Tradition not trends, say buyers

Wednesday 12th October 2016

Homebuyers prefer traditional values over fads when it comes to choosing a new home, research carried out by Virgin Money has shown. 
Instead of chasing after coffee chains, local high streets and premium supermarkets, homebuyers are much more interested in security, good neighbours and nearby green space.
Virgin Money's analysis, which spoke to 1,007 homeowners, sought to reveal the country's main buying preferences. Unsurprisingly, 83% put personal and household safety as their top priority, closely followed by  good neighbours (68%) and green spaces (62%). 
Factors that are often cited as key reasons for buying a home – for example, the presence of good local schools and nurseries – were found to be far less important, with only 36% and 21% of homebuyers earmarking these as top priorities. 
Virgin's research also found a divide when it comes to premium supermarkets. While 47% would prefer a premium supermarket to be opened in their area – in turn benefiting from the so-called Waitrose effect – 53% said they would prefer a discount supermarket, such as Lidl or Aldi, to be opened instead. 
Branded coffee houses have even less influence over potential buyers, going against the received wisdom of the Starbucks and Costa effect. In fact, Virgin's findings revealed that just 10% of buyers put proximity to a well-known coffee chain as a top reason to buy a property. 
It's a similar story for independent shops, with only 22% of those surveyed pointing to a local shop filled with local stores as a key motivator when it comes to buying a home. 
“We set out to understand what the homeowners of today really value when buying a home,” Peter Rogerson, Director of Mortgages at Virgin Money, said. “What we found is that people look beyond the fads we hear so much about, and are actually motivated by contented, convenient and comfortable living – the green spaces around them and a strong neighbourhood.”
When it comes to features that are important within the homes themselves, gardens were by far the most in-demand, with 92% of the vote. The top five most important features were completed by off-street parking (90%), dining kitchens (79%), high-speed internet (62%) and a garden shed (41%). 

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