Strutt & Parker’s Housing Futures survey reveals Top 10 property wish list 130415

Q2 2015

Strutt & Parker’s latest Housing Futures survey has revealed the nation’s top 10 property wish list.

Strutt & Parker’s latest Housing Futures survey has revealed the nation’s top 10 property wish list.

By collating answers from 2,000 respondents from across the UK, the results give a refreshing insight into the housing desires of the population with some surprise findings.

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

Stephanie McMahon, Head of Research at Strutt & Parker, comments: “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.

“Lifestyle change remained the dominant motivation for moving, 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.

“It seems that we really are a nation of optimists –it certainly was encouraging to discover that 79.4% of respondents believe they can achieve their dream home within the next five years.”

Focusing solely on those who intend to move within the next five years, the survey showed that the largest proportion of homebuyers wished to settle in the South East (26.1%), followed by the South West (15.6%) and the West Midlands (9.6%).

Rural areas, villages and market towns came out as the most desired living environments at 23.3%, 22.9% and 17.0% respectively. Walking distance to the shops (less than 1 mile) was crucial to 49.2% of people.

For the second year in a row, lifestyle change was the biggest motivation for moving (49.3%), followed by access to shops and amenities (39.3%). A new category for the survey this year was broadband connectivity, which has shot in as the third motivation at 35.8% and highlights the desire to be technologically connected.

According to those who plan to move within five years, the ideal home will be a detached house (65.7%), either a farmhouse or in a cottage style. It will be 1,500-2,499 sq ft and have a minimum of three bedrooms. The least desired home was a terraced house (6.0%). A flat, regardless of whether it was above a shop or a penthouse, was the second least desired option (9.0%).

The survey didn’t just focus on where respondents were planning to move to – it also looked at what homebuyers were looking for in a new home in terms of style, features and accessories.

For the respondents who intended to move, a remarkable one in five said they wanted an AGA oven in their new home (20.5%). This was closely followed by a kitchen island/breakfast bar (15.9%). Outside of the kitchen, a wet room/rain shower was coveted in third place (13.4%). Completing the top five were a cinema room (9.3%) and a wine cellar (8.7%). The most popular interior design style was ‘Traditional British’ followed by ‘Rustic’ and then ‘Modern’. The majority of homebuyers wanted their new home to feel ‘cosy’ in terms of ambience, whilst ‘calm’ and ‘bright’ also scored highly.

Outside, the majority of respondents wanted a small private garden – and when it came to the dream outside item for a new home, one in five respondents chose a walled garden (21.6%), with a near tie for second place between outdoor entertainment terrace (12.7%) and a swimming pool (12.3%). Tennis courts, vegetable patches and orchards were also high on wish lists. Insulation and glazing featured as the most important environment requirements.

The survey sample of 2,000 respondents is a combination of Strutt & Parker registered buyers, sellers, tenants and lettings applicants from the past three years, and a balanced general UK population sample conducted by OnePoll. The respondents came from across the UK with a balanced gender split.

To download the full report, ‘Housing Futures: Key trends shaping the residential market’, please click here.