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Space - The Financial Frontier For Scottish Housebuyers


  • Garages are turning into junk graveyards as 45% admit the family car sits out in the cold
  • 26% of dining rooms are sitting empty as dinner is served up in front of the TV
  •  Almost half of house hunters are looking for more space in a new home

British housebuyers are stretching their finances in the pursuit of more space… and then filling that space with junk.

According to Yorkshire Bank's quarterly Housebuyers Survey, almost half (48%) of housebuyers are driven by square footage when buying a new home. Some 52% said the house they are after has to have at least one spare bedroom and they are willing to pay more for the additional space.

But, having paid for the luxury of more space, most people don't actually use it.  More than one in four (26%) people admit to having at least one room in their house that sits unused for most of the time, usually either the spare bedroom that is filled with laundry or a dining room that only sees a meal once a year at Christmas.

Gary Lumby, Yorkshire Bank's head of retail, said: "While location still tops the charts of 'must haves', space is now the new frontier. However, once we've got it - and in most cases paid a premium for it - we often don't use it in the way we intended.

"How many of us sit down to have our evening meal on our knees in front of the TV while the dining room sits empty, or use the spare bedroom just to hang our washing and have piles of clothes waiting to be ironed? It's quite a pricey laundry room!"

Out in the cold

Although a garage is often a prerequisite for house hunters, 45% of people admit their motor will end up on the driveway open to the elements as the garage turns in to an overflow storeroom for junk. Similarly, almost one in six (16%) admit their conservatory houses a jungle of bicycles and trampolines as the kids' toys take over.

Nation of hoarders

Yorkshire Bank's research found almost two in five (38%) people prefer to view houses when they are fully furnished so they can get a realistic idea of the space. But once everything is moved in, it still doesn't always find a natural home as one in seven (15%) people admit that the last time they moved, boxes remained unpacked for more than a year. 

The future of space exploration

When it comes to moving, buyers are not only looking at space the house currently has, but at the potential to create even further space. Yorkshire Bank's research also found more than two in five (44%) people would opt for a house which had room for an extension such as a loft conversion or conservatory.

Shrinking your space to grow profits

Although the survey found people are driven by having as much space as possible, more than one in four can see the potential of shrinking their garden. Some 27% said they would be keen to sell part of it off to a neighbour or builder.

Gary Lumby, said: "Instead of moving house every time you need more space, a significant number of people are looking at houses they can grow in to and extend. For those who want to realise the potential a large garden has to offer, selling part of it can be a really viable option."

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