A key part of a successful property investment is choosing an ideal location, and new research has come up with a list of top priorities that people look for.
Whether you’re buying a home to live in, or choosing a property investment that needs to appeal to tenants, location has always been a key factor. This might come down to proximity to family, a particular school or transport links, and it is one of the few qualities of a property that cannot be changed.
New research from Jackston-Stops has found that the top ‘must-have’ for buyers at the moment when choosing a property is being situated within a 20-minute walk of public green space or park. This was a top priority for more than half (52%) of people surveyed.
While the study looked specifically at homeowners, those looking at it from a property investment point of view can certainly use the findings as a way of choosing a more desirable property. After all, the aim is for it to appeal to the maximum amount of tenants, or even future buyers.
Buyers seeking convenience
The 2020 pandemic and lockdowns changed the attitudes of many homeowners and tenants, with many prioritising both their internal and external space more than ever. For lots of workers, home-working or hybrid working has become a permanent fixture, and this can certainly influence location choice.
However, the number of people that have begun to more to more regularly commute to work is on the rise, according to the latest data. This is reflected in Jackson-Stops’ research which found that location choice is once again heavily influenced by those seeking a convenient commute.
In joint-second place, 48% of respondents said their must-have when it comes to location is living within commuting distance from work. The same percentage cited living close to good connections, with a fast train line or motorway access, was their top priority for investment location.
Rather than focusing on a rural setting, it seems a higher percentage of people still enjoy living in a busy area, which could again be something to factor in when considering a property investment location. More than two fifths (43%) of people want to live somewhere that’s “amenity-rich” with walkable shops and restaurants.
Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “They say an Englishman’s home is his castle, and the data points to the growing trend towards ready-made convenient living all within touching distance of the home, whether that be the benefit of a downstairs toilet or a shorter commute to work.
Property investment checklist
While the property’s physical location is hugely important to ensure a successful investment, there are more factors to take into account if a property is going to be let out. For example, an area with good employment prospects and high tenant demand is likely to reap higher rewards.
However, there are plenty of internal aspects that can make an investment property more appealing to tenants, which can also be factored in or added.
In its survey of homeowners, Jackson-Stops also narrowed down what people wanted to find within their ideal next property, and interestingly four particular qualities came in joint first place, each chosen by 30% of respondents.
These were having a downstairs toilet, a large garden, energy-saving measures already in place, and a home-working space or home office. Again, the convenience of a downstairs loo alongside being able to enjoy the green space of a large garden were high on the wish list.
Energy bills are a huge topic across the housing industry at the moment, and are of course having a huge impact on both home buyers and property investment choices. In the private rented sector, there are already minimum energy efficiency standards in place, and these are likely to be tightened in the future.
Nick Leeming commented: “Buyers looking for green energy measures already installed is a significant trend that is likely to grow in the coming years, removing the inconvenience of exploring these routes themselves and installation costs, noting the long-term benefits of lower energy bills.
“Less disposable income is playing its role in these results, and this is where we might see buyers start to negotiate on asking prices, prioritising a home purchase that is future-proofed from day one.”