Guide to finding an accessible home 2021

Guide to finding an accessible home 2021

Partnering up with Disability Horizons again to produce our expert guide once again for 2021 

We’re delighted to once again partner with our friends at Disability Horizons www.disbaility to create our ‘Guide to finding an accessible home 2021’ Ironically, the accessible housing market is not particularly ‘accessible’, and can be difficult to navigate without spending a lot of time collecting information and research. Luckily for you, we have done all the hard work for you and compiled over a decade-worth of combined experience to create this guide at the bottom of this article.

There are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK, yet only a staggering 9% of homes in England are accessible. Added to that, just 2.4% of new homes being built will be suitable for wheelchair users – outside of London this figure is just 1.5%. 

It will give you a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know to help you find the new accessible home – from start to finish. We will help you to understand the housing market and available accessibility features, adaptations and their costs, and give you practical and straight-forward advice on how to find a property that suits your needs, whether you’re buying or renting.

So, here we are a long and difficult 15 months later after the first Covid -19 lockdown and who thought we would still be here?  No one could deny that we have been living in unprecedented times, with a global pandemic affecting every aspect of all our lives.

In this article, we are going to explore the state of the housing market now, explore predictions for the immediate future and consider tips for people wanting to find a house now.

Reflecting back over the last year… 

First, we are reflecting back over the last months of challenging times, we have gone from scared, to isolating, to stay at home, not seeing our families, getting slowly back to work offices, bubbling to vaccination.  We have been on a long, hard road, but there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel.

Housing wise, last year when we wrote ‘How to find an accessible property’ with our friends at Disability Horizons, (Liz, do you have the link for here?) we were in a strange and worrying times, but the Country was beginning to open up, slowly, carefully and cautiously… we discussed what Covid-19 has done to the housing market and continued with our work even when our doors were closed

*What we witnessed a lot was that after isolation and shielding that the accessible housing market, there were many more people who had realised that their home wasn’t working for them.  Disabled blogger and travel writer Carrie Anne-Lightley had put this beautifully in an article she wrote for Branch Properties last year  how lockdown has made her even more grateful for her accessible home:

Housing market now:

Following the property market reopening we saw and have continued to see a property boom throughout the country.  We have seen properties selling in record times for well over asking price/, as the hunt for bigger properties, those out of cities with more outside space had prices going through the roof.

When searching for suitable properties for clients through our ‘finding service’, the quickest sale we saw was a property was marketed on the Wednesday and by Thursday it had gone under offer.

Rightmove reports the busiest ever housing market and confirmed that ‘Homes are selling at the fastest pace ever recorded’ right now, which is pushing up average asking prices for properties. More houses have sold within the space of a week than ever before. Even the 145,000 new property listings this month has not been enough to meet the high levels of buyer demand that we are seeing. Stamp duty holiday has had a major part in pushing the market, and yet, given that the purchase prices have increased, any saving due to not having to pay Stamp Duty have been swallowed up by increased property valuations.

When searching for properties to rent, we continue to see the wave of pent-up activity that has hit the market. The activity has been very strong throughout the country, and the numbers make impressive reading.

Predictions and tips

With demand at such a high level and with Covid regulations easing, we have had to be fast when seeing properties suitable for clients, as there is often now a ‘block viewing’ on one day and a limited amount of viewings taking place in that time – with it usually going under offer, that day!

With the stamp duty holiday having just ended on 30th June 2021, some change in the pace is probably inevitable, but now is still an ideal time to start looking for your new home (whether that is to buy or to rent an accessible property)

FREE accessible housing guide 2021

Our 17-page guide takes you through:

  • Pin-pointing your requirements – what is essential for you
  • Types and cost of adaptations – so you can work out what changes are essential and how much you’ll need to make them
  • Finding a home– where to look for an accessible house
  • Accessible housing ratings – what they are and what they mean for you

The guide also includes handy printable checklists so you can narrow down what exactly you need.

To download the FREE 17-page guide, simply enter your email address above.

Here at Branch Properties, we can find and adapt properties, so for more information please visit our Branch Properties website, or contact them by emailing or calling 020 3475 4022.