Dining rooms decline and orangeries on the rise  

  • New analysis reveals the home features that have shifted in popularity over the last ten years:
    • Garden offices, orangeries, summer houses, underfloor heating, bi-fold doors and open plan rooms have all surged in popularity
    • Conservatories, greenhouses, dining rooms, fitted wardrobes all appear to be on the decline
  • The pandemic-induced working from home has led to 11 times more mentions of garden offices in homes for sale than ten years ago
  • Over the last year, new properties coming to market mentioning an electric car charging point has increased six times (+495%)
  • The findings suggest a gradual trend towards more eco-friendly features, such as underfloor heating and electric car charging points

New analysis from the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove reveals which home features have grown the most in popularity, based on the number of agents advertising them as key selling points.

Garden offices top the list, with the proportion of property listings that mention them now 11 times higher than ten years ago (+1046%).

Bi-fold doors are second on the list, up by a huge 589% compared with ten years ago, followed by orangeries (+173%) and underfloor heating (+114%). Summer houses are in, up by 90%, while greenhouses appear to be on the way out, down by 46%.

As concerns about the environment rise up the priority list, the number of new property listings now mentioning an electric car charging point has increased six times (+495%) compared with a year ago.

The findings suggest home-owners could be ditching separate dining rooms for more modern open plan options, with dining rooms being mentioned in property adverts down by 28%, while mentions of open-plan rooms are up 74%. The decline of the dining room may also be down to more people converting this room into a home office.

Conservatories (-52%), greenhouses (-46%) and fitted wardrobes (-29%) are the other features dropping in popularity according to agents’ property listings.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Property Expert, says: “Agents and developers have their finger on the pulse when it comes to the home features that will attract suitable buyers. Where dining rooms and fitted wardrobes may not be as important to some potential buyers compared with ten years ago, other features like an outdoor office space have soared as working patterns have changed, and the findings indicate a move towards greener features too. With outside space coming at such a premium, it may be that homeowners are ensuring what they build outside can be used in a number of different ways. For example, summer houses and orangeries are likely to have fewer or smaller windows than conservatories, and so can more suitably double up as home offices during the week and entertaining spaces at the weekend.”

James Holmear, Group Sales Director at Redrow, comments: “These findings flow from the demand for more space at home which can accommodate blended personal and professional lives. Home offices have been increasing in popularity as many people continue to work from home on a more permanent basis. Bifold doors are also highly sought after as they enable people to use space flexibly and extend their living space seamlessly into the outdoors. Sustainable features such as EV chargers, solar panels, water butts and eco waste bins are all rising up the priority list.”

Steve Rule, Group Design and Technical Director at Cala Homes, says: “Over the last couple of years there has been a real shift in what home-hunters are looking for. Buyers are considering in much more detail what they really want and  need from their home, and on truly optimising their space, especially as many are spending more time there through home or hybrid working. From a sustainability point of view, smart home tech has become very important. Underfloor heating is becoming more popular, both for environmental reasons and for the improved aesthetic it offers. We’re also rolling out various energy saving measures in our homes which have risen up the agenda for our buyers – from air source heat pumps and EV charging points to water saving fittings and PV/solar panels.”

Adrienne Minster, CEO of Rated People comments: “Homeowners want to reduce their impact on the planet and cut the cost of bills by making their homes more environmentally friendly – in fact, the number one reason for making eco improvements is to lower their bills. So, with the rising cost of living and increasing awareness of the importance of living sustainably, it’s no surprise to see that more homeowners are choosing to make greener swaps and invest in the likes of underfloor heating.”

Home features rising and falling in popularity

Feature Change in proportion of listings mentioning the feature
Garden office +1046%
Bi-fold doors +589%
Orangery +173%
Underfloor heating +114%
Summer house +90%
Open plan +74%
Dining room -28%
Fitted wardrobes -29%
Greenhouse -46%
Conservatory -52%



Notes to editor

For further information please contact Jamie McLean on 07527 995286 or email jamie.mclean@rightmove.co.uk

  • The analysis compares the proportion of agent listings mention these home features in June 2022 compared with June 2012
  • Analysis on EV charging points compares new listings mentioning electric car charging points in July 2022 compared with July 2021

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