House-hunters prefer pubs over gyms

AA survey details what movers look for in a new home

A report by the AA's Home Emergency Response Service shows that 41% of people want to live near a pub or restaurant, compared to just 21% who’d prefer sports facilities nearby.

And although many parents try to ensure their children can attend a good school, only 23% of respondents take catchment areas into account when moving.

Safe neighbourhood

Our research shows that buyers are likelier to be flexible in the type of property they choose rather than its location – after all, you can change your home but not its surroundings

Tom Stringer, Head of AA Home Emergency Response

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 98% of recipients cited 'a safe neighbourhood' as the first thing they look for in a new home, with off–road parking coming a close second. Energy efficiency and proximity to green space took third and fourth place respectively, highlighting the importance people now place on the environment.

Tom Stringer, head of the AA's Home Emergency Response service said: “A home is the biggest investment that most people make, so understandably they want to ensure they're making the right choice.

“People normally hope to stay in their property for at least a few years so it’s not surprising that they want to live somewhere they feel safe, in a location which has the conveniences they want.

“However, it's likely that other buyers will have thoroughly researched the area they want to live in too, so there could be serious competition. With many 'trapped' in their current property, people may actually be more flexible in order to get the home they've been waiting for.”

94% of Londoners surveyed favoured proximity to transport links, compared to an average of 70% across the rest of the country. Londoners were also most likely to want to live somewhere with restaurants, pubs and shops nearby.

What movers look for in a new home
Safe neighbourhood 98%
Off-road parking 91%
More energy efficient than current property 82%
Proximity to green space 79%
Proximity to shops 75%
Proximity to public transport links 74%
Proximity to friends/family members 64%
A south-facing garden 55%
A big garden 48%
More space 46%
Proximity to work 44%
Proximity to pubs/restaurants 41%
Eco features e.g. solar panels 34%
Catchment area of a good school 23%
Less space 22%
Proximity to sports facilities 21%

1st May 2013