Lockdown has had a profound effect on our relationships with our homes. It has brought a temporary end to our commutes and a rising demand for home offices and an increasing focus on space, both internal and external. And, it seems even our dream houses have come under Covid’s influence. Rightmove has just released the results of a survey asking people about what their perfect home might look like and, there is no doubt, the answers have been heavily influenced by the pandemic.


Our aspirations, it seems are far more practical than you might expect. Very few of those interviewed mentioned Olympic sized swimming pools, saunas or tennis courts. Even walk-in wardrobes weren’t that high up the list. Most people were far more concerned with things like utility rooms and home offices. In fact, our dream house is a relatively modest affair – not a mansion but a four-bedroom detached property, with two living rooms, two bathrooms, a garden, garage, utility room and an office.

Rightmove’s Tim Bannister says:

“Perhaps it’s the thought that if you have a dream home you want to make sure you’re going to make use of everything. Rather than choosing an outdoor swimming pool only to realise you can only use it a few weeks of the year, you think of a utility room that you know you’ll be using every day.”

Rightmove’s survey also asked about the kind of extra rooms we would like to have in our dream homes (in preference order):


  1. Garage
  2. Utility room
    3. Home office
    4. Dining room
    5. Walk-in wardrobe
    6. Conservatory
    7. Swimming pool
    8. A gym/spa
    9. Games room
    10. Library


You probably wouldn’t have expected a garage to rank so high, but don’t forget these are extra rooms you’d like to have in your dream home rather than necessities. For younger buyers (18 to 34 year olds), a home office was top of their list and conservatories and bungalows did not begin to feature until buyers were at least 65. For 25 to 44 year olds, a third bathroom was considered a very welcome addition and, surprisingly, the youngest group (18 to 24 year olds) wanted a proper dining room. Quite a few people also mentioned having two living rooms, one private and one for guests. And, although it’s not strictly a room, the majority would also really like a decent garden.


In terms of the kinds of amenities we would like, most wanted a supermarket close by – Tesco was the top choice – as well as a decent pub, corner shop, coffee shop and a local market. Bakeries and restaurants were next on the list and having a local greengrocers or butchers close at hand was considered more important than takeaways.

When it comes to the actual physical location of our ideal home, quite a few expressed a preference for a small village or town by the sea. However, with our return to the office accelerating and commuter costs rising, that particular dream will probably now have to wait until retirement.

It would be fascinating to see how people would answer the same set of questions in 12 months time when, hopefully, Covid will no longer be dominating the agenda. Will home offices remain so popular? Will open spaces be ranked above commuter distances? And how important will a dining room be to the younger crowd as they go back out into the cities’ bright lights?