Location, Location: What Do Home Buyers Really Want?

By David Ingram, Founder of

Everyone who has been through the process of buying a home will know that there are many factors to consider – the size of the property, how old it is and whether or not your garden is south-facing. But research by online mortgage directory has discovered what buyers really consider when it comes to purchasing a house, and the results speak volumes about our changing lifestyles.

The results are in

A survey asked more than 750 people the question: ‘When buying a property, which factor would influence your decision the most, secondary to price?’ Results found that:

  • 24 per cent selected proximity to work as their most important influencer when buying a house.
  • Being close to friends and family came in second with 19.8 per cent.
  • Being near a town or city came in third with 18.1 per cent.

Other factors considered included proximity to the countryside (13.9 per cent), availability of public transport (11.7 per cent) and availability to good schools (10.7 per cent).


David Ingram – Founder of

Delving deeper into the results, we start to see how buyers’ priorities can change throughout the generations. More than one-third of people in the 25 – 34-year-old age bracket placed work proximity as their most important reason for selecting a house, aside from price. This option remained the priority for all respondents up to the 45 – 54 age bracket, where the lead reason then became proximity to countryside.

A generation gap

This could suggest a massive change in our lifestyles across the generations, as our preferences and priorities adapt along with the world itself. As the results show that the top priority for the majority of people was to be closer to work, it could be that our work-life balance is starting to tip in favour of our careers. When people are younger and trying to climb the career ladder and without a family, being able to get to and from work, either through being closer to the workplace or by having easy access to public transport, is the most important factor.

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House and Piggy Bank

However, the change in answers as the age of the respondents increases shows that our quality of life starts to mean more to us as we grow older. Rather than worrying about getting to and from work in a timely manner, respondents at the higher end of the age spectrum preferred the company of their friends and family and being in close proximity to the countryside.

With such drastic differences in opinions depending on age, it’s likely that this will be reflected in mortgage applications, with younger people looking to buy close to train stations or in city centres, while applications from older home owners may be for houses in rural areas.

So while the town or neighbourhood itself may play an important part in influencing a buyer’s decision, this research shows that the specific location of a prospective home in terms of amenities is incredibly important. A short walk to the nearest train station or an open green space just down the road is no longer a bonus; it has become a deciding factor for buyers that could make or break an offer.

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