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Schooling the major influence on house choice for parents (and children!)

Good schools have come out top in a survey of parents asked about their priorities when choosing a place to live.

Perhaps more surprisingly having school nearby scored highly with children too.

Redrow Homes surveyed 509 parents and the same number of children aged 4-16 to find out their preferences when it comes to their home and neighbourhood.

When asked what was most important to them when choosing an area to live, 72% of parents placed a good local school among their top three, followed by 37% favouring somewhere with good transport links and 33% highlighting the importance of a ‘community feel’.

Being close to family members came fourth overall but, while this was a big priority for a third (33%) of mums, only a fifth (22%) of dads saw it as important.

When children were asked what’s most important to them about where they live, 60% said it was being near to their friends, followed by around half (49%) who liked to be close to school. Almost half (47%) valued having lots of parks and green space nearby, ahead of 17% who thought being near facilities such as a cinema was vital.

The survey was carried out by independent market research company Censuswide for national housebuilder Redrow Homes to find out what parents and children think makes ‘a better way to live’.

Parents were also asked about their dream home and what they look for most in the property itself.

When asked what their ‘dream house type’ would be, over half (54%) of parents chose a new build - either in the city, country or suburbs.

Not everyone is happy with their current home though, with only half of parents who live in an old house in the country (50%) saying this is their dream home type and a quarter (25%) actually admitting they dream of living in a new build in the country. Almost two thirds (65%) of parents who already live in a new build in the country, city or suburbs say it’s their dream home type.

In terms of what they look for in the property itself, outdoor space came out overwhelmingly on top, with almost three quarters (74%) picking a garden as one of their top three desirable features, followed by off-street parking (44%) and storage space (39%). Completing the top five priorities favoured, were the more up-to-date features of a ‘modern fitted kitchen with integrated appliances’ and a house that is ‘economical to run’, both being chosen by almost a quarter of adult respondents (23% and 22% respectively).

The survey also found evidence to suggest neighbourliness could lead to a less stressful life. Almost 7 in 10 (68%) parents who “aren’t stressed at all” say they are very friendly with their neighbours, compared to just a third (34%) of those who say they are “very stressed”.

Dave Bexon, Group sales and marketing director for Redrow Homes, said: “We were keen to uncover what people feel makes a better way to live. Those priorities can change over time, so conducting independent research such as this helps us to ensure we continue to build the types of homes people really want to live in, with the features that are important to them, in desirable neighbourhoods.

“Families are one of our key market segments so we were particularly interested to hear from parents and their children about their priorities for a home.

“Alongside asking parents what they looked for, we also asked them about their stress levels and uncovered some interesting trends. For example, we found that people who know their neighbours are less stressed generally than those who don’t – demonstrating the importance of ‘community spirit’.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly there was also a link between parent’s stress levels and how much their children said they liked where they live. Almost all (98%) of children who said they liked where they currently live had parents who said they were “not stressed at all”; whereas almost a fifth (18%) of parents whose children don’t like where they currently live said they were “very stressed”.

“It shows just how important choosing the right home and neighbourhood is for the whole family and the effect it can have on everyone’s quality of life.”

When asked what they liked most about their own homes, children chose their bedroom, with almost three quarters placing it among their top three. Maybe to be expected, personal space becomes more important as children get older, with 81% of youngsters aged 11-16 choosing their bedroom among their favourite things about their home, compared to 69% of children aged 4-10.

A garden came second, with 45% of all children surveyed saying it was one of the things they liked most, followed by the living room.

Redrow has homes for sale in more than 120 prime locations across England and Wales, from city apartments to rural retreats and family friendly developments in the suburbs of some of the UK’s most desirable towns and cities.

It has an award-winning pedigree, earning the Gold Award for Best Large Housebuilder for two consecutive years at the What House? Awards 2015 and 2014.

For more information, visit www.redrow.co.uk. Established more than 40 years, Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading house builders, with a £1billion turnover and building more than 4,000 homes in 2014/15 financial year.

Operating across England and Wales, there is a strong emphasis on providing high quality homes in prime locations and its housing ranges feature designs to suit all lifestyles:

• The Heritage Collection combines traditional looking, ‘Arts & Crafts’ influenced exteriors with bright, modern, high specification interiors.

• The classically styled Regent Collection features Georgian inspired street scenes and architecture.

• Redrow has also launched a new brand of contemporary homes in Abode, which boast open plan layouts with streamlined kitchen, dining and lounge areas, high specification wet rooms and outdoor living space.

Redrow also creates exclusive bespoke developments in both rural and urban locations. The company has won numerous awards over the years, including, most recently, the Gold Award for Best Large Housebuilder at the What House? Awards 2015 and 2014, Best House Design at the Sunday Times British Home Awards 2015 and the 2014 Building Awards Housebuilder of the Year. Its ‘My Redrow’ online tool won the overall Customer Engagement category at the 2013 Peer Awards for Excellence. Web: www.redrow.co.uk.