Google searches for smart tech significantly increased, with more people searching for smart appliances for their homes. Searches for smart dishwashers saw the biggest growth, with a 62% rise since 2019, while searches for smart ovens have also shot up by 61%. Smart fridges (32%) and smart washing machines (22%) are increasingly sought after too.
However, some types of smart tech have seen a drop in searches. Smart home security has fallen by 19%, while smart speakers are now 30% less searched for than in 2019. Experts believe the pandemic has changed the way we live and this has had an impact on the tech we want at home. The significant increase in investment in tech in the kitchen, for example, is likely due to Brits opting to cook at home more – reducing how often they go to busy public spaces. While a decrease in searches for home security could be down to the fact many more people work from home, meaning their property is being left unoccupied much less than before, seeing smart security as less of a necessity.
Tech is now so important in our lives that a fifth of UK renters say they’d fork out up to 10% MORE in rent each month for smart features in their home. This was according to an industry poll carried out by Wise Living in 2021. It means, based on the average UK rent PCM (£1,060 in December 2021), renters are willing to pay up to £1,272 more a year if their property includes smart features.
Head of Customer Experience at Wise Living, Anne Malone, believes the amount of time people have spent at home during the last two years, has led to smart tech in the home becoming more than just a nice to have. She said:
“It’s clear from our research that the demand for smart tech in the home is increasing. It’s been talked about for some time, but I think the pandemic really accelerated people’s desire for more smart devices. We’ve all been using smartphones and tablets for over a decade. But now people are spending more time at home, whether due to restrictions or due to habits borne out of the pandemic, and are really seeing the benefit of what smart tech can bring to their homes.
“Part of this is because many people have a desire to be more environmentally conscious and reduce their energy use, especially in light of the rising energy price cap. So, they want to optimise their use of household appliances like dishwashers and ovens. The tail end of millennials and gen z, who are entering the rental market, is also so used to tech it’s a realistic expectation.
“I think we will see homes built for both renting and buying that incorporate more smart features in the coming years. The demand is clearly growing.”
While the results pulled out three key topics that people feel strongly about, the devil – as always – is in the detail. Download your free copy of Smart, Green & Flexible: Building the future home for rent here.