Survey reveals top 20 features homebuyers look for when buying a house

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4th October 2019 10:38 - Housing

Survey reveals top 20 features homebuyers look for when buying a house: Forget period features and good local schools - when looking to buy a new home, the number one thing buyers are looking for, according to a new poll, is a central heating system, with more than three quarters (78%) selecting it as a ‘top feature’. This was followed by double glazing (76%) and secure windows and doors (71%). 

Now in its fifth year, the research by comparison website, GoCompare, asked homebuyers about the most desirable property features they consider when buying a new property, with a garden high on the list, ranking fourth (71%), followed by a good, reliable broadband signal (61%) and a strong reliable phone signal (58%). 

More than half of the 2,004 UK adults polled (54%) said local shops and amenities were a priority, along with a good energy efficiency rating (54%), plenty of electrical sockets (53%) and friendly neighbours (53%). 

For 51%, two toilets were a desired feature, as was off-road parking (51%). A bath, perhaps surprisingly, was only selected by 50% of respondents, meaning it was outside of the top ten, ranking in 13th position.

Comparing the results to those from previous years, it is apparent that technological features are becoming more important to homebuyers, with broadband and mobile connections and enough room for a large flat-screen TV moving up the chart more than any other 'must-have' feature. For the first time in the history of the survey, having access to a landline telephone did not make the top 20. Other features that have fallen in popularity include an open fireplace/woodburner dropping from 15% in 2014 to 11% today, as well as a shower, which five years ago was desired by 61% of homeowners, yet in the latest survey, was favoured by fewer than half (45%).

Features that did not make the top 20 but are increasing in popularity included bi-fold doors (up to 12% from 2% in 2014) and an open plan layout, which has increased six percentage points in five years from 9% to 15%. 

Interestingly, less than a fifth (17%) said that being close to the best performing schools was a ‘must-have’ feature, meaning it ranked outside the top twenty. Similarly, just 9% said that they wanted period features.  

The full list of desirable homebuyer features:

1. Central heating, 78%

2. Double glazing , 76%

3. Secure windows and doors, 71%

4. A garden, 71%

5. A good, reliable broadband signal, 61%

6. A strong mobile phone signal, 58%

7. Local shops and amenities, 54%

8. A good energy efficiency rating, 54%

9. Plenty of electrical sockets, 53%

10. Friendly neighbours, 53%

11. At least two toilets, 51%

12. Off-road parking, 51%

13. A bath, 50%

14. A shower, 45%

15. Cavity wall insulation, 45%

16. A new boiler or central heating system, 42%

17. A living room large enough to accommodate a large flat-screen TV, 41%

18. A garage, 41%

19. A dining room, 40%

20. Satellite TV/able to install satellite TV, 36%

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