House intentions

A garden is the most important factor for Brits when buying a new home.

Since the pandemic began, house prices have been falling and there is an increasing belief that the housing market is going to crash. According to the latest Nationwide report, prices fell by 1.4% in July and 1.7% in May, leading to a trend in falling prices nationwide. This could be good news for those first-time buyers looking to take out a mortgage as prices are lower compared to last year.

Through Finder research, we reached out to the general public to see what their ideal home is, focusing on what factor they look for the most when putting a mortgage down on their property. After looking at the results, there is a clear difference between the generations with the most important characteristic to generation Z being easy access to transport and all others wanting a bigger garden.

Quick overview

  • A third (33%) of the UK list outdoor space and its size as the most important factor when buying a house.
  • 8% of the UK say they will not buy a property or another one.
  • When it comes to those buying a home, over a third (34%) said that they will do so with a partner.

What do homebuyers look for?

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When comparing important features of buying a new home, it was found that quality and quantity of outdoor space took the top spot. Our research showed that 33% of the UK nominated this as the most desirable feature considered. A surprising find was that only 17% of those surveyed considered being close to their family/friends as the most essential factor to evaluate when buying a new home.

Choice Percentage
If it has outside space/size 33.20%
The size of the house 28.05%
It has space for parking 24.15%
The property having a nice surrounding area 21.70%
Good transport links 21.20%
Being closer to family/friends 17.05%
Being close to amenities - bars, shops 16.20%
That the area has a low crime rate 14.45%
The cost of running/maintaining the property 14.35%
How the house looks 11.90%

What’s the least important factor when buying a home?

When asked to rank their most to least important features of buying a new house, on average, “the success of the local housing market” was rated least important as only 2% of those surveyed considered this to be a top priority.

At the top of those, as shown in the figure below, was being close to good schools with 9% of people placing this as their least important factor. Therefore, those looking to buy place their gardens above the level of school education their child would receive!

Choice Percentage
Being close to good schools 9.30%
That the property is newly refurbished 8.15%
Being close to work 7.45%
That the property has an office 5.05%
If the property has eco-friendly modifications 4.85%
That the property needs renovating 4.25%
Being closer to childcare 3.50%
Cost of home insurance 2.40%
The success of the local housing market 1.60%

Who would you buy a house with?

Another perspective that was taken when carrying out the research was whether or not those looking for a house were going to do it alone or with someone else. At the top was those buying with a partner, with 34% choosing to go down this route. In contradiction to this, only 2% would purchase a home with a family member.

On the bottom of the list with a tiny fraction of the overall percentage, only 0.4% of people asked would buy a home under a government scheme. A final statistic to give here is that 22% are planning on buying a house on their own.

Choice Percentage
With a partner 33.75%
With a spouse 25.48%
On my own 21.83%
I don't know / N/A 12.14%
With a friend 3.70%
With a family member 1.96%
With someone else 0.76%
Under the shared ownership government scheme 0.38%

Gender differences

Females also keep up with the trend as 37% also chose an outdoor space as their most important factor when choosing to buy a house. In contrast, men tend to choose the size of the house as their desirable feature, with almost a third (30%) choosing that option.

Women's preferences Percent
If it has garden or outside space/the size of the garden or outdoor space 37.16%
It has space for parking 28.73%
The size of the house 26.57%
Men's preferences Percent
The size of the house 29.59%
If it has garden or outside space/the size of the garden or outdoor space 29.08%
Good transport links - trains, airport, roads, buses 21.94%

Generational differences

Generation Z (those born after 1996) is one of the two generations that is the most likely to buy a house with their partner, but is the only generation that will look out for access to transport. The other generations – millennials (born 1981–1996), generation X (born 1965–1980), boomers (born 1946–1964) and silent (born 1928–1945) – are more likely to keep their eyes out for the perfect garden.

For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806


  • Finder commissioned Onepoll on 7–11 August 2020 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
  • A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.

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