What makes a UK dream home, according to Brits

From good insulation to lavish walk-in wardrobes, new data unveils the nation’s non-negotiables when it comes to their forever homes…

When picturing an ideal home, most people’s minds conjure up unrealistic images of plush furnishings, wine cellars, and heated indoor swimming pools. But, beyond these lavish fantasies, lie the true non-negotiables that individuals across the nation seek in their own homes. Insight that may prove especially useful for those looking to sell their home.

A nationwide survey* from St. Modwen Homes, the national and award-winning housebuilder, has revealed what buyers are looking for in 2023 when searching for a home, and what their absolute deal-breakers are – shedding light on what truly matters in the realm of homebuying.

So, what elements make your home irresistible to the general public, and what do they loathe? St. Modwen Homes reveals all…

Embracing efficiency

Unsurprisingly, energy efficient new homes are currently one of the nation’s most desirable home traits. With energy costs higher than ever, and households becoming more and more conscious of their environmental impact, it’s no wonder that a whopping 60% of respondents expressed a strong preference for homes with good insulation.

Solar panels are also highly valued, capturing the interest of 37% of those surveyed, while 35% noted that a state-of-the-art boiler to keep their homes warm during the winter was non-negotiable. Smart technology isn’t off the cards either – smart heating and lighting systems have charmed 34% of homeowners, offering both sustainability and savings.

A surprising yet sensible inclusion on the list of Brit’s must-haves is a hot water tap – preferred by 42% of those surveyed – eliminating the need for energy-draining appliances such as kettles and hobs.

What makes a UK dream home, according to Brits image

Room to breathe

The notion of space, both indoors and outdoors, is deeply rooted in the hearts of homeowners. A whopping 58% crave a driveway, recognising its practicality and curb appeal enhancing impact. Large windows are another hot commodity, with 40% of respondents yearning for abundant natural light and unobstructed views of their surroundings.

Personal space is similarly important to homeowners – with 52% seeking private en-suite facilities that make the morning rush a little less chaotic. Walk-in wardrobes were no different, with 41% of respondents craving a Kardashian-worthy closet for themselves.

What makes a UK dream home, according to Brits image

Minimalist living

While dreams of opulence and grandeur have their place, practicality often takes the forefront when it comes to our living spaces. Smooth walls are an essential for 36% of respondents, reflecting the shift towards modern, clean aesthetics – and the ability to move straight into a property without the need for excessive decoration.

Similarly, 27% yearn for a minimal maintenance garden, displaying a desire for outdoor spaces that offer relaxation rather than demanding upkeep.

The age of the home is also a contributing factor, as 28% prefer homes that are less than 30 years old – valuing the convenience and efficiency that contemporary design brings.

Out with the old

As times change, so do our design tastes – and it is clear that the nation has shifted preferences when it comes to their abodes. Outdated décor is shedding its appeal, with 40% of respondents waving goodbye to highly patterned wallpaper. Chandeliers, once the epitome of luxury, have also dimmed in popularity, falling out of favour for 38% of homeowners.

Opinions have also changed when it comes to heating our homes. Cast iron radiators, once charming and functional, are now considered outdated by 28% of respondents – with more efficient, aesthetically pleasing options readily available. Open fireplaces, once the heart of the home, have also cooled down (pun intended!) in popularity, with 25% of homeowners opting for alternative heating solutions.

What makes a UK dream home, according to Brits image

So, despite the notion of a ‘dream home’ inspiring visions of fortune and fame, the nation is actually fond of a blend of practicality, sustainability, and modernity. Energy efficiency, space, and ease of living stand as non-negotiables, while outdated décor and features are gracefully making way for fresh aesthetics.

Jo Winston, Sales and Marketing Director at St. Modwen Homes, said: “Whether you’re planning to sell your home or perhaps you’re just looking for ways to transform your humble abode, it’s worth keeping tabs on what is in and what’s most certainly out.

“Opting for some of the nation’s most desirable features within your home is a great way to attract prospective buyers if you’re putting your property on the market, as well as creating a home you’re proud to come home to each and every day.”

The nation’s dream home features



% of Brits who want this

1Good insulation60%
3Ensuite bathrooms52%
4Walk-in shower rooms/wet rooms43%
5Hot water tap42%
6Kitchen island42%
7Walk-in wardrobes41%
8Larger windows40%
9Solar panels37%
10Smooth walls36%


Housing elements going out of fashion



% of Brits who don’t want this

1Highly patterned wallpaper40%
2Dado rails39%
4Stained glass31%
5Cast iron radiators28%
6Sash windows27%
7Open fireplaces25%
9Fancy doorknobs23%
10Door latches instead of handles22%

Looking to find your forever home? With natural light, open plan spaces, and energy efficiency at the core of its designs, St. Modwen Homes offers a range of incredible new build homes across England and Wales. You can find out more here.

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