The wish list

Britain’s dream home revealed: a detached four-bed by the sea

Rightmove study finds the must-haves for property buyers

What are Brits looking for when they search for their dream property? A home office and outdoor areas have been major trends during pandemic times, while other items on the wish list may include a fitness room or entertainment spaces.  

A Rightmove survey of 2,023 respondents has revealed what Britain’s dream home looks like: it would be a four-bedroom detached property in a coastal village, with two living rooms, two bathrooms, a garden, garage, utility room and an office. Tesco is the supermarket most people want to have nearby while the top four non-essential amenities wanted within walking distance are a pub, corner shop, coffee shop and local market.

“The study paints a fascinating picture of what a ‘dream home’ really means to people,” said Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert. “Usually you might think a dream home is a mansion with swimming pools and other luxuries, but the British sense of thinking practically comes through very clearly with garages, utility rooms and home offices the order of the day.”


Detached cottage


Detached dream 

One of the big impacts on the housing market during the pandemic has been the jump in the number of people buying a detached home. The nation’s dream home shows the desire to live in a small, friendly community but in a detached home so as not to have the neighbours too close. A cottage comes in second, fitting with the idyll of a cosy cottage by the sea.




Essential rooms and spaces

Two living rooms is the most popular request for the number of living rooms, perhaps to have one for guests and one for everyday use. A garage and a garden are both high priority, although these days a garage may be used for extra storage rather than actually parking the car inside. When it comes to additional rooms, the humble utility room stands out as a must-have, much higher than any fanciful notions of walk-in wardrobes, gyms or swimming pools. 

The rise of working from home comes through especially in the younger age groups, with those aged 18-34 saying a home office is their number one priority for an extra room. Rightmove said a conservatory doesn’t start to appear as a must-have until the 65+ age group, who also crave a bungalow over a bigger home. The youngest age group of 18-24 would really like a dining room, likely to have more room to entertain friends. A third bathroom, maybe for growing families, emerges in the 25-44 age group.

Additional rooms wanted
2Utility room 
3Home office
4Dining room
5Walk-in wardrobe
7Swimming pool
9Games room


Coastal property


Coastal escapes 

It has been well documented over the past year that more people than usual have been considering a move to a coastal location, and to smaller towns and villages, although there are now signs that city living is returning. When exploring the life that could be, the vast majority say they would like to live in a village by the coast, and first-time buyers are the only group who would rather live in a town.



Getty Images

Tesco over Waitrose 

When people were asked which supermarket they would most want to have nearby, “every little helps” for Tesco as the chain beat Waitrose by just 1% in the Rightmove study. There were clear regional favourites, with the South favouring Waitrose and Sainsbury’s winning in Yorkshire and the Humber. Rightmove said that Tesco is the supermarket that is mentioned most by estate agents in listings, followed by Waitrose. “Waitrose does over-index though when you consider how many more stores Tesco has around Great Britain.”

Supermarket most wanted nearby 
East MidlandsWaitrose
East of EnglandTesco
North EastTesco 
North WestTesco 
South EastWaitrose 
South WestWaitrose 
West MidlandsAldi 
Yorkshire and the HumberSainsbury’s 


Pint at the local pub

Getty Images

Popping down to the local pub 

Nationally, the pub wins out as the most popular establishment people want nearby, followed by a local corner shop, coffee shop and a local market. A local market wins as the number one priority in London. Bakeries and restaurants come next on the national list, and local greengrocers and butchers are a more popular choice than takeaway places, likely as people know they can rely on delivery drivers to bring it straight to their door.

Nearby amenities wanted 
2Corner shop
3Coffee shop
4Local market


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