By Michael Reading, Property and Construction expert from Housetastic
Below, property and construction expert, Michael Reading from Housetastic has analysed Google data and reveals the top 5 features in a property that first-time buyers are looking for.
Home office/spare bedroom
“Home office” saw a 154.17% uplift in the last three months.
Having a home office has been a dominating trend for properties in the last year. Despite working from home no longer being a mandatory rule in the UK, many companies are at least opting for flexible working between office and home, as they realise how convenient working from home is. “Many first time buyers are looking for more space, perhaps an extra bedroom which they can then convert into their own home office,” Reading explains. “First-time buyers are normally professionals making their way onto the property ladder, therefore, they have no choice but to incorporate their work with their home life.”
“Boost phone signal” saw a 9300% uplift in last month
A survey conducted in 2021 shows that over 30 million UK mobile phone users struggle with sufficient phone signal in their homes. “As so much of our lives revolve around our phones, having a decent signal is incredibly important for first-time buyers,” Reading explains.
However, Reading advises there are ways to increase phone signal strength and prevent missing calls and texts. “If you have a sufficient broadband connection, then indoor boosters are a good fix. They work by connecting to your mobile provider’s network via your broadband, however, they do require a strong broadband connection in the first place.”
“Boost broadband speed” saw a 9900% uplift in last month
Research shows that 41% of first-time buyers would prioritise a home that promises strong broadband speeds over a good school. “Not only is broadband incredibly important for those who work from home and need Wi-Fi to communicate with colleagues but many also need Wi-Fi to keep in touch with family and friends. Especially with travel restrictions still in place, speaking over the internet can be the only method of communication for some,” Reading notes. “Homes with poor broadband sell for just under £40,000 less than market value and almost 40% of buyers said they would not consider buying a home with slow broadband.”
“Home with garden” saw a 483.3% uplift in the last three months
During lockdown, many found that they had minimal access to outdoor space, so it is no wonder that an estimated 4-in-10 first-time buyers are making outside space a priority when buying property. “There are many benefits of having outdoor space in a property,” Reading explains. “Not only can having a garden increase the value of your property by up to 20% but having access to outdoor space is said to boost your immune system and even improve your mood.”
“Energy efficient homes” saw a 9900% uplift in last month
Many of us are becoming more mindful of our carbon footprint and environmental impact by making various lifestyle changes. “As 40% of UK carbon emissions come from households, our homes are undoubtedly one of the biggest contributors to climate change,” Reading explains. “With this in mind, many first time buyers are trying to reduce their environmental impact and are mindful when moving into their new homes.”
Homes are given an energy performance certificate (EPC) which evaluates the energy efficiency of a domestic property and is a legal requirement for anyone selling or renting out a property. “An EPC is especially important for buyers as it shows how much energy bills are likely to cost once you move in. This allows buyers to have a good understanding of potential outgoings and what improvements they could make in their new home.”