Lucy McCabe, sales and marketing manager at Southway Housing Trust

It’s been a busy start to the year for us all here at Gecko Homes, Southway Housing Trust’s home ownership division.

The new homes market has certainly seen a surge in demand over the last 12 months, resulting in off-plan sales hitting an all-time high. Like many organisations, we have moved to home working with our show homes open on an appointment-only basis. This has been a huge change for us; however, it has certainly been positive with our show homes still being viewed regularly. As with all developers, we have had to change our way of thinking which has involved being more digitally available for our customers, be it though virtual tours or securing reservations over Zoom!

We have certainly seen a shift in requirements from our customers recently, with most homebuyers now having different priorities. New requirements around extra outside space, extra bedroom space and even internet speed have become more apparent. The pandemic has definitely changed people’s expectations, which has certainly impacted on the way we develop our future schemes. More consideration for that extra space for a home office and larger outside space is now a priority for Gecko to ensure that we are providing new homes that will fulfil our customers’ requirements.

I am sure we are all very much looking forward to spring; those lighter nights will most definitely be welcomed by many. Although I personally am enjoying the snow at the moment, it does make for a beautiful photo on site! As we move into spring, there is the ongoing saga of the stamp duty holiday and the continued calls to extend the tax-free period. As the deadline looms, it has become an added stress to all those involved in a house purchase to get those completions over the line.

Spring is usually a busy time for us here at Gecko; we have historically found that this time of year is usually when people start house hunting, once everyone has settled after the Christmas break. Gecko have various developments launching this year, offering a home for everyone. We anticipate this being our busiest year to date and are very much looking forward to working alongside our development colleagues creating wonderful homes for our customer.

That’s all from me – I wish you all well, and happy house hunting!