Proximity To Green Spaces A ‘Must-Have’ For 52% Of Buyers

52% Of Buyers Think Proximity To Green Spaces A 'Must-Have'
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11 July 2023 – New data gives an insight into what buyers are looking for in a new area or house. With public green space in close proximity as one of the top ‘must-haves’.

The housing market has so far shown itself robust in the face of high inflation and rising mortgage costs. There were signs in recent months that the market has started to slow down, however.

With average mortgage rates for fixed deals having exceeded 6%, a further slowdown is inevitable and the recent drop in house prices is indicative of this.

So many sellers will be interested to hear that an agency has revealed the ‘must-haves’ buyers are looking for in a new area or home.

Easy Access To Public Green Space Tops List For New Area

Estate agents Jackson Stops have conducted a survey of 500 active buyers to establish what it is they are looking for in a new area and home.

It is not a surprise that 52% of survey respondents want to be within a 20-minute walk of a public green space or park in their new location. The pandemic has shown people how important it is to have such green spaces close to home.

Homebuyers also want to be within commuting distance of their work, with 48% putting this requirement on their list of ‘must-haves’. Even though hybrid and remote working has become more widespread, most people still have to go into the office on a regular basis.

So it comes as no surprise that this is so high up the list of homebuyers. Convenience plays a big role, not just at the top of the list. 48% of buyers also want good connections, such as fast train lines or motorway access from their new area.

The theme of convenience continues, with 43% wanting to live in a location that has plenty of amenities within walking distance, including shops and restaurants.

Being close to the countryside is important for 40% of the respondents. 30% want to live close to the coast instead.

26% of homebuyers have put being in a lower council tax band as a ‘must-have’, which is a bit of a surprise. However, it shows that financial pressures are baring down on people and impacting on priorities when it comes to choosing a new area to live in.

Being in the catchment area of an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rates school is important for 17% of prospective homebuyers.

Large Garden A ‘Must-Have’ In New Home

In terms of what a buyer wants from the property, a large garden is a must for 30%. This is another left-over from the pandemic, where a good amount of outside space was helpful during lockdowns.

Equally important is a home office or space to work from home, with 30% naming this as a top priority. With many workers now being able to work from home at least some days of the week, this has become very important.

With energy prices having been so high in the past year, it is no surprise that buyers are looking for properties that already have energy saving measures in place. 30% of survey respondents have said this is a ‘must-have’ for them.

It is likely that this requirement will become more important in future, given the cost involved in installing such measures.

Another feature 30% of buyers see as a must is a downstairs toilet. A master en-suite bathroom is very important for 28% of homebuyers. Like with the area, people are clearly looking for convenience.

They say an Englishman’s home is his castle, and the data points to the growing trend towards ready-made convenient living all within touching distance of the home, whether that be the benefit of a downstairs toilet or a shorter commute to work.

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson Stops

26% of buyers also want a utility room and are looking for a detached home. An open-plan living and kitchen area is essential for 22%. A walk-in wardrobe is a must for 16%.

13% of homebuyers want a home that has the potential to be extended to accommodate a growing family. This shows that buyers intend to stay in their new home for the long term.

Buyers are also less willing to carry out renovation or decoration works, with 11% saying for them, it’s essential that the interiors are pristine. 11% also see a swimming pool as a must.

An electric charging point is vital for 9% of homebuyers. However, given that the number of electric cars will increase in future, this requirement is likely to get more important.

Many of the features ranking in the top ten of ‘must-haves’ for a new area or home aren’t a surprise. There is a clear trend towards convenience. Buyers are looking for a future-proof home, where they don’t have to invest the money or effort themselves.


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