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The Things that Matter Most to Homebuyers

Rents grow

A new study among 1,282 UK homebuyers has assessed the factors that matter most to people when searching for a property, comparing the results to the same survey in 2019. It found:

Outdoor space, broadband connectivity and proximity to parks have all become more important factors for homebuyers in the UK today, a new report from Market Financial Solutions (MFS) has found.

The bridging lender commissioned an independent survey 1,282 UK homeowners and homebuyers, asking them which factors they saw as important when buying a residential property. The findings were compared to an identical survey MFS carried out in 2019 and have been published in a new report: The Homebuyer Wishlist 2021.

The garden or outdoor space was cited by 92 per cent of homebuyers as an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ consideration. It replaced a property’s square footage (89 per cent) as the single most important factor when compared with 2019.

Broadband connectivity is now the third most important consideration. In May 2021, 88 per cent said this was a crucial factor, compared with 82 per cent in 2019.

The quality and finish of the interior (85 per cent) was fourth on the list, with proximity to public spaces and parks rising six places to number five – 84 per cent of homebuyers consider this to be important, whereas only 79 per cent said the same two years ago.

Conversely, transport links were only cited as important by 67 per cent of buyers in May 2021 – a 13 per cent fall from 2019. Proximity to the nearest town or city has also declined in importance, with 74 per cent selecting this option compared with 87 per cent previously.

Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, said: “It is no secret that the pandemic has altered people’s perspective on what they want and need from their homes. Remote working and social distancing mean the majority of Britons now spend much more time in their own homes, while access to outdoor space for both exercise and socialising has become far more important.

“Our new report highlights just how quickly the market has evolved. There are notably different demands among homebuyers, with a property’s garden and broadband connectivity becoming ever-more important factors. Meanwhile, transport links and being near to a town or city has understandably become less crucial for some homebuyers, given people are commuting less and so many hospitality, leisure and retail venues in urban areas have been closed.

“It will be intriguing to monitor these trends if lockdown rules are fully lifted on 21 June. It is likely that the appeal of being near to city centres will return, as will the value of good transport links for work and social purposes. Yet, for now, it is clear that demand has changed, which is leading to fierce competition for properties that tick these all-important boxes.”