Report reveals the major changes in the UK housing market in last five years

Policies and political events have changed the property market in the UK over the last five years with a major new research report showing that increased demand for lettings has had an impact.

Renting has increased as a future tenure from 10% to 13% since 2013, reflecting its growing popularity, according to the Housing Futures report from Strutt & Parker which is published every five years.

It also found that big cities have become more popular as a preferred location to live, up from 9% to 15% while those that anticipate living in a single person households rose from 8% to 11%.

Broadband is now seen as essential for the majority of home movers, up from 48% to 57% and providing financial support for relatives has become one of the key reasons to move home, up from 15% to 22%

Five years of survey results showed that a desire for a more relaxed, accessible lifestyle lies behind the most popular reasons for moving home. Along with privacy, mentioned by 66% of respondents, access to local shops and amenities, digital connectivity and public transport are among the top reasons for moving.

Access to public transport was mentioned by significantly more respondents at 48% compared to 37% in 2013. Even in the digital age, more people wanted to be close to family and friends, up from 37% to 48%.

Walking to work was also seen an increasingly attractive option, up from 25% to 36%. This year’s survey also showed marked changes when it comes to the size and type of home respondents expected to move into in the future.

‘Connectivity seems to be the key for British home movers in 2018. We want to be connected in all areas of our lives, digitally through our mobiles and laptops and physically to good transport links and local shops and leisure facilities. There is a growing requirement for connection, community and convenience,’ said Vanessa Hale, director of research at Strutt & Parker.

‘Since 2013, good broadband has jumped from 48% to 57% as a key motivation for moving. It is now seen as a necessity for many as it impacts on every area of our life, whether that be work or leisure, if we don’t have it at our fingertips,’ she pointed out.

‘This move towards connection also goes some way to explain why our survey shows that big city life has become more appealing to people. By their very nature, cities tend to offer a greater level of accessibility than smaller towns or villages. City dwellers don’t have long commutes to work and can enjoy walking to a local cafe or the gym. In today’s hectic times, this is the lifestyle many people want,’ she added.

The research also shows that detached houses have seen a drop in popularity over the past five years, down from 83% to 49%, while semi-detached homes have become the desired new housing option for an increasing number of respondents, up from 5% to 14%.

Three bedrooms remain the most popular housing option with 35% choosing them, while there has been a decline in the aspiration to live in larger properties with four or more bedrooms, down from 37% to 27%. The report suggests that this could reflect the change in many household make-ups, a couple with no children remains the most likely future household make-up at 44%, although this option had declined by 14% in the past five years.