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Home movers increasingly reliant on ‘connection, community and convenience’

Home movers, including a growing number of renters, are increasingly reliant on connection, community and convenience when looking at where to live, fresh research shows.

According to Strutt & Parker’s latest report, ‘Housing Futures: New Horizons’, which looks at how policy and political events have transformed the property market over the past five years, broadband is now seen as ‘essential’ for 57% of home movers, up from 48% over the five-year period

The key findings from the research also found that providing financial support for relatives has become one of the key reasons to move home – up from 15% to 22%, renting has increased as a future tenure, from 10% to 13%, reflecting its growing popularity, big cities have become more popular as a preferred location to live, while those that anticipate living in a single person household has increased from 8% to 11%.

Since 2013, the survey with 2,000 respondents has been conducted annually to try to understand the aspirations of buyers and renters across the UK, as well as the challenges they face.

Vanessa Hale, director of research at Strutt & Parker, said: “Five years have passed since we first did the Housing Futures survey, so the time was ripe for us to look back over previous results to see whether some of our predictions have come true – such as the rise of single person households and the those living in rental accommodation.

“It was encouraging to discover that many of the creeping trends we identified half a decade ago had become a reality.

“Over the five-year period, our survey showed a small increase in those who anticipated living on their own, a tribe we call ‘The Onesies’. Likewise, we uncovered a jump in the number of people seeking rental accommodation.”

Five years of survey results also revealed that a desire for a more relaxed, accessible lifestyle lies behind the most popular reasons for moving home.

Along with privacy, mentioned by 66% of respondents, access to local shops and amenities, digital connectivity and public transport are among the top reasons for moving.

Access to public transport was mentioned by significantly more respondents – 48% compared to 37% in 2013.

Even in the digital age, more people wanted to be close to family and friends, up from 37% to 48%, while walking to work was also seen an increasingly attractive option, up from 25% to 36%.

This year’s survey also showed marked changes when it comes to the size and type of home respondents expected to move into in the future.

Hale continued: “Connectivity seems to be the key for British home movers in 2018. We want to be connected in all areas of our lives – digitally through our mobiles and laptops and physically to good transport links and local shops and leisure facilities. There is a growing requirement for connection, community and convenience.

“Since 2013, good broadband has jumped from 48% to 57% as a key motivation for moving. It is now seen as a necessity for many as it impacts on every area of our life – whether that be work or leisure – if we don’t have it at our fingertips. This move towards connection also goes some way to explain why our survey shows that big city life has become more appealing to people. By their very nature, cities tend to offer a greater level of accessibility than smaller towns or villages. City dwellers don’t have long commutes to work and can enjoy walking to a local cafe or the gym. In today’s hectic times, this is the lifestyle many people want.”

In terms of property type, detached houses have seen a drop in popularity over the past five years, down from 83% to 49%, while semi-detached homes have become the desired new housing option for an increasing number of respondents, up from 5% to 14%.  

Hale added: “Three bedrooms remain the most popular housing option with 35% choosing them, while there has been a decline in the aspiration to live in larger properties with four or more bedrooms, down from 37% to 27%. This could reflect the change in many household make-ups – a couple with no children remains the most likely future household make-up at 44%, although this option had declined by 14% in the past five years.”

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