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1 in 3 Homebuyers Choose a Short Commute Over Living Near Family

Wed 17 Jun 2015

There are lots of different factors to take into consideration when looking to move house, including the location of the property, proximity to family and friends, local schools, and transport links. But what’s the most important?

A new survey has found that 33% of people consider a property’s proximity to their place of work to be the main priority when looking to move house. Buyers would pay a premium of £6,297 in order to have a short commute.

The research, by Santander Mortgages, found that public transport links came second on the list of priorities, with 28% of those surveyed considering it to be a very important factor when looking to buy a new house.

The study surveyed over 2,000 people, 26% of which were thinking about buying a new home within five years. Closely following transport links on the list of priorities was the amount of space available, with buyers willing to pay a premium of £10,207 to ensure they have enough room in their new house.

Up next on the list of priorities was being within a school catchment area, followed closely by the proximity to green space. A garage or parking space was also important to buyers, as was the distance to local amenities.

The survey found that some of the less important factors for house hunters included being in an “up and coming” area, and living near friends. Only 4% stated a property’s eco features to be a priority, and a mere 5% were concerned about having nice neighbours.

Miguel Sard, managing director or mortgages at Santander UK, said:

“We are becoming a recreation nation as we look to minimise the amount of time we spend travelling to and from work, and maximise the time we can spend enjoying ourselves playing sports, enjoying green spaces and socialising in bars and restaurants.”

There appears to be an increasing trend of homebuyers sacrificing space for location, and this survey shows that more people are now willing to pay a premium to get the sought-after features of a home that means the most to them.

Property website Rightmove reported earlier this week that the average seller’s asking price across England and Wales was currently at an all-time high of £294,351. Recent studies have also shown a shortage of homes on the market, meaning buyers are more limited with their choices.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has said that the “acute shortage of supply” of properties currently for sale is pushing the average price of a house even higher, and it’s findings suggest property values could increase by up to 25% over the next five years.

Other priorities on the survey included a south-facing garden, a private outdoor area, good broadband signal, and space for pets. The feature that homebuyers would pay the highest premium for was good investment potential.

What would be your top priority when looking to buy a new house? Are the features of a house more important to you, or is it all about the location?

Hunters have over 100 offices nationwide including Hereford