Home Is Where the Artisan Bakery Is: Local Community Feel Is a Top Priority for 16m Brits

L&C Mortgages, the UK’s leading online mortgage broker, has conducted a report into what the British public considers to be important when looking to buy a home.

  • Almost a third (30%) would consider moving if local green land was developed into a housing estate
  • Popularity of Electric Vehicle Charging points rising
  • Case studies available upon request

Alongside good travel links (41%) and scenic areas for walks (38%), the research revealed that a local community feel takes precedence when people are looking to buy, with 16 million Brits stating this was important to them.

Community spirit

The importance of local amenities that support the community was highlighted in the research, with local parks, independent shops, independent restaurants, cafes and delis all playing a part when people were looking to buy.

When looking regionally, over two fifths (43%) of adults in Northern Ireland said they felt local community feel was important to them, the highest in the UK, shortly followed by those in the South West (40%) and Yorkshire (37%). Perhaps not surprisingly, given its size, London ranked local community feel lower than anywhere else in the UK (24%).

Property wish lists

As well as community and travel, a good Wi-Fi connection was another priority, with a quarter (25%) stating this would be on their wish list when looking at areas to buy property in.

The property wish list top five:

Priority wish list when looking to buy % of UK adults
Good travel links 41%
Nice scenic areas to go walking / close to pleasant local scenery 38%
Local community feel 31%
Well-known supermarket close by (e.g. Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda etc.) 29%
Good Wi-Fi connection 25%

*Source: Opinium Research

Interestingly, having access to the cab service Uber, or popular take away delivery services, was very low on the list of priorities with 1% of people stating this was important to them – implying that people care more about a community feel, than convenience food and on demand cab services.

David Hollingworth, mortgage expert from L&C, said: 

“The fact a local community feel was revealed as a priority may come as a surprise to some, especially to those living in big cities. It can feel as though, with the modern pace of life, a sense of community is a thing of the past – but our research shows that people value it highly in the place they are looking to call home; the need to feel a sense of connection and that they belong to the local community can’t be underestimated. Independent shops, restaurants and cafes, a local park and good pub all featured as desirable amenities which will no doubt contribute to people’s feeling of community in the local area and a sense of belonging.

“More surprising is the low priority given to more ‘modern’ conveniences, with more of a focus put on being able to get out and enjoy the area, than being able to order a take away delivery or a quick cab through popular apps.

“Looking forward it’s anticipated that the importance of electric vehicle charging points will increase, suggesting the expectation that electric vehicles will only grow in popularity.”

Not in my backyard!

A rise in crime (62%) and a rise in noise pollution or noisy neighbours (52%) were the top-rated factors that would cause people to consider moving to a new house because it might devalue their property.

The top five triggers:

Would make people consider moving house because it might devalue their property % of UK adults
Rise in crime 62%
Rise in noise pollution or noisy neighbours 52%
Refuse dump opening nearby 48%
Increase in fly tipping nearby 44%
Local green land being developed into a housing estate 30%

*Source: Opinium Research

Looking ahead to five years’ time

When asked to consider priorities if they were looking to buy a home in five years’ time, a sense of local community is still one of the most important factors, with over a quarter (27%) saying they would consider it when looking to buy a home. Travel (37%), good Wi-Fi connection (29%) and scenic areas (27%) will also be a priority in five years. Interestingly, with the expected rise of electric cars, nearby Electric Vehicle Charging points rose up the list of priorities, increasing from 4% of respondents seeing this as a priority now, to 20% if considering a purchase in five years’ time.


Kindly shared by L&C Mortgages