With the average marriage age on the rise, it is no surprise that single people now make up a significant proportion of the property market. In 2015, one-fifth of homebuyers were unmarried. The lifestyle, needs and wants of single people are likely to differ from those of couples and families. Here’s what to consider if you’re marketing your home to the single sector, or looking for a place of your own.
Without a partner or children to cater to, single people have the freedom to spend time however they please. An ideal local area looks different for them – hip cafés and art galleries take the place of good schools on the list of priorities. Families often look for a quiet, suburban neighbourhood with good transport links, but single buyers tend to favour properties with entertainment options closer by.
Safety and security
Safety comes first for single homeowners, and friendly communities are ideal for creating a sense of security. Bear in mind that they regularly return to an empty property alone: good street lighting, secure window locks and a concierge will all set single buyers’ minds at rest. Likewise, proximity to busy roads and bustling businesses might be preferable to secluded areas.
Living alone means taking responsibility for all aspects of the property – inconveniences that everyone could do without. For this reason, singles are better suited to properties that don’t take a lot of work to maintain. Old buildings may be romantic, but they often require a lot of upkeep. The same is true of properties with gardens. A new-build apartment with an onsite concierge service and handyman is ideal for those lacking time and spare helping hands.
Good resale or rental value
Most people don't plan to be single forever. Single house-hunters may be getting on the property ladder now, with a view to upgrading when they enter a relationship. Therefore, it’s important for a property to be easy to sell on in a few years’ time – or rent out to young professionals as an added income stream.
Plans for expansion
On the other hand, forward-thinking single buyers could be investing in the long term, with no intention of moving once marriage or children are on the horizon. They will be seeking properties that either have multiple bedrooms already or potential for extensions. Multipurpose spaces are an advantage in this case. For example, a large study might become a nursery in time.
If you’re looking for a new home, speak to Engel & Völkers. Our portfolio features an extensive range of luxury properties for single homeowners, from townhouses to sprawling penthouse apartments. Contact us online, or at one of our 700 locations worldwide, for expert advice.