leave buyers to look round homes themselves while donning face masks.

Many estate agents have also been ramping up the number of online virtual property tours they carry out, even though it remains unclear how many will lead to cash on the table and a deal in the bag.

Rics’s survey for May found that a net balance of 5

Read more

Must-Have Fall Decor Finds to Score Online from T.J. Maxx and Marshalls

Decorating for fall is one of my favorite things. As soon as the first leaf falls from a tree, I’m busting out the decorative pumpkins, plaid blankets, and fall-scented candles. And every year, I convince myself that I need to go out and buy new pumpkins or pillows to change up my decor a tiny bit. Typically I go to T.J. Maxx and pick out a few things to spruce up my apartment—and since their decor section is pretty affordable, I can pick up a couple of new items without spending a ton of money. 

This year I am more excited than ever to decorate for the season (after working from home for six months, I’m tired of staring at the same things all day long), but because of the ongoing pandemic, I don’t feel totally comfortable going in and out of stores unless it’s for something I really need. Luckily, I can still do my seasonal T.J. Maxx and Marshalls shopping while sitting on my couch at home. 

Last fall, Marshalls launched an online store for the first time, and sister brand T.J. Maxx followed soon thereafter. After pausing all online ordering in March due to the pandemic, The TJX Companies (which owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods) fully re-launched their online stores just in time for the fall shopping season. 

Related: People Are Already Buying HomeGoods’ Halloween Decor

If you’re in need of a little fall refresh too, here’s everything I’ve recently added to my cart at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. 

Ceramic Pumpkin

Ceramic figures are this year’s biggest holiday decor trend (these vintage ceramic Christmas trees are back in style) and I’ve been loving all of the ceramic pumpkin options. This pink pumpkin is made from pink and gold glazed ceramic and measures about 8 inches. Use it to dress up a fall mantel or mix it in with a pumpkin centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner. 

Buy It: Ceramic Iridescent Pumpkin ($13, Marshalls)

Pumpkin Pillows

Why order just one fall pillow when you can order three? This 3-pack of 16-inch pillows is decorated with a different plaid pumpkin design. And at just under $30, the pillows come out to be just $10 each. The orange and black color scheme is neutral enough to put out in September but festive enough to carry into the Halloween season. 

Buy It: 3-Pack Pumpkin Pillows ($30, T.J. Maxx) 

Halloween Gnome

Gnomes aren’t just for Christmas! This 21-inch black and orange figure makes a fun addition to any fall or Halloween decorating scheme. Display this gnome on your front porch on dry days, or set him in front of your fireplace to tie the room together. 

Buy It: Fabric Gnome ($10, T.J. Maxx)

Friendsgiving Book

I love a good coffee table book, and this Friendsgiving-themed one is filled with gorgeous photography you’ll enjoy looking at all season long. Plus, it’s got tons of fall recipes and decor ideas you can use right now. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, you’ll be ready to

Read more