We know that local amenities are important to people when they are looking for a new home. Most buyers will want to know that there are good transport links, schools, shops, restaurants and pubs in the local area.
Even in an increasingly digital world, with the rise of online shopping, online banking and takeaway apps, people still like those physical essentials to be within walking distance.
What, though, are the amenities that the average property buyer desires most? And how does this differ between certain demographics?
Property marketplace TheHouseShop.com recently carried out a survey to answer this very query.
As you might expect, close proximity to a supermarket scores highly for most Brits. The research revealed that 49% would need a supermarket situated within walking distance to consider a move to any given area.
House-hunters weren’t just after nearby supermarkets, though, with Post Offices and train or underground stations also proving highly desirable.
A nearby local pub was seen as more important to buyers than the high-street branch of a bank, local schools or places of worship. This, however, may have something to do with the various demographics that were surveyed.
Millennials, for example, would be less likely to prioritise a nearby bank because they tend to bank online, whereas over-55s have less need for local schools to be within walking distance.
Interestingly, though, the research found that local essentials are still very important to the majority of buyers. Just a quarter of those who responded said they would not need any local amenities within walking distance of a property to consider buying it.
In spite of the huge proliferation of online alternatives to high-street offerings, it seems local essentials still play a key part in many people’s lives.
According to the study, women are more likely to need a local Post Office and a nearby supermarket. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to require a local pub within walking distance.
The results also highlight the changing priorities of younger and older demographics – the millennials (18-34 years old) and baby boomers (55+).
Those aged 55 and above are by far the most likely to demand a physical bank and Post Office within 15 minutes’ walking distance of their new property.
By comparison, only 16% of 25-34 year olds say they would require a bank nearby.
Another stark difference between the generations is seen in relation to the demand for a train or underground station, with 38% of millennials requiring a nearby station, while just 20% of baby boomers said the same.
In essence, younger house hunters place far more emphasis on good transport links and local pubs, whereas older generations are generally far less demanding when it comes to local essentials, with one in four over-55s insisting they would not need anything in particular located within walking distance.
None of this is cut and dried, though. Each individual buyer has different wants and needs. So property sellers shouldn’t despair if they don’t live near a local pub or train station, or if the closest supermarket isn’t within walking distance.
Local amenities are very important, but they are not the be all and end all. In most cases, it will be the home itself that is the decider.
What’s more, there are very few homes that don’t have some proximity to local amenities, particularly in urban locations like North London, East London, Hertfordshire or Essex.
Sellers should always look to highlight the benefits of their local area. For example, if you have a supermarket nearby, make sure your estate agent point this out during viewings.
Local amenities, however, are just one part of a wider sales strategy. You shouldn’t worry if your home is not within walking distance of local essentials, but if they are this can be used as a key part of your sales pitch.
Some homes will have all the required amenities nearby, some will have none. Most will be somewhere in between.
If you would like further guidance on buying or selling a property in North London, East London, Hertfordshire or Essex, we would be delighted to help.
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