Over 80 per cent of London flat residents questioned say apartment living suits lifestyle, research by FirstPort reveals

  • Research by property manager FirstPort highlights large numbers who prefer apartment living
  • Location, size and quiet surroundings are the most important factors
  • Service levels key to residents’ view of their apartments
  • Most see service charges as good value
  • Many apartment residents feel “liberated” living in well-managed developments

 Over 80 per cent of Londoners living in apartments do so because it suits their current lifestyle, according to a new report on apartment living.

Research commissioned by FirstPort, the UK’s largest residential property management company, shows that the decision to reside in apartments reflects benefits such as proximity to work and social amenities. Other notable advantages were fewer worries about maintenance and looking after the property allowing residents more flexibility in their lifestyles.

The research covered apartment residents who both own and rent their accommodation, with some 19 per cent of Londoners who rent apartments saying that they had no interest in buying. Over a third (36%) who rent are not looking to buy at the moment but would like to eventually.

The vast majority of respondents to the survey (78%) reported feeling positive about the flat that they live in with over a third saying they “love it.”

Budget, cost, and location were the most critical factors in apartment choice but managed services also played a key role in apartment satisfaction, with nearly 80 per cent positive or content with the services received. Added value services further boosted residents’ positive views, with on-site security and concierge services in particular a highly regarded extra, while most also saw their service as good value.

According to FirstPort’s research, the characteristics of flat-living most valued by the capital’s rental community were location (20%), space (19%), quiet surroundings (16%), convenience (15%), and being well-maintained (13%).

Exploring the features of London’s flats, the research found that 64% of renters have access to general maintenance, 20% have regular residents’ meetings, 11% have a concierge, 8% an on-site gym, and 5% even have an on-site pool.

People who feel more comfortable renting than buying a property include those over 55 (54%), those who had been living in their flat for over three years (25%), those who were single (23%), and people with access to more than five property services at their development, such as maintenance, concierge services or a gym (24%).

Commenting on the findings, Nigel Howell, Chief Executive of FirstPort, said: “The research finds overwhelmingly that there are growing numbers of people who find apartment living suits their lifestyle. Having an apartment where property managers look after the day-to-day issues of maintaining a building is a valuable benefit to those who want to make more of their leisure time and enjoy greater flexibility and freedom.

“Indeed, an increasing number of people feel liberated by the option to live in well-managed apartments, with many choosing to live there to suit a modern lifestyle. There is clearly a growing shift towards flat living which is yet to be fully explored in the wider debate on the UK’s housing issues.

“It’s crucial that the industry keeps up with the expectations of residents, who are becoming more discerning and demanding of their accommodation and how it is maintained. Nowadays, consumer expectations have risen across the board and indifferent property management is no longer acceptable. FirstPort recognises customers’ demands for higher levels of service and will continue to develop the business so that we maintain our market leading position.”

Notes to editors

The research by FirstPort surveyed 738 people who live in an apartment in London and the South East for at least three days a week.

2 December 2015