New Redrow research reveals the property features most coveted by home buyers

Leading UK housebuilder Redrow, with developments across the North West and North Wales, has launched its ‘It can only be Redrow’ campaign which highlights the importance the business places on functional yet beautiful design. It aims to showcase the consideration and attention paid to creating beautiful streetscapes, contemporary, open-plan kitchens, boutique bathrooms and other spaces that are designed to connect with and respond to residents’ lifestyles.

Redrow’s developments across Cheshire, Greater Manchester and North Wales include Woodford Garden Village in Bramhall; Kingsbourne in Nantwich; Regent’s Grange & Earl’s Park in Chester; Ledsham Garden Village in Little Sutton; Millstone View in Penyffordd.

To support the launch of its new campaign, Redrow undertook a survey of more than 2,000 British adults to reveal their most desired property features. Redrow is constantly looking to update the design of its homes to reflect what its customers want and has undertaken this survey to better understand the attitudes and preferences of would-be buyers, recent first-time buyers, trading-uppers and downsizers.

The survey uncovers exactly what buyers covet most when visiting the homes of friends and relatives, and what their biggest turn-offs are, revealing that top of any buyer’s wish-list is a home with its own swimming pool or hot tub (26%). 24% of respondents meanwhile are envious of a friend’s or relative’s garden or outside space. When it comes to respondents’ biggest turn-offs however, both homeowners and would-be buyers take a more practical stance, with more than half stating that a lack of parking would put them off buying a property. In London, where public transport is more accessible, 74% would be prepared to compromise on parking.

A lack of natural light was also a gripe of just under 50% of those looking to purchase a home, and would also put more than a third of people off their friend’s property. A cluttered home or one with poor heating and ventilation is also considered by more than three in ten people as big turn-offs when visiting someone else’s home. Redrow’s homes are light and airy, with plenty of space for possessions and storage and areas that are designed to encourage interaction and forming connections. They are also generously proportioned, with an average Redrow home measuring 121 metres squared, compared to the national average of 67.8 metres squared..

Dave Bexon, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Redrow, comments:

“For us, attention to detail and considered design are all important and it’s these aspects which ensure our homes stand the test of time and create real value for their inhabitants. Understanding our customers and their needs and desires is key to ensuring their love of our product continues, so undertaking this research was very important to us. Despite the question mark of Brexit, right now is a good time to buy a high quality new home, with interest rates comparatively low and Help to Buy available, meaning buyers need only put down a 5% deposit.

“Our survey findings show that a lack of natural light can be a significant contributing factor to a person’s decision to buy a home, with just under half of all respondents turned off by this. In each of our homes we seek to maximise light where possible with large windows and glazing where possible. For example, the homes in our Heritage Collection, which were inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, benefit from large bay windows that flood the living spaces with light and light, airy and modern interiors.

“It’s no surprise that appropriate and sensitive parking provision is a key requirement for many respondents. Our sales teams on the ground report that many of our buyers question this aspect when viewing with us and it’s the key reason many particularly favour our Heritage collection which includes dedicated parking, either on-drive or with a purpose-built garage.

“Our findings confirm how important layout is to buyers. A property with an awkward layout could put almost half of potential buyers off a home, which is why the use of technology in the marketing process is so important. Improvements to technology over the last few years has allowed our customers to visualise layouts and floorplans and consider how their furniture might fit within a property. We have found that the open plan kitchen, dining and family areas in particular in our Heritage Collection homes prove very popular with buyers at all stages of the market.”

Would-be buyers

Redrow’s research shows that buyers looking to purchase their first property within the next year have their sights set on including luxury features in their new home, with more than two in ten desiring a built-in bar. Walk-in wardrobes, which are available with selected Lifestyle homes in the Heritage Collection, and a roof terrace were also key for this demographic, with 18% stating they would be envious if they visited a property with either feature. Buyers looking to purchase their first home in the next two to five years however would be most envious of a home with a swimming pool (43%), followed by a garden (38%) and a kitchen island (35%). A lack of light and parking and an awkward layout are the biggest turn-offs for would-be buyers.

First-time buyers

Much like the UK as a whole, a lack of parking is the biggest turn-off for first-time buyers who have recently bought their home. More than half said not having anywhere to park their car would put them off buying a new property, while only a quarter said they would be turned off a home if it had worn carpets or an unfashionable kitchen. Interestingly, smart technology such as virtual home assistants ranked as the feature first-time buyers least envied in another person’s house (11%), with a swimming pool (30%) and kitchen island (28%) coming out on top. First home owners and those aspiring to buy their first home can benefit from Help to Buy when purchasing a new home, meaning they need only put down a 5% deposit.

Trading uppers

For trading uppers who have already got their feet firmly on the property ladder, 26% are most envious of someone else’s garden or outside space and 23% would like bi-folding doors that open into the garden. In comparison to would-be buyers, only 7% are jealous of and want their own built-in bar, yet swimming pools remain a firm favourite with 23% of trading uppers.

A lack of parking continues to take the top spot (65%) when it comes to this demographic’s biggest turn-off. This is followed by an awkward layout and lack of natural light, which were considered by more than 55% as significant issues that would put them off purchasing a home.

When visiting a friend’s or relative’s home, most trading uppers would be put off by the property not being exposed to enough natural light. More than a third would be turned off by the home not having a shower and more than two in ten (24%) wouldn’t like the property if it had low ceiling heights.

Downsizers

The research shows that downsizers are the most particular when it comes to purchasing a home, with at least 42% turned off by dirty walls, single glazed windows, a chipped or damaged exterior, a lack of natural light, an awkward layout and a lack of parking. Almost seven in ten wouldn’t buy a home due its lack of parking facilities or if it had an awkward layout to contend with but a quarter of respondents still dream of having a home with a swimming pool. Just under 25% said they would be most jealous of a home with bi-folding doors leading to the garden, while 6% or less would be envious of a freestanding soaking tub, integrated speakers, smart technology, a built-in bar or a unique work of art.