Despite our media-saturated world of Grand Designs, people still aspire to a modest house. People want to live in a robust, quiet home that’s cheap to run, provides sanctuary and is a place to raise their family. Expectations may not be high, but are they even achievable?”
According to new research carried out by Modern Masonry, it is performance issues, such as energy efficiency and sound insulation, that are the top priority for more than 90% of buyers and tenants when they look for a new home.
Performance League Table
Modern Masonry is the representative body for the UK masonry industry. They asked 2,000 adults to describe the most important attributes that make up the basis of the ideal home. Top of the list for homemakers was fire resistance (94%), energy efficiency (93%), sound insulation (92%) and robust construction (also 92%). Low insurance premiums (89%) and flood resilience (87%) followed just behind. These performance issues scored well ahead of issues such as burglaries, break-ins and bad neighbours (66%), and cost of purchase (46%).
Lack of Awareness
However, according to Andrew Minson, director of Modern Masonry, these findings show a distinct lack of awareness about how government policy is going to increase stock and simultaneously offer quality, value-for-money houses.
Low Volume of Housebuilding
The research also reflected the low volumes of housebuilding of recent years. Three-quarters of those polled live in houses, with two-thirds of these classifying themselves as homeowners, and nearly half of these live in a home over 40 years old. Less than 10% live in a house a decade old, and only a fifth live in a house under 20 years old.
Aspirations – (Planners take note!)
The majority of people polled aspire to live in a detached house (33%) in suburbia (64%), while only 10% want to live in an urban setting and just 3% in an apartment. This seems to echoe findings of research carried out 15 years or so ago for the HBF.
The study, entitled A Dream Home: An Exploration of Aspirations, was conducted “in response to a perceived disconnect between the construction industry and consumers, particularly within the housebuilding sector”, according to Modern Masonry.
In Andrew Minson’s view, these findings show a distinct lack of awareness about how government policy is going to increase stock and simultaneously offer quality, value-for-money houses. He asks,
“Is this a country trapped by pessimistic perceptions of the housing market, or are current aspirations the most realistic expectation from a nation of pragmatists? Modern Masonry’s report seeks to get to the heart of this issue.”