Study reveals desire for more unconventional properties

Over half of property owners in the UK would consider living permanently in an unconventional type of home such as a boat, tree house, converted barn or warehouse, a new study has found.

Many see it as a way of having a more creative and interesting home life and escaping the pressures of modern life, according to a survey from BLP Insurance, a specialist residential warranty and commercial latent defects insurer.

The desire to leave a conventional house or flat is most prevalent among 35 to 54 year olds at 61% with the over 55s being the least likely to give up their traditional bricks and mortar home at 42%.

The most popular alternative type of home is a converted building at 24%, followed by boats at 20%, eco-homes such as houses made of straw bales at 19%, treehouses at 9% and yurts at 4%.

The most popular reasons for choosing a non-traditional style of home was because it is more creative and interesting for 42%, while 33% said it is cheaper to run, 32% more environmentally friendly and 25% thought it allows people to escape the hectic nature of urban life.

‘The days when most home owners aspire to buy a semi-detached house in a quiet tree lined suburban street could soon be a thing of the past. It seems that people approaching their 40s and 50s are looking for a greater level of freedom and adventure and want to try a different type of home away from the suburbs,’ said Phil Harris, director at BLP Insurance.

‘Reflective of a shifting cultural mind-set, there is also a definite trend among younger people especially to factor in variables such as environmental impact when choosing a new home. It could now be time to invest in an unconventional property as demand increases and people chase the limited supply,’ he added.