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Homebuyers still value traditional property features the most

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Research by the new home specialists, Stone Real Estate, has revealed that new-build homebuyers still value traditional property features the most when it comes to their homebuying hitlist.

Stone Real Estate surveyed new-build homebuyers across the UK to see what they rated as the most important factors when checking out a development for potential purchase.  

New-build developments offer above and beyond additional benefits compared to existing housing stock, such as a concierge, aftercare team and onsite amenities, but despite this, the most in-demand feature was private or shared green space in which to relax – the most important for 30% of buyers.

A car parking space ranked as the second most important factor nationally (21%), followed by the availability of amenities within the development (13%), with a close transport link ranking fourth (12%).  

High-speed internet (7%) and a good school catchment (6%) were also important, while things like a gym in the development, top of the range appliances, shared social areas, a concierge, aftercare team and perhaps surprisingly, the developer paying the stamp duty, ranked as less important for new-build homebuyers.

However, in London, while green space was the second most important factor, the close proximity of a good transport link topped the table (31%), with parking ranking third (11%), amenities within the development the fourth most important feature (8%) and the property coming with new appliances (7%), a good school catchment (5%) and the developer covering stamp duty also ranking highly (5%).

Founder and CEO of Stone Real Estate, Michael Stone, commented:

“We’ve seen a great shift in the new-build sector whereby developers are placing more focus on the lifestyle and well-being of new-build buyers, providing spaces for them to work, relax, stay fit and socialise, with an emphasis on convenience. 

As a result, buyers are now searching for the right lifestyle fit for them and not just the right property and this level of innovation by developers in order to remain competitive and stand out from the crowd has resulted in homebuyers getting much, much more for their money.

However, while these additional features are great, this research demonstrates that first and foremost, buyers are looking for the core factors in a development such as good transport links, green space, nearby amenities and car parking availability. These traditional factors should act as the backbone of all new-build developments to which a developer can hang the bells and whistles of a concierge service, an aftercare team and so on.”

UK
Factor Percentage of respondents
Private or communal green space to relax in 30
Car parking facilities 21
Amenities within the development 13
Close to a good transport link 12
High-speed Wi-Fi 7
A good school catchment 6
Top of the range appliances 5
Stamp duty paid for by the developer 3
A fitness outlet like a gym or swimming pool 1
Other shared social areas e.g. cinema room 1
Concierge 1
Aftercare team 0
   
London
Factor Percentage of respondents
Amenities within the development 8
Top of the range appliances 7
Stamp duty paid for by the developer 5
A good school catchment 5
Close to a good transport link 31
High-speed Wi-Fi 3
Private or communal green space to relax in 26
Car parking facilities 11
A fitness outlet like a gym or swimming pool 2
Other shared social areas e.g. cinema room 1
Concierge 1
Aftercare team 0

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Property

Soundproofing from noisy neighbour will increase your property’s rental appeal

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One of the most searched for topics across the Landlord Library is noise pollution and how to deal with it and with this in mind, leading lettings platform, Howsy, has revealed what noises cause the biggest impact and how to protect against them.

Neighbours playing loud music or socialising late at night is the number one most hated cause of noise pollution amongst UK tenants, closely followed by road traffic, noise from animals such as dogs, cats or foxes and neighbours arguing – according to a survey of 1,000 UK tenants.

What can you do about it?

You don’t have to suffer in silence and there are plenty of cost-effective tips that both you and your landlord can carry out to ensure maximum peace and quite within your home.  

Perhaps obviously, start structurally. Use filler to address any holes or cracks in your walls with a particular focus around things like window frames or other breaks in the wall such as sockets.

It may look nice, but wooden flooring can be one of the main issues when it comes to noise pollution, particularly if you rent out a flat with neighbours below. While a new floor might not be necessary, sorting out any creaky floorboards can make more of a difference than you might think when it comes to cutting out noise pollution.

Now check out your doors. All too often, cheap doors aren’t soundproof and can be replaced by something a bit more substantial where materials are concerned. Once you’ve fixed your new door in place, one handy tip is to bolster your soundproofing with weathering strips which will also make your home more energy-efficient.  

Now your doors are sorted, what about your windows? Not the most cost-effective method but replacing old or damaged windows with double or triple paned PVC can work wonders for noise pollution – even a good quality wooden frame will reduce noise dramatically.  

From fibreglass to insulation foam or ceiling panels and everything in between, insulating your home doesn’t just help keep you warm in the winter, it cuts out a lot of noise.

It’s within your best interests as a landlord to make sure your property is not only fit for purpose but is appealing as possible for tenants while also doing your bit for the planet and your pocket.

However, there are additional things you can recommend to your tenants that can also make a difference and these range from simple touches such as heavy-duty curtains to help down out the outsides world or a similarly robust rug to cover wood flooring and protect from the noises below. 

Rearranging the furniture is also a smart way of minimising noise pollution and putting larger items such as a big book case or cabinet against the sharing wall will help add another layer. Another smart trick is to always position your tv on or by a shared wall as this will at least drown out any noisy neighbours while it’s on. Even a large picture or mirror will play its part and so considering layout is a small but smart step to help reduce noise pollution.

Of course, if the noise issue is the tenant themselves, Howsy has some further advice on how to deal with the situation here.

Founder and CEO of Howsy, Calum Brannan, commented:

“When it comes to the tenant-landlord relationship, it’s often the small things that can go a long way and helping to soundproof your property, even with the smallest of touches, can really improve your tenant’s quality of life.

Of course, there is always work that can be done to improve a property, but you certainly don’t have to break the bank and there is a whole host of innovative tips that you can suggest and that will cost nothing to do.  

Not only will you have a happier tenant for doing so, but you’ll have increased your property’s rental appeal which will make it more attractive if or when does return to the market.”

What is the worst form of noise pollution that impacts you when living at home?
Answer Percentage
Neighbour’s playing music or socialising late at night 33
Road traffic 19
A dog barking or cat/fox fighting 19
Your Neighbour’s arguing 9
People passing by outside my window 8
Neighbour’s nocturnal activities 6
Air traffic 4
Trains passing by 2

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