We take a look at some of the key HomeViews headlines from H1 2020. Catch up on the insights and stories you might have missed from the year so far.
Our extensive 2020 National Build to Rent Report provides unique insights on the UK BTR industry. One example is that residents of BTR developments rate their buildings higher than tenants in BTS developments. The BTR rental experience was rated higher across all scores for Design, Value, Location, Facilities and Management.
As lockdown was imposed in the UK, HomeViews saw increased mentions of community in reviews. Words like ‘thoughtful’, ‘caring’ and ‘kind’ were being used frequently to describe building management. Mentions of safety and security also increased during our lockdown sample period, with 34% of reviewers mentioning this topic.
We highlighted the extra efforts made by a number of BTR operators during lockdown, with one reviewer describing how his landlord Fizzy Living had gone “above and beyond to ensure everyone was safe and well during the outbreak. We also listed 20 BTR operators shown in reviews to be offering outstanding service.
HomeViews received record traffic levels in May as property hunters turned to our verified resident reviews and other online tools to find their new homes. We improved the user experience on the site, with new features including brand videos, virtual tours and video viewings. We also caught up with Marsha, who explained how she had used HomeViews reviews to choose her new home.
HomeViews updated its list of the Top 10 Build to Sell developers in London, and Berkeley Homes landed the number one spot in our 2020 ratings. Part of the wider Berkeley Group, Berkeley Homes achieved remarkable ratings from residents, with 97% of over 350 Berkeley Homes owners saying they would recommend the company.
HomeViews talked with Pierre Melhado, Managing Director of BTR Europe for US property developer/manager CA Ventures. Pierre shared with us a wide range of new features we can expect to see for residential developments in the coming months and years. We also created an infographic to illustrate these new features, including copper door handles, refrigerated mail rooms and antibacterial UV lighting.
As temparatures rose across the UK, HomeViews data was included in Knight Frank’s timely Heating & Cooling Study 2020. As HomeViews CEO and co-founder Rory Cramer explained, “of our Top 10 BTR developments rated for design, eight of the buildings had reviewers expressing varying levels of frustration around the building being overheated during the summer.”
We took a look at the 10 highest-rated new residential buildings in Birmingham, with The Lansdowne by Way of Life taking the number one spot. The BTR development in Edgbaston Village gained a 4.68 overall rating, with reviewers praising the build quality, service levels and facilities on offer.
HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, landlords and the Government to recognise high performers and help to improve standards in the built environment.