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The Importance Of Location For Homebuyers

Posted 15 November 2023 by Keith Osborne

WhatHouse? Location Ratings can help you discover the ideal place to live in a brand new home.

Whatever your age, lifestyle or budget, it’s almost certain that your choice of home is about where it is as much as what it is – if not more, simply for the practicalities of life.

With every buyer having their own story, there’s no hard-and-fast rule on what it is about the location that house-hunters are looking for. As a potential buyer of a brand new home, what would you weigh up between two or more options before picking the best for you?

As our recently launched Location Ratings show, there are a multitude of aspects to consider, and having up-to-date information on a host of topics is crucial to making the right decision.

Marcus Evans, sales and marketing director of Newland Homes, commented: “With location being the primary search criteria on WhatHouse.com, it’s clear this continues to be a key driver when buyers start their property search. It’s therefore vital when looking at residential land opportunities we research employment, transport, connectivity, education and local amenities to attract a broad market and deliver a mix of housing particularly suited to certain locations. This is further re-enforced by ensuring we integrate new developments into communities and create a sense of place”

A work/life balance

Do you work to live or live to work? While it would be great to think of these things as separate, more many of us there is an inevitable overlap between the two and some sort of compromise may have to be made. Will the requirements of work outweigh your wishes for a lifestyle in your private time?

There’s the cost and duration of commuting. Whether by private or public transport, for many of us, travelling to and from an office or workplace is not considered part of the job. So how much time and money would you be prepared to spend doing so in order to enjoy the lifestyle at home the most?

Home- or hybrid-working looks here to stay for some professions, so you may not have the pressure of a daily commute anymore. Is it worth paying the same for three days’ in-and-out of the office as you would for five days’, but with the bonus of living in a place further away but with much more to offer than where you are now?

Example ratings: Top 5 ranking developments for rail connections in Greater London:

Rank Development and location Housebuilder Score out of 5
1 London Square Croydon London Square 5.0
2 Wembley Park Gardens Barratt London 5.0
3 White City Living St James 5.0
4 West End Gate, Hyde Park Berkeley Homes 4.0
5 South Quay Plaza, Blackwall Berkeley Homes 4.0

Health and happiness

The pandemic has led us to focus more and more on our own health and that of our family. Regular exercise in a healthy environment could be essential in your choice of a place to live, whether it’s having gyms and leisure facilities close at hand or being on the doorstep of the scenic coast and countryside away from the crowds of a busy town.

Urban areas often rate poorly for things like air quality and pollution, with unpleasant noise and fumes from a nearby main road, so maybe a more rural destination is preferable. But while you may have greener surroundings, are there nearby powerlines or industrial premises that compromise the natural benefits the area offers.

Example ratings: Top 5 ranking developments for Nature and Leisure in South Yorkshire:

Rank Development and location Housebuilder Score out of 5
1 Torneley Quarter, Auckley Avant Homes 4.0
2 Skylarks Grange, Brodsworth Keepmoat Homes 4.0
3 Dominion, Balby Keepmoat Homes 4.0
4 Salter's Brook, Cudworth Barratt Homes 3.9
5 The Paddocks, Rotherham Harron Homes 3.9

Education and recreation

For house-hunters with families, or planning for one in the future, the lives of their children will perhaps be the biggest priority of all. The quality of a comfortable place to live with plenty to do close at hand might be worth paying extra for.

Highly rated nearby educational establishments within easy reach, from nurseries right up to universities, are attractive to parents right now and into future. It may be that to live in the catchment area for the best schools, you’ll have to be a lot more for the kind of home you want.

Leisure time is an important consideration too for kids of all ages, and it’s good to know that there are a range of things to do within easy reach of home: leisure centres, sports and social activities, and fun places to be.

Example ratings: Top 5 ranking developments for Education & Amenities in Aberdeenshire:

Rank Development and location Housebuilder Score out of 5
1 Hazelwood, Aberdeen Dandara 4.1
2 The Grange, Aberdeen Dandara 4.1
3 Osprey Heights, Fisherford Barratt Homes 4.1
4 Charleston, Aberdeen Stewart Milne Homes 4.1
5 Charleston Green, Aberdeen Barratt Homes 4.1

Claire Bathgate, head of sales for Dandara Aberdeen, said: “Being close to good schools is still important for families with school age children. Having family nearby is another major draw especially if they assist with childcare – we have a number of clients on the development who bought here to be close to relatives, although not necessarily on the same street! Being surrounded by nature and having nice places to walk are key for families and dog owners too. Great local amenities and a short commute can also be important to some, though others would happily spend extra time getting to work for a house in the ‘right’ location.”

New build or re-sale?

A new build home has great appeal. Compared to a re-sale property – even one just ten-years-old – brand new properties are very energy efficient, built to the latest standards of construction and insulation. There are also features such as air source heat pumps and underfloor heating which are both cheaper to run and more eco-friendly than traditional systems. Look out for PV roof panels and EV charging points too.

There’s also the benefit of being a blank canvas – no need to strip the walls of flock wallpaper or replace worn-out carpets – and the confidence that your boiler and kitchen appliances won’t stop working the day after you’ve moved in. Buy a new build early in the construction process and you may be able to choose from a range of options for things like kitchen unit and flooring styles, or get extras and upgrades to wardrobes and bathroom features,

The WhatHouse? Location Ratings show how property prices have changed in the area over the past few years. With a home being the biggest investment most of us will ever have, the likelihood of a fall or increase in its value over the years in the place we’ve chosen could be a major consideration.

Guy Higgins, managing director of William Davis Homes, said: “Choosing a great location in which to live is always one of the top priorities for our customers. That’s why we pride ourselves on building high-quality homes with the best address. Whether it be a peaceful village location or having excellent transport links, great local amenities or good schools, there are a range of factors which we consider when choosing the locations in which to build new and thriving communities.”


Featured Developments
Croydon CR0
£358,000 - £600,000
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London Square
Preston, Brent HA9
£435,000 - £601,000
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Barratt London
Marylebone, Westminster W2 1
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South Quay Plaza
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Auckley, South Yorkshire DN9
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Torneley Quarter
Auckley, South Yorkshire DN9 
Contact for more details
Avant Homes
Brodsworth, South Yorkshire DN5
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Skylarks Grange
Brodsworth, South Yorkshire DN5 
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Balby, South Yorkshire DN4
£149,995 - £155,995
Balby, South Yorkshire DN4 
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Cudworth, South Yorkshire S72
£219,995 - £320,995
Salter's Brook, Cudworth
Cudworth, South Yorkshire S72 
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£439,995 - £665,495
The Paddocks
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Harron Homes
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Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire AB15
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Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire AB15
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The Grange
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Inverurie, Aberdeenshire AB51
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Osprey Heights
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Barratt Homes
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Select the developments you're interested in and we will do the rest.
  • London Square Croydon
  • Wembley Park Gardens
  • West End Gate
  • South Quay Plaza
  • Torneley Quarter
  • Skylarks Grange
  • Dominion
  • Salter's Brook, Cudworth
  • The Paddocks
  • Hazelwood
  • The Grange
  • Osprey Heights
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The housebuilder will use these details to contact you about this property/development to arrange a viewing or provide you with more information.
Working with data experts CLSQ, we assess the latest information from highly respected sources to give every current new homes development we list a rating under five core topics Health & Wellbeing, Transport Links, Tech connectivity, Finance and Education & Amenities.

CLSQ provide trusted data, technology and data-led insurance services which empower automation and decision-with-certainty for the UK property sector. We combine the certainty of data and process with the unique security provided by our de-risking solutions and insurance."
Location Ratings Disclaimer:
The WhatHouse? Location Ratings are powered by our trusted partner, CLSQ.com, a leading property data, technology and data-led insurance provider who have collaborated with WhatHouse.com on analysing more than 50 geospatial attributes for every new build location. We endeavour to ensure the geospatial data is the most current and accurate information available.

However, WhatHouse? Digital Ltd does not make any representation, warranties of any kind (express or implied) or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, suitability or completeness of any information, merchantability or its fitness for a particular purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is, therefore, strictly at your own risk and WhatHouse? Digital Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from your use of such information.
For more details on how we produce our rating data please click here.
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