Fri 19 Jan 2018 by Frances Traynor
What amenities matter to you when you're hunting for a new home? Good schools? Excellent transport links? Friendly and welcoming neighbours? Well, those traditional selling points now seem to be much further down buyers' priorities according to a new poll.
Instead people are more concerned about a property's resale value and whether there are good places to eat and shop close by.
Scottish-based estate agency Walker Wylie quizzed 4,000 people on what they want from a new home. Location is still the No.1 priority, but much further down that list of requirements were good neighbours, quality schools and hospitals, suggesting fewer people feel anchored to a particular area in the way older generations did.
Four out of five (80 percent) respondents had considering buying a new house or flat with 62 percent making a purchase. But only one in five potential buyers said becoming an integral part of their new local community was important to them, and only one in four placed any importance on having a good relationship with their neighbours. Around 65 percent of participants said they always spoke to their neighbours in person, with one in 10 having a relationship with the folks next door on social media.
Local shops remain important, despite the proliferation of online shopping, out-of-town malls and retail parks: 83 percent of those who took part in the poll said they shop locally once a week or more.
Two-thirds said they only use the local post office once a month, while almost half (42 percent) never visit the local library. More than a third (37 percent) have never used the nearest leisure centre, while 8 percent said their area didn't even have such a facility.
Barry Walker, co-director of Walker Wylie, said: "The survey reflects quite accurately what people tell us they're looking for in a property, and it appears to confirm what we see anecdotally, that buyers don't regard community as importantly as they perhaps did in the park.
"Because people are more mobile, few consider their next purchase will be a home for life, and they don't see themselves as being from a particular neighbourhood the way previous generations did.
"People's lives are more private and centred on their work and families, and they regard their home as an investment that they will see before moving. If they don't have a leisure centre or a post office or a particular shop locally, they will drive to one, and so proximity to good amenities is by no means a deal breaker when they're looking for a property.
"The one area that was perhaps surprising was that people still engage with their neighbours face to face rather than by social media. While a lot has changed, people still like to stop and pass the time of day in the street with someone they know."
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