Size matters: What new home developers need to know 

27th January 2020

We as a county are lucky to have a number of fantastic new home developments in Sussex, so buyers do have plenty of choice. So how do the developments each compete with each other, to ensure the homes are sold within a reasonable time?  Location, of course, is paramount for most, but recent research has suggested 15 key factors that buyers consider when they make a purchase decision on their new home. The key message is: size matters. 

Why does space matter so much?  

The square footage of the property is the single most important consideration among homebuyers with 90% saying that it is “important” or “very important”. People clearly want the most they can get for their money with larger bedrooms and living spaces. Outdoor space is also important (89%), the property’s interior finish including quality of kitchen and bathroom fittings and whether carpets are included (88%), its distance to the nearest town (87%) and the availability of a garage or off-street parking (86%) complete the top five. In fact, in suburban areas, we find that having a driveway is extremely important to our buyers particularly those with young families.  

A desire for good education and good internet 

Proximity to good schools, so often cited as the biggest influence on house prices, surprisingly comes in at number 12, albeit still attracting a 77% importance ranking. Broadband and mobile connectivity rank more highly than schools at 82%, which speaks volumes about the importance of software and the internet of things in modern life and the sway towards flexible working and self-employment. 

The culture of the local community (67%), the potential to extend the property (71%) and the age of the property (74%) are the least important factors and this would particularly ring true in new build developments where the community will be newly established and there is less likely to be reason to want to extend, apart from perhaps to add a conservatory later on.  

Here is the list in full from the Market Financial Solutions survey: 

  1. Square footage of the property (90% said this was “important” or “very important” to them when they bought their most recent residential property)
    2. Garden and/or outdoor space (89%)
    3. The quality and finish of the property (88%) 
    4. Distance to nearest city or town (87%) 
    5. Garage or off-street parking (86%) 
    6. How built-up the local area is (83%) 
    7. Transport links (83%) 
    8. Broadband and mobile connectivity (82%) 
    9. Whether it was a detached, semi-detached or terraced property (81%) 
    10. Local shops, cafés, bars and restaurants (81%) 
    11. Proximity of public spaces and parks (79%) 
    12. Proximity to good schools (77%) 
    13. Age of the property (74%) 
    14. Potential for extensions and conversions (71%) 
    15. Culture of the community and proximity of cultural sites (67%) 

With an increasing trend for people to move less often, it seems the priority is now to look beyond the physical location and buy as much space as the budget will allow. Good digital connectivity and efficient transport links are extending the definition of what is deemed as a good location in the longer term because they offer more flexible work opportunities and a better work-life balance..  

All food for thought for property developers considering land purchases or private investors looking for “fix and flip” projects when deciding where maximum value might be found. If you’re looking for development land, our Commercial Team can help so do get in touch to register your details so that we can contact you as opportunities arise.  

You can download a copy of the survey here 


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