The househunting gender agenda

by Leeds Building Society


Do men and women think differently about their dream home?

Compromise is the key in relationships and is even more true when buying a home together. Buying a home together can be a big step forward in a relationship but what are UK couples willing to compromise on to get their dream home?

Responses to a survey carried out on behalf of Leeds Building Society* showed many shared views on dream property requirements. However, how important those features were and how much they were willing to compromise on them differed.

The top five priorities for their dream home were the same for women and men:

  1. Location (75.9% women, 69.6% men)
  2. Size of property (73.8% women, 62.6% men)
  3. Garden and outside space (66.8% women, 56.0% men)
  4. Layout of property (62.4% women, 49.3% men)
  5. Off-street parking (58.6% women, 46.9% men)

The top five turn-offs were the same, in slightly different order of preference:

No garden 1st – 40.4% 1st – 29.6%
No driveway 2nd – 14.2% 2nd - 13.7%
Need for modernisation 3rd – 9.5% 4th – 10.6%
Stairs in the living room 4th – 9.4% 5th – 9.3%
Old heating system 5th – 9.3% 3rd – 12.7%

The differences begin to show when we looked at what they were prepared to compromise on.

Overall women seemed to view a purchase in more practical terms. They focused on amenities such as transport links and how close they were to shops and good schools. Whilst they wouldn’t compromise on outside space, they would compromise on having a woodburner or fireplace (26.9%), home office (25.6%) or a new kitchen and bathroom (25.2%).

Generally, men appeared to focus more on the financial aspects of the property, prioritising a property’s investment potential and the ability to be extended or modernised. They were more prepared to give way over property layout (21.4%), property size (17.8%) and the need for modernisation (17.6%). Men also were keener to have a home office.

There was lots the genders can agree on though. Both genders preferred a period property (33.0% women, 26.9% of men) with two bathrooms (59.0% of women, 53.1% of men). Perhaps surprisingly men were more likely than women to favour having at least three bathrooms (24.7% of men, 15.8% of women). The genders also agreed that they could manage without good interior decoration (34.2% women, 22.6% men) and live without period features if they had to (27.3% women, 19.5% men).

Are you looking to buy a new home? Why not take a look at our property guide to see the latest property information provided by Zoopla.

*Survey conducted by OnePoll, March 2015.

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek legal and/or financial advice if you have any questions or queries.