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Four features to consider when building a new property

by Sarah Dunsby
23rd Nov 22 3:29 pm

Unique features with aesthetic appeal and enhanced functionality play a big role in the market value of a property. When constructing a new building, developers should not only be wise to the installations and designs that prospective homeowners want in their property right now, but in the years to come. So, what are the house features of the future? We’ve chosen what we consider to be four of the most desirable aspects a modern property should have.

1. Home lifts

Domestic lifts are not just a secure way to futureproof a property, but they also make a new build highly attractive to potential buyers due to the added convenience and comfort. As Property Investor Today suggests: “Far from being cumbersome and unsightly, home lifts will look stylish and provide a useful addition to the home at any stage of life, and may also add value to a property in the long term.”

Beyond the expanding retirement market or catering to buyers with mobility issues or those doing lots of pram-pushing, it’s also worth getting a home lift installed to boost the style of new property. As Premier Lifts explain: “People who may not necessarily need a home lift, but want one for their potentially jaw-dropping aesthetic value will treasure it, with bespoke lifts in particular [providing] a striking focal point that gives one luxury home an edge over another”.

2. Energy-efficient upgrades

Saving the planet is the new watchword for the 2020s, and it’s becoming a priority for prospective buyers looking for an eco-friendly new home. Luckily for real estate developers, energy-efficient upgrades can easily be achieved through installations like motion-sensitive LED lighting, solar panels and cavity wall insulation.

The latter helps the building retain and store warmth, saving homeowners money for bills and letting them feel that they are doing their bit for the planet.  Solid wall insulation is one of the most significant individual contributors to an improved EPC (energy performance certificate) rating.

Though the immediate impact of EPC ratings on house prices is limited, according to FT Adviser: “the value that people attach to energy efficiency is likely to change over time, especially if the government takes measures to incentivise greater energy efficiency in future to help ensure the UK meets its climate change obligations”.

3. Functional outdoor spaces

Gardens, patios and roof terraces are all ways to add functionality to a property, improving leisure and wellbeing and therefore boosting its value. The addition of a roof terrace can typically add more than one-tenth to the value of a property — and this could rise to as much as a quarter in highly desired areas. In London especially, the roof terrace boom has really taken off over the past ten years or so.

While you may need something higher up in a city, the ground-level terrace is also a coveted feature for many homes in the country. It makes perfect sense that incorporating one into a new property will improve the enjoyment of those dwelling in it, and help raise the property value for years to come.

4. Open-plan designs

After spending so much time working or studying from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, many homeowners have realised the importance of having flexible spaces in their home. In other words, remote working is the new norm now, so many prospective house buyers will be looking for a home that accommodates a more flexible work-life balance and lifestyle, which is what an open-plan living space can help with.

This setup has the advantage of supporting a variety of different activities and leisures in the domestic sphere. This could be entertaining guests around your multi-purpose kitchen island if you build an open-plan linear kitchen. Or perhaps you could install a sliding door for when kids and adults are trying to focus while others watch TV, and a cabinet with a built-in desk to pop out for those days when mum or dad are working from home.

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