A sprawling mansion with stables in Cheshire? Penthouse suite in London? Perhaps a barn conversion in the Lake District? A dream home is subjective and means different things to different people. However, Rightmove reckon they've cracked it with their latest research and can finally reveal the nation's dream home.
The new study, out today, reveals what Britain’s dream home looks like, with the practicalities and convenience of a utility room and a home office winning out over luxurious swimming pools and gyms, and Tesco being crowned nationally as the supermarket most people want to have close by.
The detached dream
One of the big impacts on the housing market during the pandemic has been the jump in the number of people buying a detached home. The nation’s dream home shows the desire to live in a small, friendly community but in a detached home so as not to have the neighbours too close. A cottage comes in second, fitting with the idyll of a cosy cottage by the sea.
Two living rooms are the most popular request for the number of living rooms, perhaps to have one for guests and one for everyday use. A garage and a garden are both a high priority, although these days a garage may be used for extra storage rather than actually parking the car inside.
When it comes to additional rooms, the humble utility room stands out as a must-have, much higher than any fanciful notions of walk-in wardrobes, gyms or swimming pools.
The rise of working from home comes through especially in the younger age groups, with those aged 18-34 saying a home office is their number one priority for an extra room. The conservatory doesn’t start to appear as a must-have until we reach the 65+ age group, who also crave a bungalow over a bigger home. The youngest age group of 18-24 would really like a dining room, likely to have more room to entertain friends. A third bathroom, maybe for growing families, emerges in the 25-44 age group.
Escape to the coast
It has been well documented over the past year that more people than usual have been considering a move to a coastal location, and to smaller towns and villages, although there are now signs that city living is returning. When exploring the life that could be, the vast majority say they would like to live in a village by the coast, and first-time buyers are the only group who would rather live in a town.
Tesco triumphs over Waitrose
The motto that ‘every little helps’ is certainly true for Tesco today, as the chain beats Waitrose by a mere one per cent, when people were asked which supermarket they would most want to have nearby. There are clear regional favourites, with the South favouring Waitrose and Sainsbury’s winning in Yorkshire & the Humber.
Looking at all property listings on Rightmove, Tesco is the supermarket that is mentioned most by estate agents in listings, followed by Waitrose. Waitrose does over-index though when you consider how many more stores Tesco has around Great Britain.
Just popping down the local…
The pub wins out as the most popular establishment people want nearby nationally, followed by a local corner shop, coffee shop and a local market. A local market wins as the number one priority in London. Bakeries and restaurants come next on the national list, and local greengrocers and butchers are a more popular choice than takeaway places, likely as people know they can rely on delivery drivers to bring it straight to their door.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert comments: “The study paints a fascinating picture of what a ‘dream home’ really means to people. Usually, you might think a dream home is a mansion with swimming pools and other luxuries, but the British sense of thinking practically comes through very clearly with garages, utility rooms and home offices the order of the day. Perhaps it’s the thought that if you have a dream home you want to make sure you’re going to make use of everything. Rather than choosing an outdoor swimming pool only to realise you can only use it a few weeks of the year, you think of a utility room that you know you’ll be using every day.
“Earlier this year detached homes hit over half a million pounds nationally for the first time, aided by increased demand for more space. This means that many people looking to move right now are likely to be looking for a smaller home, but some will have their mindset on how they could eventually achieve the four-bed detached home with a garden. Others will be thinking about what living the coastal life in a cottage could be like, and for some that will mean their daily search on Rightmove turns into picking up the keys to their new life a few months down the line.”