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Revealed: the top 10 search terms most used by homehunters in 2020

Our research reveals gardens and garages topped our "Top 10 most-searched terms" lists this year, as coronavirus impacted on what buyers and renters want from their homes.

Guest Author
Words by: Nicky Burridge

Contributing Editor

A garden is what buyers and renters want most in 2020, perhaps reflecting the impact of the Covid-19pandemic and its associated lockdowns.

Analysis of our advanced property search toolover the past 12 months showed that “garden” was the top feature both buyers and renters were looking for in their new home this year.

“Detached”, “rural” and “secluded” all also made it into the top 10 keywords prospective buyers entered into our search tool in 2020.

Meanwhile, renters were keen to find a property with a “balcony” (fourth on the list), and many were up for finding a rental in the countryside with “rural” featuring in ninth place.

Britons’ preoccupation with their cars was also reflected in our top 10 search terms, with “garage” and “parking” making it into the top three for both buyers and renters.

What are buyers looking for?

The most-searched-for terms give sellers an interesting insight into what potential buyers are really looking for.

“Garden” was the most-searched-for term among those looking to purchase a home, followed by “garage” and “parking”. 

“Detached”, “rural” and “secluded” occupied the next three slots, as people looked for properties that would help them to social distance, while balcony took eighth place, as homehunters prioritised having access to outdoor space.

The once unfashionable “bungalow” made it into the top 10 most-searched-for terms for the second year running, coming in seventh place.

An “annexe” was the ninth most-searched-for property feature, possibly reflecting a desire among homehunters to have elderly parents move in with them as a result of the pandemic.

“Freehold” completed the top 10. Our guide here will tell you all about the difference between freehold and leasehold homes.

Buyers’ top 10 most-searched terms 

What are renters looking for?

For renters, “garden” also took the top spot, while “balcony” was in fourth place and “rural” came ninth. 

“Parking” was the second-most-important thing renters looked for in a potential home, followed by a “garage”. “Pets” completed the top five, perhaps reflecting the recent surge in renters who want to find pet-friendly homes.

Having the right flooring was also a priority for renters, as was rent that included household bills and having an ensuite bathroom.

The top 10 also reflected the demand for rental properties among those at university, with “student” the tenth most-searched-for term. 

Renters’ top 10 most-searched terms  
7bills included 

Why is this happening?

The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a once in a lifetime reassessmentof what people want from their homes. 

Lockdowns and social distancing have caused people to put a high premium on having access to outdoor space. 

Also, with more of us working from home, living in cities or close to good transport links has become less important. As a result, many homehunters are looking towards more rural locations.

This reassessment, combined with the government’s stamp duty holiday, has triggered a mini-housing market boom, with the sales pipeline currently 50% bigger than it was this time last year.

How to search for your next home on Zoopla

Register with Zoopla to get instant email alerts for your preferred types of property - you can save as many searches as you want. 

We've got a range of handy tools (including advanced search) to help you find exactly what you want. And if you need any help decoding property jargon, don't forget to check out our jargon-buster.

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