Central heating and double glazing top UK homebuyers’ list of ‘must-have’ property features
- House-hunters opt for a good, reliable broadband signal over highly-rated schools; off-road parking over a garage and a living room big enough for a large flat screen telly over period features;
- Only 15% rated access to good local schools an essential factor in buying a new home;
- Buyers look for homes with a bath, separate shower, multiple loos and en-suite bathrooms.
Warmth and energy efficiency are key priorities for house-hunters – perhaps thanks to the British climate and energy prices. Central heating and double glazing top the list of the nation’s 20 property ‘must-haves’. A good energy efficiency rating and cavity wall insulation are also highly-rated features.
Homebuyers also rank a good, reliable broadband connection and mobile phone signal over highly-rated local schools and properties with period features – which both failed to make the top 20 in a survey* of ‘must-have’ property features commissioned by Gocompare.com Mortgages:
Top 20 property ‘must-have’ features
Secure doors and windows
Off road parking
A bath tub
Local shops and amenities
A good, reliable broadband connection strong enough to stream films and TV
A good energy efficiency rating
A land line telephone
A good TV signal
A separate shower cubicle
Cavity wall insulation
At least two toilets
A dining room
A reliable and clear mobile phone signal
A living room big enough for a large, flat screen TV
An en-suite bathroom
Warm, energy efficient homes over period features
Most homebuyers consider warmth and energy efficiency as property ‘must-haves’ with central heating (79%), double glazing (74%), cavity wall insulation (47%) and a good energy rating (50%) making it into the top 20. However, only 16% thought an open fireplace or wood burner were a home essential and just 7% favoured period features.
The physical community versus online
Local shops and amenities (55%) and friendly neighbours (54%) were highly valued by home-hunters, as was access to the internet. Access to a good, reliable broadband connection (53%) and mobile phone signal (44%) were considered important, as was a good TV signal (49%).
Only 15% of those surveyed said access to good local schools was an essential factor in buying a new home.
Despite often being the smallest rooms in the house, bathrooms feature highly on the list of home essentials. According to the survey, house-hunters are attracted to homes with a bath tub (57%), a separate shower cubicle (47%), at least two toilets (45%), or an en-suite bathroom (34%).
Commenting on the research, Gocompare.com’s mortgages spokesperson, Matt Sanders, said: “From our research it’s clear that today’s potential homebuyers are putting practical concerns ahead of aesthetics. They are looking for warm, cosy properties, which are energy efficient and well connected to modern amenities rather than ones that are full of character. For many buyers, the on-going costs of running a home – paying the mortgage, utility bills and council tax – are a real concern. It’s perhaps unsurprising then that well-insulated homes and efficient central heating systems are key priorities.
“Bathrooms also received a lot of attention in the survey, with buyers looking for homes with multiple facilities. But plumbing problems can be costly to fix and poor water pressure can be a sign of potential problems, so when viewing potential properties buyers should test the plumbing by flushing toilets, running taps and checking under sinks and around toilets for any leaks.
“The survey also highlights the important role technology and in-home entertainment plays in our day-to-day lives, from streaming live TV and films to our reliance on mobile phones. For many people, access to both a strong internet connection and a reliable mobile phone service have become modern home essentials.”
Gocompare.com Mortgages has produced a guide on how to buy a house.
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Notes to editors:
*On 3 February 2016, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,004 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists. The margin of error – which measures sampling variability – is +/-2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of the United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. Top 20 excludes connection to mains gas, electricity, water and drainage.