What do you look for when searching for your dream home? Last year the answer may have been quite different, but living and working from home for the past 11 months has had an enormous impact on what buyers want from their ideal future house or apartment, with the trend set to continue into 2021.
Searches for properties with energy-efficient setups, home office space and access to fresh air are taking centre stage, highlighting the increasing importance of combined home and work life for homebuyers. Fast internet is also a massive consideration as technology and remote work plays a more significant role at home than ever before.
Energy Efficiency and Reduced Costs a Major Focus
This year, demand for energy-efficiency tops the list as the most sought-after property feature. As more people work from home for the long haul, buyers are searching for new builds, apartments and houses that can save them hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills.
The trend has been on the rise for a few years, with reports showing that younger homebuyers are willing to pay more for energy-efficient starter homes. Lockdown has accelerated the trend as more people look for long-term savings, placing it at the top of the list for more potential buyers than ever before.
Homebuyers Want More Space and Fresh Air
Lockdown has seen more people desperate to increase access to outdoor spaces and fresh air without travelling, and many are looking for long-term solutions for potential future lockdowns. Access to a roof terrace is the second most popular sought-after feature on our list this year, while searches have skyrocketed for homes with balconies, patios and garden space.
Searches for properties with extra space and home office space is another major trend. Several companies have already introduced permanent flexible working, enabling more people to revaluate where they live. Commuters typically factor in transport access when looking for a house, but this year searches for a property close to train stations nosedived as more people plan for long-term home working.
While searches for pet-friendly homes is consistently high, this year the trend has seen a considerable jump as more people got new puppies and kittens to keep them company while working from home.
Interestingly, searches for ‘friendly neighbours’ increase by 10% since last year. As more people spend time at home, getting along with neighbours has become increasingly important!
Must-Have House Features Ranked
To create their list, Share to Buy analysed Google search data across all of the most common property features and compared the demand to last year. Searches with the most significant growth make up our ranking.
Least-Searched House Features
The following searches have declined year-on-year
Near the train -34%
Central heating -32%
Parking space -31%
Double garage -17%
White goods included -13%
Nick Lieb, Head of Operations at Share to Buy says: “One of the biggest things to consider when buying a house is whether it has the features you need to make it your dream home, and we’ve seen a huge shift in what people need and want this year as we spend more time at home than ever before. Whether its city dwellers eyeing up a country home or those searching for affordable London apartments and Shared Ownership properties, it’s clear across the board that we’re all looking for ways to make our home lives more efficient and comfortable right now. There’s also a bigger appreciation for green spaces and fresh air as we look to maximise our living spaces.”