Insulation and shower cubicles on list of desirable home features
The importance of having cavity wall insulation has been emphasised by its inclusion in the list of the 20 most important things people look for when buying a home.
A study by Gocompare.com found that having cavity wall insulation was included alongside a new boiler, central heating, double glazing and a good energy efficiency rating. This shows that buyers are mindful of the impact high energy bills could have on their finances, which means having a home well-insulated is something anyone looking to sell a property should do.
In addition, having a shower cubicle was also on the list, which means having good waterproofing in this facility will also be important in making a house easy to sell.
Alongside the wish for a shower cubicle were a bath and at least two toilets, showing how important good bathroom amenities are.
Of course, these were just some of the elements that would-be buyers look for in a home. Others include having good broadband and a strong mobile signal, a dining room, a living room large enough to accommodate a flat screen TV, a garage, a driveway or dedicated parking space, a garden, secure doors and windows, lots of electrical sockets, proximity to shops and other local amenities and friendly neighbours.
Curiously, a number of aspects that might have been expected to make the top 20 'must haves' did not - such as an open-plan kitchen or proximity to good schools.
Some of these may be rather hard to secure, not least the neighbours. Broadband and mobile signal strength depend on the providers and there is only so much any householder can do with their space to reconfigure or expand, so homes without a driveway, garden, or space for a separate dining room may find creating space for these hard - or impossible - to accomplish.
For that reason, it is all the more important for householders to do what they can to make a home better, which means good waterproofing and insulation can go a long way.
Matt Sanders from Gocompare.com Home Insurance commented that the survey should help give sellers a "steer" as to what kind of things they should ensure their home has if they are to maximise their chances of clinching a sale at the right price.
He added: "We found that many potential buyers are prioritising efficiency, security and connectivity over aesthetic features. This suggests that modern buyers are buying with their heads rather than their hearts and that investing in things like a new boiler, additional electrical sockets or modernising your home’s insulation could be a smarter investment than traditional selling points such as period features or conservatories.
"If you're not looking to invest further in the property in order to sell, then it’s worth making small changes to the decor when it comes time to sell. Making your home seem warmer, fresher and more secure could have a positive effect on potential buyers."
The survey has emerged at a time when the housing market is in "neutral gear", according to senior economist at the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) Mohammad Jamei.
He was commenting after last month's figures showed that lending was up 19 per cent in March compared to February, but 19 per cent down on March 2016, when pending changes in stamp duty had led to many transactions being rushed through to beat the deadline.