Location worth a £20,000 premium

When asked which one aspect of a property's location is the most important factor for us when considering a potential home's location, the results revealed that at heart we all dream of a country cottage, with one in four (23%) respondents listing 'proximity to the countryside' as the most important factor.

Second in the location hierarchy was proximity to work amongst 17% of respondents, followed by proximity to transports links amongst 15%, and proximity to restaurants and coffee bars with 13% of respondents. Ranked in fifth place was a location close to a school, with 12% choosing this option.

When it comes to adding value to a property, proximity to the countryside again hit the top spot at over £35,000, followed by proximity to the town or city centre (£20,760), proximity to work (£20,024), proximity to shops and local amenities (£17,543) close to a good school (£16,104) and proximity to transportation links (£13,661.) Proximity to the town or city centre was the most important location factor for one in ten people (9%.)

The Halifax research also revealed that age and regional area also play an important part in the location stakes and how much the ideal location adds to a property's value. Proximity to work was the most important location factor for the younger generation aged between 18 and 34. This was the most important consideration amongst almost one quarter (22%) of 18 to 24 year olds and a third (32%) of 25 to 34 year olds. The over 45 year olds considered this to be a home's close proximity to the countryside and those aged between 35 and 44 years old preferred the home to be near a good school (27%.)

On a regional basis, a quarter of respondents in the West Midlands (25%) cited a close proximity to work. Almost a quarter of Scots (22%) prefer to be close to shops and local amenities, whereas Londoners are more interested in proximity to transport links (24%.) All other regional areas ranked a home's proximity to the countryside as the top consideration, but this was particularly important to those from Wales (42%) and East Anglia (37%.)

People from Wales believed that the ideal location was worth the highest premium at £40,345, followed by East Midlands at £35,510. The premium was the lowest amongst those from the South West (£10,281), Scotland (£13,452) and East Anglia (£15,858.) The average premium across all regions was £22,818.

Gordon Edwards, managing director for Halifax Estate Agents, comments: "Location and lifestyle factors are essential in the home buying decision process. Although other factors such as budget, property specification and availability play an important part, most people begin their search for a home by looking at geographic location first. Once they have decided on an area in which they want to live other factors then come into play.

"It is important to look into these factors when marketing your property. A few quick and easy pieces of research can help promote your home to prospective buyers. If, for example, your home is near a good school try to find out as much information about it as you can - your local education authority will be able to provide you with information."