If you’re looking to move, it’s likely you’ll have a wish-list of the things you want most in your next home. Estate agents know what the most sought-after features for buyers will be, so they’re highlighted within property listings to make them easy to spot.

But what we want from our homes has changed a lot in the past decade. We’ve seen shifts in the sorts of things estate agents include as key selling points when a home is listed for sale in 2022, compared to 10 years ago.

Our findings show that as working patterns have changed, optimising the space in our homes is more important than ever. And there’s a move towards greener home features, too. Garden offices, orangeries, summer houses, underfloor heating, bi-fold doors and open-plan rooms have all surged in popularity. While conservatories, greenhouses, dining rooms and fitted wardrobes all appear to be on the decline.

Take a look at the features that are highlighted most to attract potential buyers in 2022.

Home features rising and falling in popularity

Feature Change in proportion of listings mentioning the feature
Garden office +1046%
Bi-fold doors +589%
Orangery +173%
Underfloor heating +114%
Summer house +90%
Open plan +74%
Dining room -28%
Fitted wardrobes -29%
Greenhouse -46%
Conservatory -52%

On the up: Garden office

Features like an outdoor office space have soared as working patterns have changed. The proportion of property listings that mention them now 11 times higher than a decade ago. That’s a whopping increase of 1046%! And we aren’t talking a shed with a desk in it here. Many of the homes with garden offices currently for sale come fully equipped with mains electric, their own air-conditioning systems, and of course, WiFi.

Take a look at this home with a garden office:

Bi-fold doors

Bi-fold doors are second on the list, up by a huge 589% compared with 10 years ago. James Holmear, Group Sales Director at Redrow, says they’re a highly sought-after feature for buyers. “They enable people to use space flexibly and extend their living space seamlessly into the outdoors.”

Orangeries and summer houses

What makes an orangery, an orangery? These brick-built home extensions have a flat room and windows, but not as much glass as a conservatory. It takes its name from where fruit trees were stored during the winter months. An orangery provides flexible space. For instance, you could set it up as a home gym, an office, or a playroom by day, and a snug in the evenings.

The number of property listings mentioning summer houses has also increased, while greenhouses appear to be on the way out.

Our property expert Tim Bannister says: “With outside space coming at such a premium, it may be that homeowners are ensuring what they build outside can be used in a number of different ways. Summer houses and orangeries are likely to have fewer or smaller windows than conservatories, and so can more suitably double up as home offices during the week and entertaining spaces at the weekend.”

Open-plan layouts

Open-plan living is having a resurgence in 2022, as flexible space is prioritised. Our 10-year comparison suggests that home-owners are swapping separate dining rooms for more modern open-plan layouts, or home office space. Dining room mentions in property listings are down by 28%, while open-plan mentions are up 74%.

Steve Rule, Group Design and Technical Director at Cala Homes, says: “Over the last couple of years there has been a real shift in what home-hunters are looking for. Buyers are considering in much more detail what they really want and need from their home, and on truly optimising their space, especially as many are spending more time there through home or hybrid working.

“From a sustainability point of view, smart home tech has become very important. Underfloor heating is becoming more popular, both for environmental reasons and for the improved aesthetic it offers,” he adds.

To read the original article click here