What people most want - and don't want, in their new home

Monday, 14th January 2019, 08:45 am
Updated Monday, 14th January 2019, 08:59 am

Natural light, appropriate parking and an appealing layout all feature highly among people selecting a new home, research has revealed.

Swimming pools,walk-in wardrobes, garden space and bi-folding doors leading to the garden all impress many who are seeking to move up the housing ladder, while worn carpets, a lack of available parking and a dated kitchen would turn many first-time buyers away.

Today's most wanted and most undesirable features to buyers, are revealed within a survey run by UK housebuilder Redrow, that has developments across Yorkshire.

The survey uncovers what buyers covet most when visiting others' homes, and their biggest turn-offs.

At the top of any buyer’s wish-list is a home with its own swimming pool or hot tub (26%), while 24% of respondents envy a friend’s or relative’s garden space.

On the negative side, both homeowners and would-be buyers say a lack of parking would put them off buying a property.

A lack of natural light was a gripe for just under 50% of those seeking a home. A cluttered home or one with poor heating and ventilation is also downgraded by more than three in ten people.

Dave Bexon, group sales and marketing director at Redrown, said: "For us, attention to detail and considered design are all important and it’s these aspects which ensure our homes stand the test of time and create real value for their inhabitants.

Understanding our customers and their needs and desires is key to ensuring their love of our product continues, so undertaking this research was very important to us. Despite the question mark of Brexit, right now is a good time to buy a high quality new home, with interest rates comparatively low and Help to Buy available, meaning buyers need only put down a 5% deposit.

“In each of our homes we seek to maximise light where possible with large windows and glazing where possible. For example, the homes in our Heritage Collection, which were inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, benefit from large bay windows that flood the living spaces with light and light, airy and modern interiors.

“It’s no surprise that appropriate parking provision is a key requirement for many respondents.

“Our findings confirm how important layout is to buyers. A property with an awkward layout could put almost half of potential buyers off a home.

"Improvements to technology over the last few years have allowed our customers to visualise layouts and floorplans and consider how their furniture might fit within a property. We have found that the open plan kitchen, dining and family areas in particular in our Heritage Collection homes prove very popular with buyers at all stages of the market.”

The research shows that buyers looking to purchase their first property within the next year have their sights set on luxury features, with more than two in ten desiring a built-in bar. Walk-in wardrobes, and a roof terrace were also key for this demographic, with 18% stating they would be envious if they visited a property with either feature.

Buyers looking to purchase their first home in the next two to five years however would be most envious of a home with a swimming pool (43%), followed by a garden (38%) and a kitchen island (35%).

Smart technology such as virtual home assistants ranked as the feature first-time buyers least envied in another person’s house (11%), with a swimming pool (30%) and kitchen island (28%) coming out on top.

For trading uppers, 26% are most envious of garden or outside space and 23% would like bi-folding doors that open into the garden. In comparison to would-be buyers, only 7% are jealous of and want their own built-in bar, yet swimming pools remain a firm favourite with 23% .

A lack of parking continues to take the top spot (65%) when it comes to this demographic’s biggest turn-off. This is followed by an awkward layout and lack of natural light, which were considered by more than 55% as significant issues that would put them off a home.

When visiting a friend’s or relative’s home, more than a third would be turned off by no available shower and more than two in ten (24%) are against low ceilings.

Downsizers are the most particular when it comes to purchasing a home, with at least 42% turned off by dirty walls, single glazed windows, a chipped or damaged exterior, a lack of natural light, an awkward layout and a lack of parking.

Almost seven in ten wouldn’t buy a home due its lack of parking facilities or if it had an awkward layout to contend with but a quarter still dream of a home with a swimming pool. Just under 25% said they would be most jealous of bi-folding doors leading to the garden, while 6% or less would be envious of a freestanding soaking tub, integrated speakers, smart technology, a built-in bar or a unique work of art.

The housebuilder's new ‘It can only be Redrow’ campaign highlights the importance of functional yet beautiful design. It aims to showcase the attention paid to attractive streetscapes, contemporary, open-plan kitchens, boutique bathrooms and other spaces designed to connect with residents’ lifestyles.