Coloured Mews

Revealed: The 20 features that will sell your home

  • Central heating, double glazing, and secure doors and windows top UK home-buyers’ lists of ‘must-have’ home features;
  • Death of the landline! Phone connection replaced by satellite TV in the top 20;
  • Biggest movers in last 5 years: good broadband and mobile phone connections and a room big enough for a large, flat-screen TV;
  • Period features and highly rated schools fail to make the grade.

Gocompare Home Insurance’s annual ‘Home essentials’ survey1 reveals what’s really important to home buyers looking for their dream home.  Central heating, double glazing, home security, gardens, and a reliable broadband connection head this year’s list of the 20 ‘must-have’ property features. 

Access to a landline telephone has dropped out of this year’s top 20, replaced by satellite TV.   And, despite prices for homes near the best performing schools being higher than in other areas, only 17% of prospective buyers considered them an essential factor in buying a new home.  Fewer than one in ten people (9%) were bothered about a property having period features.     

Top 20 property ‘must-haves’ in 2019





Central heating



Double glazing



Secure windows and doors



A garden



A good, reliable broadband signal



A strong mobile phone signal



Local shops and amenities



A good energy efficiency rating



Plenty of electrical sockets



Friendly neighbours



At least two toilets



Off-road parking



A bath



A shower



Cavity wall insulation



A new boiler or central heating system



A living room large enough to accommodate a large flat-screen TV



A garage



A dining room



Satellite TV/able to install satellite TV


Biggest Movers

The survey, now in its fifth year, shows the increasing importance technology plays in our homes.  When the survey was first commissioned in 20142, broadband and mobile phone connections were less important to prospective buyers.  Five years ago, only 34% of people considered a good mobile phone signal a home essential, compared with 58% today. Similarly, a good broadband connection was a must-have for 54% of buyers, compared with 61% participating in this year’s survey.

However, the biggest increase is in the number of people wanting a living room large enough to accommodate a large, flat-screen TV.  Back in 2014, only one in ten people considered this a priority - today, 41% would consider it a ‘must-have’.

Other essential features on the rise include - a good home security system (31% today compared with 23% in 2014), bi-fold doors (12% in 2019, 2% in 2014), sheds (29% in 2019, 21% in 2014) and an open-plan layout (15% today, 9% in 2014).    

On the flip side, fewer people now consider a shower a home essential than they did in 2014 (45% in 2019, 61% in 2014).  Other property features falling out of favour to include – a new boiler or central heating system (42% in 2019, 48% in 2014) and, an open fireplace or wood burner (11% today, 15% in 2014).

GoCompare Home Insurance is warning home buyers that buildings insurance should also be on their property ‘must-have’ list.  Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing damage to the structure of a building. Legally, buyers become responsible for a property the day they exchange contracts - rather than the day they move in.  Therefore, to protect their financial interest against any damage to the building they need buildings insurance in place from that date.  

Commenting on the research, Ryan Fulthorpe, from GoCompare Home Insurance said, “In addition to location, there’re many different features that influence someone’s decision to buy a particular property.  For most people, warmth, energy efficiency and security are of utmost importance.  Properties in a good neighbourhood with access to local shops and other amenities are also sought after.

“But, as our survey shows, connectivity is now a deciding factor for many buyers.  Technology forms a big part of every-day life – whether it’s browsing the web, video or music streaming, or making a mobile phone call – people want a strong, reliable connection.  And, with an increasing number of internet-capable devices developed for home use, this trend can only continue.”          

Ryan concluded, “Once you’ve found your ideal property, it’s important to note that you take on legal responsibility for it on the day you exchange contracts, not the day the sale is completed.   On exchange of contracts, the buyer becomes liable for any damage to the building.  For example, if it’s damaged by fire or a flood.  So, if you’re buying a property, it’s essential to have buildings insurance cover in place from the point of exchange.”

For more information about buildings insurance visit:


For further information please contact:

Anders Nilsson or Louisa Marsden at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 655 132

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

1On 13 May 2019, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,004 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panellists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

2On 7 February 2014, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,019 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panellists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


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Contact Information

Louisa Marsden

Senior PR Executive


01633 655 132