housing futures

2015 – Key housing trends

Q2 2017

‘Housing Futures – Key trends shaping the residential market’, we expanded our survey by doubling the number of respondents and tested our established new tribes and housing solutions.


Vanessa Hale

Director, Research

+44 20 7318 4675

The survey identified further creeping trends, in other words the slow trends that make a noticeable impact and almost invisibly evolve markets over extended periods of time, such as:

  • Living alone: This is becoming more common. Of the 43% of respondents who stated they were currently single and planning to move in the next five years, 75% anticipated staying in a single-person household.
  • Impact of technology: Future housing types and location decisions are being altered by access to technology. Nearly 36% of the respondents who were intending to move listed broadband connectivity as an important or very important motivation, and nearly 20% listed mobile coverage.
  • Retaining housing equity: While one might expect to see a high percentage of baby boomers selling property to raise capital for pensions and their children’s housing needs, we found only 9% of those aged 40-59, and 0.4% of those aged 60 or older, rated financial support for children/relatives as important or very important when they were asked about motivations for moving, and 8% and 16% respectively for pension support/top-up.

For the second year in a row, motivations for moving showed that lifestyle change was the top of the list, quickly followed by access to shops and amenities and as highlighted above, the new category ‘broadband connectivity’, shot into third place. But in light of pension challenges and parents seeking to help their children onto the housing ladder, we were surprised to see that so few respondents ranked release of equity, pension top up and financial support for relatives as their reasons for moving home.

So what are people are looking for in their new home?

The Top 10 property wish list:

  1. South East location
  2. Rural setting
  3. Less than a mile from the shops
  4. Detached farmhouse or cottage with three bedrooms or more
  5. Traditional British interiors & cosy ambience
  6. AGA oven
  7. Broadband connectivity
  8. A walled garden
  9. An outstanding view of the countryside
  10. Good insulation for energy saving

The survey results paint an interesting picture – the quintessential British farmhouse surrounded by quiet countryside clearly remains as an enduring ideal for many. Over the past decade, there has been a focus on urban resurgence, so we were interested to discover that while our respondents want to live near other people, they didn’t want them on their doorstep.

The impact of all of these trends inevitably means that in the future the homes we plan, design, build and live in must be different.