Aviva – Home Safe and Secure Toplines

Younger buyers willing to live in less safe areas in order to get a foot on the housing ladder

  • Younger people are more likely to buy a home regardless of safety, flood or crime risks, with price and affordability having the biggest influence on their decisions.
  • 44% of 16-24s would buy a home in an areas with a risk of flooding, compared to 23% of the overall sample.
  • Furthermore, fewer than one in four (23%) 16-24s completely rule out buying a home if it is in an area at risk of flooding, compared to 58% of the overall sample size.
  • Similarly, just 24% of 16-24s ruled out living in a high crime area, compared to 55% of the overall sample size.
  • If a home fitted their other requirements, 13% of 16-24s strongly agreed they would buy a home at risk of flooding (compared to 6% of overall sample), and 9% strongly agreed they would buy in an area with a high crime rate (compared to 5% of the overall population.
  • The safety of a local area was identified as a key factor in the home-buying process for all buyer groups aged over 35 – but not for those younger.
  • Younger homeowners are also more likely to make changes to their homes in order to make it safer. Nearly half (46%) of 16-24s made significant changes to their property, compared to just 17% of over 55s. They are also less likely to have home insurance than older homeowners.
  • Separate analysis from Aviva reveals that one in four (27%) non-homeowners believe they will never be in a position to buy a property.
  • More people spent less than 30 minutes researching the safety of a local area when looking for a property (16%) than any other amount of time.


Q1. When looking to buy a home, which of the following have had/will have the biggest influence on your decision? (Tick up to three)

  • Price and affordability was identified as having the biggest influence when looking to buy a home, with 73% in agreement.
  • The condition of the property is also a key factor, identified by 49% of people.
  • Safety of the local area was the third most important consideration (22%), rising to 25% of over-55s.
  • Although overall local schools in the area were a relatively unimportant factor (13%), this has a much larger influence for those aged 35-44 (25%) and 25-34 (22%).
  • Younger age groups place transport links as the third most important factor (16-24: 22%) and are also more likely to value being close to their place of work (21%).

Q2. When looking for a home, how long did you spend/would you spend on the following:

  • Looking for properties to view: the largest proportion (12%) spent one to three months on this. 
  • Researching the safety of the local area: the largest proportion (16%) spent up to 30 minutes on this. 
  • Researching the cost of a home in various areas: the largest proportion (16%) spent between one and two hours on this. 
  • Travelling to view properties: the largest proportion (18%) spent up to 30 minutes.
  • Viewing the property that was eventually bought: the largest proportion (23%) spent one to two hours on this.

Q3. Thinking about the first home you bought, which amenities were most important to you when purchasing this home? (Tick up to five)

  • 35% of people identified public transport links as the most important amenity when purchasing their first home, followed by local schools (31%) and parking facilities (30%).
  • A doctor’s surgery was in fourth place (27%), followed by access to rural areas or green spaces (25%).
  • Restaurants and takeaways were far more important to 16-24s (32% vs. 11% average), while pubs and bars were most important to 25-34s (15% vs. 10% average).

Q3b. Which amenities would be most important to you now if you were to purchase a home? (Tick up to five)

  • The order of importance of certain amenities changes slightly when thinking about purchasing a home now: 46% of people said public transport links would now be most important to them, followed by a doctor’s surgery (45%), parking facilities (35%), budget supermarket (34%) and green spaces (31%).
  • Only 9% want to live near an upscale supermarket like Waitrose.

Q4. In recent years, some homes in the UK have suffered from significant damage due to flooding. Which of the following statements apply to your own house purchase, or would apply to your house purchase if you do not currently own one?

  • Over half (54%) of people have or would check to see if their home is at risk of flooding.
  • Women are more likely to do this than men (58% vs. 50%).
  • Just 19% are certain their home isn’t at risk of flooding without needing to check.
  • 12% have assumed their home is not at risk of flooding, while 9% didn’t consider this.
  • Just 46% of people in the North East have checked if their home is at risk, compared to 61% in the South West.

Q5. When you moved into your current home, did you make any changes to ensure it was safe and secure e.g. locks/alarm systems/smoke alarms/strong fences?

  • Nearly half (45%) made some changes to ensure their home was secure when they moved in, while 20% had to make significant changes.
  • 32% said their home didn’t need any changes.
  • Younger homeowners were more likely to make significant changes. 46% of 16-24s and 26% of 25-34s made these changes, compared to just 19% of 45-54s and 17% of over 55s, suggesting younger people are more likely to purchase homes in need of serious improvement. 

Q5a. If yes, what changes did you make? (Tick all that apply)

  • The most common change was locks for doors or windows (70%). 
  • 56% of people changed smoke alarms, 41% of people changed alarm systems and 39% installed a strong fence.
  • Over a third (35%) made changes to gates while just 11% of people made changes to surveillance cameras.

Q6. From the time of moving in, how long did it take you to implement these changes?

  • The average time taken to implement these changes is 8 months.
  • Just 3% of people made these changes within a week of moving into a new property.
  • 28% did so within 1-3 weeks, 24% within 1-2 months, 17% within 3-4 months, 8% within 5-8 months, and 14% in 9-12 months.
  • 6% of people took over a year, with men twice as likely to do this (8% vs. 4%).
  • Older homeowners were also likely to leave it longer; 0% of buyers aged 16-24 or 25-34 left it longer than a year, while 11% of over 55s did.

Q7. How far do you agree or disagree with these statements?

  • Among those currently looking to buy, the majority (65%) agreed they would buy a home if it needed significant improvements to be safe and secure, with only 35% disagreeing.
  • 23% would buy a home if it was at risk of flooding. 33% disagreed, and 45% strongly disagreed.
  • 19% would buy a home in a high crime area, although 32% disagreed and 49% strongly disagreed.
  • Younger homeowners were much more likely to agree with these statements. 44% of 16-25s would buy a home with a risk of flooding, while 34% of 25-34s would purchase in a high crime area. 

Q8. Thinking about your current home, how likely would you have been to have bought it in the following circumstances?

  • 58% of people would not have bought their current home if they knew it was at risk of flooding, and 55% would not have been likely at all to buy their current home if it was in a high crime area.
  • However, just 19% would not have been likely to buy it knowing it required significant improvement to be safe.
  • There was an age difference again here. Among 16-24s, only 23% said they would not have been likely to buy a house at flood risk at all (vs. 58% average).

Q9. How frequently do you do the following to keep your home safe and prevent burglary?

  • Over half (52%) of people always lock their garden shed, while 16% rarely or never do this.
  • 57% always close and lock their windows when not in their home. However, 18% admit to rarely or never doing this, rising to 30% of 16-24s.
  • 57% always tidy away bikes/toys/garden equipment when not in use.
  • 54% always keep their garden/driveway tidy so intruders cannot hide, while 16% neglect to do this.
  • Just 13% of people always use a camera, and 34% always use a security alarm.

Q10. Please select the types of home insurance you currently hold (Tick all that apply)

  • 88% of people have home buildings insurance, and 86% have home contents insurance.
  • However, younger age groups are significantly less likely to have this: only 55% of 16-24s have buildings insurance while 57% have contents insurance.
  • 52% have accidental damage insurance and 44% have personal belongings cover.
  • Only 2% say they have no insurance for their home. 

Q11. What do you believe are amongst the top three most common home insurance claims? (Tick up to three)

  • People believe that theft is the most common claim (65%), followed by accidental damage (59%), escape of water (57%), fire damage (30%) and flood damage (30%).
  • According to internal Aviva data, the most common home insurance claims are accidental damage, storm damage, escape of water, theft and fire.


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Debbie Obrien

Debbie Obrien

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