During General Election week we ran a poll asking visitors to the HQM website to choose the aspects they think are the most important for a ‘quality’ new home. Voting was fairly evenly split between three out of the six issues listed in the poll, with each of the following attracting around a quarter of all the votes cast:
- Lots of local amenities, good schools, shops, a nice neighbourhood and green spaces
- Good sound insulation, air quality and a home that is warm in the winter or keeps cool in the summer
- A home that costs very little to run
In response to the question ‘What is the one most important thing about the homes we live in?’ many respondents commented that the quality of the local environment and neighbourhood is key. We need a ‘safe, green and community focused neighbourhood’ said one, with ‘plenty of space for the children to play’ said another. The mantra ‘Location, Location, Location’ was quoted by some, and ‘preventing sprawl is important’. Build quality, design and imp
act on health and well-being were also mentioned. ‘Space, light, quality of design’ is important said one respondent, and ‘the quality of the build and impact it has on the way we live our lives i.e. wellbeing’ said another. Winn
ing ‘hearts and minds’ is seen as important. We need homes where ‘People can feel comfortable in a home that can be run efficiently, feel safe and can call it their own’. Running costs and cost to the environment was quoted by a number of respondents. Homes ‘that they do not “cost the earth” to build in terms of finance or world resources and do not cost the earth to heat or cool’ are important said one, a home ‘that is affordable in terms of the percentage of income used for housing costs’ said another.
The Home Quality Mark is being developed with the aim of putting consumers at the heart of sustainable, quality homes, and with the intention of providing housebuilders with a means of differentiating a quality product. We spend 65% of our lives in our homes, and typically more than half of our disposable income over our lifetimes. However the inform
ation available to a homebuyer or tenant about the quality, cost and performance of a home is virtually zero.