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Community, transport links and good wifi the key to where we choose to live

We all have our own ideas of what matters when we’re looking for a place to buy. Price is obviously key, but it seems even more important is the local community and amenities.

New research carried out by Opinium for online mortgage broker L&C Mortgages reveals that many of us consider the community feel the most important factor in where they choose to live.

A third (31 percent) would even consider packing up if green land locally was developed into housing.

Regional variations in buyer priorities

According to the research, topping our priority wish list when we are looking to buy a new home is good travel links with 41 percent concerned that our daily commute is do-able.

Next we want scenic areas to walk in or enjoy with 38 percent of us ticking the box of the great outdoors as crucial.

A good local community feel is important to 31 percent of us. Those figures change depending on the region you live in. For example, 43 percent of adults in Northern Ireland prioritise that good community feel, with the south-west (40 percent) and Yorkshire (37 percent) not far behind.

However, Londoners are less bothered by the local community with only a quarter (24 percent) saying it mattered when choosing where to buy.

Modern conveniences no big deal

Having a well-known supermarket close by matters most to 29 percent of people. And a quarter of us (25 percent) insist on a good wifi connection.

And despite the rise in popularity of online services such as Uber or Deliveroo, only a measly 1 percent of people quizzed by Opinium said access to these services was important when deciding where to live.

Asked to look to their priorities if they planned to move in five years’ time, 27 percent still said a sense of community would be crucial; and while only 4 percent of respondents were currently bothered about having nearby electric vehicle charging points nearby, that rises to 20 percent when asked to look further ahead.

High value in sense of connection

David Hollingworth of L&C said: “The fact that a local community feel was revealed as a priority may come as a surprise to some, especially to those living in big cities.

“It can feel as though a sense of community is a thing of the past, but our research shows that people value it highly in the place they are looking to call home; the need to feel a sense of connection and that they belong to the local community can’t be underestimated.

“Independent shops, restaurants and cafes, a local park and good pub all featured as desirable amenities that will not doubt contribute to people’s feeling of community in the local area and a sense of belonging.

“More surprising is the low priority given to more ‘modern’ conveniences, with more of a focus put on being able to get out and enjoy the area than being able to order a takeaway delivery or a quick cab through popular apps.”

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