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What do home buyers want in a property? The answer is here.

Thursday 16 May 2019 Data Insight & AnalyticsDemographic DataProperty Development

John Platt's picture
By John Platt

For people looking to move, price will always be a primary consideration. But this is only one element of what is often a complex lifestyle decision.

Many factors influence moving decisions – from a property’s age and size to the quality of the neighbourhood and the amount of parking space available.

By knowing what movers are likely to prioritise, developers can predict what people will look for in a property before they start to search for a new home.

CACI’s recent house mover research has uncovered the most likely drivers and influencers for people choosing a property – including differences across age groups and demographics.

You can download the full Understanding House Movers infographic here, but here are some of our key findings:

Are amenities worth the investment?

The research into the appeal of amenities – like bike storage, concierge service and an onsite gym – underlines the importance of knowing your target market before you start to design your development.

For those in their late twenties and early thirties, particularly those who are affluent and urban-based, these facilities can make all the difference to a property’s appeal.

But outside of this age group, preferences change rapidly. In fact, movers nearing retirement age show almost no demand for these kinds of amenities – presumably due to the freedom to travel, and time on their hands.

Overall, a lack of amenities was the factor least likely to deter someone from moving at this life stage.
 

Potential or kerb appeal? Depends on your age

Our data shows that people in their mid-30s to mid-40s are the most interested in property development, and thus more likely to search for older properties in need of work.

those in their mid-30s to mid-40s are the most interested in property development

CACI How We Live

But for people past their mid-40s – with more disposable income and a greater focus on leisure time – the desire to refurbish gives way to kerb appeal. It’s therefore important for developers to pay particular attention to the extra touches when targeting an older age group.
 

Older households want outside space

Unsurprisingly, the data shows older people – with more free time on their hands – place more value on a garden than those in their 20s who will likely be at home less, have little free time, and any they do have will be spent out with friends.

Substantial outside space is also a strong preference for people who have a family or who are planning to start one. This includes off-street parking which remains a priority for people well into their 50s.
 

If price is king, property size is queen

However, if a home is too small, almost no combination of other factors will make up for it. The research confirms that, after price, a lack of indoor space is the problem that’s most likely to make a home-mover look elsewhere.

research confirms that, after price, a lack of indoor space is most likely to deter a buyer

CACI How We Live

But the data reveals two important exceptions to this rule. As my colleague Helen Brewster explored in her recent blog post on micro-living, property size is much less important for people at the start and the end of their home-moving journeys.

Therefore, smaller-format developments remain a viable proposition for those aged 18-24 in larger cities cities, and also for people of retirement age in rural areas.
 

Today’s data reveals tomorrow’s home movers

This information doesn’t only relate to current housing demand. It also predicts how, as individuals progress into new age and demographic groups, their needs and priorities will change.

That’s why the key to understanding future property and location demand lies in knowing who these individuals are today, and how they will transfer through life stages tomorrow and beyond.

the key to understanding future property and location demand lies in knowing how people transfer through lifestages

Using data to anticipate demand for residential property can give you a competitive edge, help to win investment and support, and mitigate risk. It’s an excellent source of evidence to back-up your own experience and instinct – helping you to make the best decisions about where and when to build.

A data scientist can give you the answer to your question. But it takes an experienced property professional to understand what that answer means, and what impact it should on your strategy and operations.

To discover more about what different demographic groups look for in a property, download the Understanding House Movers infographic.

And if you think our house mover data could inform your development strategy, get in touch with our team of experts today.

 

Price has always been a big factor. But what else makes people decide they want a property – or not? Our research shows it depends on their life stage…

What do home buyers want in a property? The answer is here.

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