There was a time when good schools, a garden and transport links were enough to entice prospective home owners through the door, but now it seems estate agents are focusing on high spec home buzzwords to pique the interest of buyers.
New research shows that under floor heating, granite work surfaces in the kitchen and ceiling speakers are becoming the new must have.
The analysis of over five million properties for sale in the UK reveals that 257,000 homes are now described as having a high spec interior, according to insurance giant Aviva who carried out the research. The findings show that the most common high end feature listed by estate agents is under floor heating which is mentioned in 63% of the 257,000 high spec homes analysed, while 27% boast of quality finishes such as granite work surfaces and marble flooring. Other high spec features noted include ceiling speakers and luxury fitments such as walk in wardrobes and built in entertainment centres.
The kudos of premium brands is also important, with 2% of high spec homes listing either Smeg or Miele appliances as part of their marketed qualities. The analysis also showed that while ambience remains an important factor for selling properties, mentioned in nearly 2% of the five million analysed listings, estate agents are advocating the serene locations of flats and houses for sale, above the proximity to lively bars, cafes and restaurants. In 61% of homes described as having ‘ambient features’ the peaceful and tranquil location is highlighted, compared to only one in 10 that mention local or country pubs. And despite the buzzing café culture and rise of local independent coffee chains, only 300 ambient properties list café culture as a selling point, with 72% of those mentions located in Greater London.
Estate agents property listings across the UK also show that where schools are mentioned as a key feature, homes in the South East are most likely to use proximity to schools as a selling point, while in the North East schools are only referenced as a selling point for 2% of homes. Within the results for garden features some 12% of properties in Greater London list a garden as a main quality, despite limited space in the capital city. Some 28% offer a large garden and 7% offer a ‘beautiful or attractive garden’.
The most favoured was a south facing garden, featuring 55% of property descriptions in the city. Whilst transportation is one of the less popular features and mentioned in less than 1% of the analysed listings, some 72% of homes that reference transportation state that they are ideally located for an easy commute.
‘We all fall in love with properties for different reasons, and while the character and charm of a home is a matter of personal taste, it seems that assets such as smart flooring and on trend kitchen brands are as important to some buyers as transport links and schools,’ said Heather Smith, director of home insurance at Aviva.
‘And with the pace of life so fast for many of us, it’s not surprising that home buyers are looking for a little refuge from their busy working lives and would prefer tranquillity to buzzing bars and local pubs,’ she explained. ‘But whether you plump for marble flooring or laminate, walk in wardrobe or flat packed furniture make sure you can also afford to maintain the perfect home once you find it.
And if you’re lucky enough to get some swanky fixtures and fittings as part of the purchase, ensure you tell your home insurer so you can be certain you have the right cover to protect everything in your new home,’ she added