Living close to shops and restaurants has topped the list of priorities house hunters will be looking for in their future neighbourhood, according to research undertaken by leading housebuilder Miller Homes. David Morgan MRICS MRTPI, Land Director for Miller Homes, recently explored the results and how they differ between regions.

As part of Miller Homes' “Taken Care Of” campaign, we surveyed over 700 people to identify the key aspects buyers consider when moving into a new neighbourhood.

Is it all about house prices?

Over 60% of potential buyers rated good amenities and off-road parking as the main features they look for. The study also revealed that clean and attractive surroundings and access to transport are still high on a house hunter’s wish list, as are traditional requirements of living close to schools with a good reputation and being near to family and friends.
Unsurprisingly, access to transport tops the list for those looking to buy in London, whereas in many of the UK’s other top cities, access to off-road parking is one of the biggest requirements. Good amenities are the top priority for the regions with a greater focus on agriculture and rural communities, including the South West and East Midlands.   

Nationally, the top 10 factors buyers look for in a new neighbourhood are:

  1. Good amenities
  2. Off-road parking 
  3. Clean and attractive surroundings
  4. Low crime rate
  5. Access to transport links
  6. Proximity to work
  7. Good schools
  8. Close to friends and family
  9. Average house prices
  10. Rural aspect

Location is obviously key when buying a new property, but it's interesting to find out what additional factors are driving today’s buyers when they are considering moving into a new neighbourhood. As our lifestyles change, there is a greater need for easy access to local amenities and for accessible transport links as many people now live further from friends and family.
These results show the real value that we need to put on placemaking – building homes in the locations that people really want to live in for many years. However, this research shows that different regions can have different needs depending on their infrastructure and proximity to cities and rural locations. 

Some of our regional results include: 

  • 92% of house hunters in the South West put good amenities as the number one requirement.
  • London is the only area to state access to transport links as the top priority.
  • In Yorkshire, the South East, West Midlands and the North West, a place to park the car was a number one priority.
  • In the North East, 67% of people place prime importance on a clean and attractive area.

When we build new developments we often contribute to things like improvements in local transport links, schools, community centres and leisure facilities.

What this study shows us is that by working hard to establish neighbourhoods that are well looked after, set in attractive surroundings and within easy access of good local amenities, we can ensure we’re doing what we can to cater for the needs of the modern house hunter.

What aspects most matter to you? Please let us know by leaving your comments below.

Comments (1)

  1. The view from RICS

    It is fantastic to see that placemaking continues to play an important role in housebuilders’ project plans. This study by Miller Homes shows the regional variants and shows we cannot take a blanket approach to building future homes.

    Following our first professional guidance note on this subject last year it is vital that property and construction professionals look to create thriving, sustainable communities where people generally want to live, work and play.

    Tony Mulhall MRICS

    Tony Mulhall MRICS, RICS Associate Director Land Professional Group 14 July at 16:06PM

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