New research, exclusively for Chestertons, has cast a light on British children’s understanding of the property market, along with what aspects are most important to them when moving house; finding that the average child believes a three-bedroom house costs, on average, £3,000 and a treehouse, swimming pool and at least three good hiding places are considered among the most important factors when looking for a new home.
A poll has uncovered the differences between children and parents when on the hunt for a new home, investigating the little ones’ understanding of the property market and house hunting in particular.
We conducted a poll of almost 3,000 parents, all of whom had at least one child aged between five and ten years old. Parents were asked to identify all the aspects they considered to be important when looking to buy a house. The top five most important aspects for adults were as follows:
1. Good location – near good schools, in a good neighbourhood etc – 47%
2. Spacious living room – 35%
3. Original features, eg fireplaces etc – 22%
4. Off road parking – 18%
5. Garage – 14%
By comparison, when the parents asked their children what their most important features were when considering a new home, the top five answers were:
1. Treehouse/potential to build a treehouse – 51%
2. Swimming pool – 43%
3. At least three good hiding places – 28%
4. Room for pets – 24%
5. Large bedrooms – 16%
The survey respondents also asked their children how much they believed the average three-bedroom house cost in the UK, to which the average response was £3,000. When asked how old they hoped to be when they bought a house, the average child hoped to be a homeowner by the time they were 19. The survey also tested children on their knowledge of property-related terms, with parents asking them to choose from one of three options. This showed that 70% of children aged between five and ten years old believed ‘house deeds’ meant ‘chores that needed doing around the house, including DIY etc’; 86% believed that the ‘property ladder’ was a ‘ladder kept at home so people can reach high places’; and 54% believed that ‘property investment’ meant ‘wearing a vest at home’.
Daniel Killick, manager of the Kew branch of Chestertons, comments: “It’s good fun to speak to children and see the world through their eyes; not just to refresh our own perspectives, but also because it’s a good way for them to learn and share their own understanding. It’s amazing what pearls of wisdom they come out with – and while some of their answers in the survey may seem funny or even nonsensical, it’s an important reminder that we estate agents shouldn’t get too caught up in using industry jargon and shouldn’t take for granted the difference between a house’s price and its quintessential values as a home.
“In terms of moving house, we think it’s important to try and consider the children’s requirements and happiness, as well as those of the grown-ups. Maybe these results will encourage more parents to use their imagination when looking for their next home, and to consider the benefits of potential to build a tree house as well as where they can park the car!”