Property news update: Schools are first priority for homehunters

Plus, student check-outs, more help for first time buyers, and is this the end of the garage?

Living close to a good school remains the number one priority for homebuyers, suggests a new report.  Around 20 per cent of estate agents believe that this is still the most important factor when looking for a dream home according to a poll for Move with Us.

Schools were folllowed by good transport links (18 per cent) and being close to local amenities such as shops (14 per cent). A fast internt connection was chosed by 7.5 per cent. Compared to five years ago, the estate agents said there was a big drop in interest in garden sheds/outbuildings, and garden size in general.

"The property market has been through peaks and troughs over the last five years but properties bought near to good schools, transport links and local amenities are typically sound investments," said Robin King, Director at Move with Us.

Garage or dumping ground?

Nearly half of garages are not used to park cars but to store household goods, says a new study from RAC Home Insurance.

Around two in five drivers admit that their garage is so full of household odds and ends that they can't actually drive into it. Indeed, nearly two thirds said they no longer really used their garage at all (apart from the 10 per cent who have turned it into extra living accommodation or the 36 per cent that use it as a home office or hobby space).

"Our research appears to indicate that there is an issue with the design of houses as people do not have enough space to keep all their possessions in the house itself and many garages are so small that anyone in the car has to perform a contortionist act to get out," said RAC Home Insurance spokesman Simon Williams.

First time buyers need more help to buy

The average age of a first time buyer is now 36, according to MoneySuperMarket figures. However, those looking to buy in the South West believe that they will be 41 before they get onto the ladder, while people in Scotland estimate they will be 33 .

Over a third say they now never plan to buy their own home, rising to half of those polled in Scotland, but dropping to 19 per cent among Londoners despite the high current property prices in the capital. The research also showed that  a fifth of homeowners who have bought their property in the last decade had not been able to save enough to pay for any renovation work.

Landlords prepare for students' departures

When students leave their accommodation this summer, landlords, agents and clerks will face major problems at the end of the tenancy, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks.

"Traditionally, students tend to leave properties in a state," said Pat Barber, Chair of the Association of the AIIC. "They don't worry about cleaning, gardening, putting furniture back in the right places, or even taking out all their belongings. They love to just dump stuff they don't want in the house and just walk away.

"Students are rarely ready at the booked time for a check-out. This causes problems with not only the inventory carried out by a clerk or a landlord, but also impacts on the tight turnaround of student properties. New students have to book a property several months before the old tenants vacate and generally move in the next day."

Global house prices

Knight Frank's analysis for the first three months of the year shows that Dubai is at the top of the world rankings (and with price growth of 28 per cent over the last 12 months), with Croatia, Cyprus and Greece at the bottom. Singapore and Japan are the only non-European countries in the bottom 14 rankings.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas