British buyers’ home renovation preferences revealed

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, shares his views on our latest research, which investigated the views of over 1,100 British buyers on their home ownership preferences.

The UK wants to move, not improve

Despite Britain’s love for a renovation project, when it comes to making updates to a current property, 71% of homeowners would rather ‘list it’ than ‘love it’ and spend time and money making the necessary updates to ensure their home can accommodate a larger household.

Each age group we surveyed said they would prefer to move than improve, but most prominent was the younger generation of 18 to 34-year olds; 79% of which said they wouldn’t want the hassle of extending their home. At Jackson-Stops, we find it is often growing families, who simply don’t want to open up their home to builders and months of mess in exchange for a loft conversion or an extension, who decide to buy a bigger home that is more suited to their requirements.

But the UK does love a renovation project

Interestingly, the prospect of moving ​​​​​​​to a home which requires major renovation isn’t a complete turn off. In fact, many buyers enjoy the prospect of purchasing an older property and putting their own s​​​​​​​​​​​​​​tamp on it, even if it means they have to wait a few months or even years before they can enjoy their dream home or location. Our research found that more than ei​​​​​​​​​​​​​​g​​​​​​​ht in ten prospective British buyers would be prepared to purchase a home in need of moderate to significant renovation, with almost 50% of these respondents claiming they would be open to undertaking a major renovation project.

Despite many being prepared to undertake a ​​​​​​​project on an older property, only 27% said they would consider purchasing a plot of land and building their own home from scratch at some point in their lives. ​​​​​​​This figure is down by 17 percentage points when comparing responses to​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ this question from our 2017 sentiment survey. However, should the Conservative Party go​​​​​​​ on to commit to their manifesto pledge to help people who want to build their own ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​homes find plots of land, we expect this ​​​​​​​figure to increase marginally throughout 2020 and 2021.

Desired configurations and features​​​​​​​

When considering the configuration of their perfect home, 68% of British buyers would most like an open plan kitchen and di​​​​​​​nin​​​​​​​g​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​area, with a separate lounge, while a fifth (20%) prefer a fully open plan space that incorporates the kitchen, dining and lounge area. Only ​​​​​​​12% of our respon​​​​​​​​​​​​​​dents desire z​​​​​​​oned off living spaces in their home. This figure increases to 22% for 65-year olds and older.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Our survey also asked buyers to rank the top features of their dream home. Having access to high-speed broadband is th​​​​​​​e most important feature for 18 to 24-year olds, while having a dedicated car parking space is the most vital feature for 25-year olds and above. Both energy efficient fea​​​​​​​tures and ​​​​​​​period features such as original fireplaces also ranked highly across all age groups, highlighting a clear demand for new build properties designed in a period style.

If your home no longer meets your requirements or if you’re looking to embark on your own renovation project, please get in to​​​​​​​uch wi​​​​​​​th your local Jackson-Stops office.