Off street parking is in the top three must-haves when buying a new home, new research shows

Off road parking was named as one of the most important must-haves when buying a new home, in a new

Off road parking was named as one of the most important must-haves when buying a new home, in a new report by Savills. Pic:

What do buyers want when buying a new house? Apparently minimum maintenance, off street parking and location are the top three items on a buyer's wishlist, according to new research from Savills.

Richard Aldous, estate agent at Savills. Picture: Denise Bradley, Archant.

Richard Aldous, estate agent at Savills. Picture: Denise Bradley, Archant.

What do buyers want? This is the million dollar question for housebuilders and developers alike, says Richard Aldous, head of residential development sales for Savills in Norwich. The top answer on any buying wishlist is usually location but a new collaborative report from the NHBC Foundation and Savills suggests priorities have changed.

The new research shows that property buyers are choosing new build homes because they meet a wide range of requirements and, while location remains a key influencer, buyers also placed high importance on features such as the design of living space, off-street parking, a new home warranty, low maintenance and energy efficiency.

The report, based on the views of more than 5,400 people who have bought new-build homes in the last four years, identifies seven core priorities which influence property choice.

These are, in order of importance: minimum maintenance, off-street parking, location, new home warranty, size and design of living space, quality of the neighbourhood and energy efficiency. It found that although the proximity of amenities, such as schools, NHS services and local transport hubs, were important considerations, they did not drive a house purchase decision as much as the appeal of key features of the home itself.

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The same top priorities were consistently selected by buyers in different geographical locations, but the order and choice of the priorities varied depending on the different purchaser types; first time buyers, upsizers, relocators and downsizers.

Almost six out of 10 (58 per cent) of first-time buyers considered the Help to Buy scheme very important and placed a greater emphasis on proximity to transport and shops. Upsizers rated off-street parking as their most important feature, followed by the size and design of living space. They were more likely to favour a property near a primary school and local NHS services.

Relocators also valued off-street parking, location and neighbourhood quality among their top priorities. This group of buyers is looking for proximity to NHS services and transport links, as are downsizers, who placed low maintenance, a new home warranty and energy efficiency as the most important factors behind their move.

The research also showed that priorities appear to be shifting, with energy efficiency moving up the priority list for home buyers and issues such as safety and security no longer registering so highly. The report concludes by suggesting that assistance onto the property ladder from Help to Buy had been 'crucially important' for first time buyers.

We know that buyers are becoming more discerning and make complex choices based on a number of factors when purchasing a new-build property. Understanding what to build and where is crucial for effective housing delivery from the development industry as well as increased rates of sale.

You can contact Richard Aldous at Savills Norwich 01603 229 222, email or see New Homes has sponsored this column.