Article | Creating Resilience, Adaptive Spaces

What do renters want from their home?

November 4, 2022 5 Minute Read

By Scott Cabot


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CBRE Research recently surveyed over 2,000 private renters across the UK to learn more about what underpins the rental market and identify renters’ priorities. One section of the survey focused on what tenants look for when hunting for their next home. Unsurprisingly, rental price is the most important feature with 60% of respondents selecting this as their top priority. However, there are still 40% that have chosen other features above price as their top priority.

Turning to the location, the paramount concern is for the property to be in a safe area; nearly a third of the respondents classify this as most important. Distance to workplace and being close to shops and services also rank highly. This suggests that developers offering rental properties in locations with low crime rates and near to business hubs will be more successful at attracting renters. Developers could also consider incorporating inclusive design into their schemes, such as installing more lights on and around the site so that tenants feel safer.

Figure 1: Distribution of locational features selected as top rank by respondents, London and UK, % of total


Only 12% of the sample rank being accessible to public transport as the highest priority. However, in London, the figure rises to 25%. This reflects Londoners’ dependence on the underground and bus services. Also, London renters are less concerned about their home being close to their workplace, which reflects the ease of getting around London on public transport but enforces the need to live near public transport nodes.

Being close to a school is the top priority for 12% of renters in the UK. But it is the least important locational feature for renters in London, likely due to the slightly younger demographic of renters in the capital. The desire to be near green space, such as a park, holds the lowest priority for renters across the UK, however Londoners value it slightly more.

Focusing now on the property itself, aside from rental price, having a garden is the most desired feature in the UK and in London itself. Its importance reduces for London renters, which may reflect the scarcity of gardens in the capital. Car parking is a major consideration for renters. However, the importance reduces for London renters, which is consistent with the findings regarding proximity to public transport. Bike storage is marginally higher in London, but it is at the bottom of renters’ priority lists.

Figure 2: Distribution of property features selected as top rank by respondents, London and UK, % of total


High-speed internet is the fourth most important feature of a rental property, something that has become increasingly important with a rise in homeworking since the pandemic. Homeworking space is the top priority for 4% of renters which, although it is not the most important property feature, still represents a considerable proportion given that this would not have featured as a priority pre-covid. This is direct symptom of the pandemic, however, the return to the office is relieving pressure on the need for homeworking space.

Based on our findings, renters in the UK would prefer to have a garden than a home office in their property and prefer to live in a location which is safe and close to work, rather than live near public transport or a park.

To find more insights from our survey, explore the full report.

Get in touch with our team below, to find out what the results mean for you.