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Never mind the mansions: Britain's 'ideal home' is a modest 3.5 bed with a small garden

25th March 2016

  • Modest Brits say their ideal home has 3.5 bedrooms, two bathrooms and a small lawned garden
  • 44 per cent want a modern style home compared to just eight per cent lusting for a Victorian period property
  • If money were no object, the majority of Brits (53 per cent) say their ideal home would still be in the UK
  • New research from leading property website Zoopla, has revealed that Britain’s ‘ideal home’ is more modest than one might think. Findings showed that the average Brit is looking for a south-facing, detached property with 3.5 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small lawned garden and parking space for two cars, which is within a mile from the nearest town or city centre.

    Detached properties top the dream list with more than half of people wanting that extra distance from their neighbours. Other must have features that top the list include a garage, en-suite bathroom, parking space for two cars, and plenty of storage space. And while our love affair with gardens continues, Brits are careful in choosing more manageable spaces, with a small lawned garden with a conservatory being the most sought after outdoor space.

    Shunning more traditional period properties, modern homes came out on top when it came to the style of property that Brits prefer, with almost half of those surveyed opting for a house with a 21st century feel.

    Practical Brits also want a central location – their ideal home would be within a 30-minute commute to work (34 per cent) and less than a mile to the nearest town or city centre (17 per cent). Local amenities should be within walking distance and include transport connections, local shops, parks, restaurants, and supermarkets.

    Even when asked what we would choose if money were no object, it seems we are easy to please when it comes to where we call home. Despite the cold winters and rainy summers more than half of those surveyed said that their ideal home would be here in the UK. While it is a tough contest between the town and country for the dream location, being Lord of the Manor proved the biggest draw with 15 per cent fantasising of a country estate, closely followed by a modern London townhouse and a big suburban family home (both at 13 per cent).

    Even the more adventurous among us would only choose to move as far as the other side of the English Channel, with a spacious house in the south of France (10 per cent) being the next most popular choice of home abroad.

    With the current market making it harder than ever for twenty somethings to take the first step onto the property ladder, it seems Brits in their 20s also have lower expectations from their ideal home than older age groups. This demographic would like a modern semi-detached house with two and a half bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small grass lawn and a location within a quarter of a mile to the nearest town or city centre and up to an hour’s commute from work. But those in their 40s want a south facing, modern, detached house, with 3.5 bedrooms, two bathrooms with an en-suite, a garage, and a large floral garden.

    Lawrence Hall of Zoopla commented: “Our taste in houses say a lot about us as a nation and it seems Brits are as modest as ever. Forget chocolate-box cottages, swimming pools and sweeping drives – our ideal homes are practical and best suited for our family lives. Clearly proximity to a well-connected train station or motorway is crucial as more of us are now looking to cut down our daily commute. When looking for a property, finding the right balance between a comfortable, spacious home and a convenient commute to work is evidently more of a priority for Brits than finding a mansion in France, or Malibu beach house”.

    Zoopla is sponsoring this year’s Ideal Home Show (18th March - 3rd April) and will be giving visitors the chance to win an Apple Watch every day, plus a £5k cash prize, in the Snap & Win competition.

    For those who can’t make the show, they can check out Zoopla’s advanced search function to help find their perfect property.

    Britain’s ideal home can be found live on Zoopla right now. This property in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, ticks all the boxes for our survey respondents: https://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/43129220

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    For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at pr@zoopla.co.uk or on 020 3872 5615.

    Notes to editors

    Zoopla is the UK's most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering users with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help consumers both find their next home and research the market by combining hundreds of thousands of property listings with market data, local information and community tools.

    At Zoopla we are fans of transparency and everything we do is aimed at making the market more efficient for both property consumers and advertisers alike. Zoopla has rapidly become the UK’s leading online destination for property consumers to search for homes and do their market research and the favoured online marketing partner for UK estate agents, letting agents and property developers.

    Launched in 2008, Zoopla has since been one of the fastest growing websites in the UK, now attracting over 40 million visits per month and we are proud to have collected numerous awards and accolades along the way, including being named one of the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and one of the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta).

    Zoopla is part of Zoopla Limited which was founded in 2007.

    Zoopla Limited, The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, SE1 2LH
    Registered in England and Wales with Company No. 09005884
    VAT Registration number: 191 2231 33
    Data Protection number: Z9972266

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