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Survey reveals what house hunters want most from a property

By Joe Phelan

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When you are looking for a new place to live, what is the most important criteria? Is it the number of bedrooms? Is it proximity to a train station? Is it price?

According to the biennial Homebuyer Wishlist report released by Market Financial Solutions (MFS), a whopping 92% of those looking to buy a home consider access to a garden or outside space to be the most essential factor, with square footage (89%) coming in second.

Broadband connectivity (88%) is considered the third most vital element, followed by the quality and finish of a property’s interior (85%), closeness to public spaces and parks (84%), and how built-up the local area is (79%).

A priority shift

It would appear that following a year of lockdown, during which the majority of people spent extensive periods of time indoors, property purchasing priorities have been reassessed and revaluated. The value of being near a town or city, for example, has slipped down the list from 4th to 11th most important, while access to transport links fell from 7th to 14th.

With increasing numbers of people seeing remote working as a viable alternative to heading to an office, it makes sense that having more space and the ability to use a garden are now firmly at the top of people’s buying agendas, and are regarded as far more essential than they would have been pre-pandemic.

It is also worth noting that, as well as making a home more desirable to live in, having plenty of floor space and being able to access a garden adds value to a property, so houses and flats with these features are regarded as strong investment opportunities.

The impact of coronavirus

The report also uncovered a number of noteworthy statistics. For example, more than two in five people (42%) said that the coronavirus lockdowns inspired them to undertake at least one home improvement project, one in three (34%) said that the pandemic altered their perspective with regard to what is important when it comes to buying a house, while almost half (46%) said the pandemic has made them keen to move to a more spacious property.

We recently wrote a blog highlighting that Merton is the best borough for those who value flexible working, so if that sounds like you, why not see what is currently on offer?

In what is perhaps the report’s least surprising outcome, the majority (64%) of those aged between 18 and 34 said that the current housing market is too competitive, while two in five of the individuals surveyed said that there is currently a shortage of the type of property they would like to buy.

If you are currently thinking of selling your property in the hopes of moving somewhere bigger, book in a property valuation to see how much your home is currently worth. Research has found that nearly half (45%) of homeowners undervalue their property by an average of £46,300, so your home could be worth far more than you expect.

To get a better idea of the properties that are currently available and match your criteria, get searching today on the Foxtons website.

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