Air con top of buyers’ wish lists

Forget sweeping driveways, majestic gardens and a wine cellar, what buyers really want is air conditioning.
Analysis from Rightmove has revealed searches for homes with air con units have soared thanks in part to this year’s record-breaking hot summer.
Searches using the portal’s Keyword Sort tool to find suitable properties have tripled compared with this time last year. And the numbers looking for homes to rent with air conditioning have also increased, up 74% according to Rightmove’s data.
During July 19, the hottest day on record in the UK, when temperatures topped more than 40 degrees, searches for homes on the market with air conditioning rose by a staggering 280% compared with the same day a year ago. Rental homes saw a 180% increase on the same period.
The number of available property listings mentioning air conditioning has also more than quadrupled compared to this time last year. This is likely to be a combination of more homes having the feature, and it being highlighted it as a key selling point as the mercury rises and climate change experts predicting these record temperatures becoming the norm.
There has also been an increase in demand from buyers and renters for other features used to keep homes cool in the heat such as ceiling fans which have seen a rise of 629%.
However, despite the interest, homes with air conditioning make up less than 1% of agency stock.
Sheldon Bosley Knight’s sales manager Morgan Rhys said: “This summer probably took many of us by surprise with the intensity of the heat and it has made a lot of people re-think their priorities when it comes to house buying.
“We also know our summers are going to get hotter and drier, so we anticipate an increase in the numbers of buyers who put cooling systems near or at the top of their priority list over the next few years.
“New build homes are well insulated and therefore more sustainable and more thermally efficient so less likely to need air conditioning.
“However, those selling older properties will need to install energy efficient measures and this could include air conditioning if buyers are going to continue to put it at the top of their lists.”