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‘Performance’ worries 90% of housebuyers

6 March 2018 | By Will Mann

Image: Matthew Kay/Dreamstime.com

Performance issues such as energy efficiency and sound insulation are the top priority for more than 90% of buyers and tenants when they look for a new home, according to new research.

The study by Modern Masonry, the representative body for the UK masonry industry, asked 2,000 adults to describe the most important attributes that make up the basis of the ideal home.

Top of the list for homemakers was fire resistance (94%), energy efficiency (93%), sound insulation (92%) and robust construction (also 92%). Low insurance premiums (89%) and flood resilience (87%) followed just behind.

These performance issues scored well ahead of issues such as burglaries, break-ins and bad neighbours (66%), and cost of purchase (46%).

“These findings show a distinct lack of awareness about how government policy is going to increase stock and simultaneously offer quality, value-for-money houses.”

Andrew Minson, director, Modern Masonry

The research also reflected the low volumes of housebuilding of recent years. Three-quarters of those polled live in houses, with two-thirds of these classifying themselves as homeowners, and nearly half of these live in a home over 40 years old. Less than 10% live in a house a decade old, and only a fifth live in a house under 20 years old.

The majority of people polled aspire to live in a detached house (33%) in suburbia (64%), while only 10% want to live in an urban setting and just 3% in an apartment.

The study, entitled A Dream Home: An Exploration of Aspirations, was conducted “in response to a perceived disconnect between the construction industry and consumers, particularly within the housebuilding sector”, according to Modern Masonry.

“These findings show a distinct lack of awareness about how government policy is going to increase stock and simultaneously offer quality, value-for-money houses,” says Andrew Minson, director of Modern Masonry.

“People, understandably, want to live in a robust, quiet home that’s cheap to run, providing sanctuary and a place to raise their family. It is striking that in a media-saturated world of Grand Designs, people still aspire to a modest house. Expectations may not be high, but are they even achievable?”

“Is this a country trapped by pessimistic perceptions of the housing market, or are current aspirations the most realistic expectation from a nation of pragmatists? Modern Masonry’s report seeks to get to the heart of this issue.”

Download the report here

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