Gen Z and Millennials rank ‘dream’ locations to live in UK

  • London tops rankings as the dream location for Gen Z and millennials to live
  • Gen Z’s and millennials name opportunities for making friends as a key reason for moving home
  • Young Brits expect £30k help from parents and grandparents towards buying a home
Photo by Hert Niks on

The UK’s younger generations have named the dream locations they want to live, with trends showing that youthful Brits are desperate to flock back to the UK’s towns and cities.

Looking into the UK’s ideal places to live, the research revealed that Gen Z and millennials have their hearts set on a host of dream moves to cities across the UK, with the capital taking the top spot.

The survey, Generational Property Hotspots, from McCarthy Stone, aimed to uncover the latest trends around property, looking at the most popular locations, priorities for moving and perceptions of the property market.

Gen Zs, those born between 1997 and 2012, are the youngest generation to enter the property market, with a drastic shift of attitudes to their older counterparts. While millennials, the age group born between 1980 and 1995 share similar aspirations for their next property location.

Dream property locations for youthful Brits

According to the findings, almost a third (32.4%) of Gen Z and millennials named London as their dream location to live, opting for hustle and bustle over country life. Following the top pick, the buzzing seaside resort of Brighton took 18.8 per cent of the vote.

Following closely behind to take third place is the UK’s second largest city, Birmingham, (18.3%) with picturesque Edinburgh (17.5%) and Bath (17.2%) taking the fourth and fifth spot respectively.

But the desire for London was more than halved (7.2%) with baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, with the older generation opting for picturesque cities and seaside locations.

Table of Gen Z’s and millennials top 10 dream locations

RankDream locationsPercentage
Photo by Dominika Greguu0161ovu00e1 on

Priorities for moving home

Outdoor loving Gen Z’s and millennials were found to value green space, with an average of nearly two-thirds (64.9%) placing outdoor opportunities top on their house-hunting agenda. Over three-fifths (62%) placed importance on the ability to make friends in their new location.

Third on the list for those in the age group was access to public transport (59.8%) and practical minded Gen Z’s and millennials said they would relocate to be closer to family (59.2%) and improve their work life balance (58.7%).

Access to healthcare (67.3%) and public transport links (66.1%) topped the list for baby boomers, but the results revealed that being able to make new friends (56.4%) is also a top reason for this age group to move.

Most popular property features

The research also revealed the most desirable property features for young house-hunters, finding that car-loving Gen Z and millennials would rather choose trusty parking spaces for their new property over glamorous aesthetics.

On average, more than half (60.5%) of car-loving Brits in the age groups named a driveway as the most important property feature for their next move. The second most popular property feature is a big garden (59.6%) with a garage (55%) ranking in third place. The top 5 is rounded off with large windows (51.7%), and an attic (50.1%), suggesting that young homeowners want to take in the views from their new location.

Photo by Olga Lioncat on

Table of Gen Z and millennials top 10 most popular property features

RankTop property features  Percentage
2Big garden59.6%
4Large windows51.7%

Financial gifting

Financial help towards a new home has also affected different generations, with millennials revealing they’d been gifted, on average, £26,502 by their parents and grandparents. This figure was even higher with Gen Z, who say they can expect £29,786 towards their property from their parents and grandparents.

According to House Price Data from January 2022, the average 10 per cent deposit for a mortgage would cost £27,200, which means Gen Z and millennials may even rely on family members to cover their deposit.

Alastair Pegg, Marketing Director at McCarthy Stone, said: “Across the UK’s generations, the most consistent results we’ve seen from the findings is that variety is the most important thing for Brits, whether they’re a Gen Z or a baby boomer, or want to live in the north or south of the country.

“Even though the trends seem to show people dream of a life away from the big cities as they get older, there are still plenty of those who are just as keen to be in one of the nation’s hubs. No matter which generation it is, things like access to the outdoors and being near to family and friends always remain top of our priorities, so there will always be a different perspective on where someone’s dream location and property will be.

“We know the importance of having these options and whatever your choice of where you want to live, you’ll also have the option to make your own dream home.”

For more information on the UK’s dream homes and to view full findings per area, click here.

Photo by saifullah hafeel on

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The McCarthy Stone survey was commissioned through Censuswide and surveyed 2,000 UK adults in January 2022. The survey asked respondents to name their dream locations to live in the UK would be along with what their desires, motivations and priorities are when seeking out a property and location. 

The nationwide survey aimed to uncover the latest property trends across multiple generations. The questions asked respondents to share their ideal locations to live, the property features they are searching for and their main priorities when choosing a location.  

Findings from the survey also gave insight into respondents’ perceptions of the current property market and their personal financial situations to determine current generational trends around property.  

These results have been split between gender, city, age and relationship status to reflect the general population. 

About McCarthy Stone:

McCarthy Stone is the UK’s leading developer and manager of retirement communities. Its customers maintain their independence within a beautiful, secure, contemporary private home, while enjoying the peace of mind that help and care is on hand if needed. Its communities make a positive difference to the lives of its customers and the organisation is focused on supporting and championing the role, wellbeing and happiness of older people in society.

McCarthy Stone has two main product ranges – Retirement Living, and Retirement Living PLUS. Retirement Living developments provide independence in private apartments designed specifically for the over-60s, as well as facilities such as communal lounges and guest suites that support companionship. Retirement Living PLUS developments, which are a form of Extra Care housing, are designed specifically for the over-70s, offer all of this plus more on-site facilities such as restaurants, well-being suites and function rooms. Importantly, they also provide on-site CQC-regulated care and support packages to assist those needing additional help.

All developments built since 2010 are managed by the company’s in-house management services team, providing peace of mind that it will look after customers and their properties for the long term. As of November 2021, McCarthy Stone operates 475 developments across the UK for more than 20,000 people.

McCarthy Stone’s commitment to quality and customer service continues to be recognised by residents. In March 2021, the Group received the full five-star rating for customer satisfaction from the Home Builders Federation for the sixteenth consecutive year – making it the only UK developer, of any size or type, to achieve this accolade.

For further information, please visit


About SpookyMrsGreen

SpookyMrsGreen: Mindful parenting and modern pagan lifestyle. See my blog for exclusive special offers, discount codes, health advice, eco-friendly tips, book reviews and more! Search #TheRedcliffeNovels and meet the vampires and werewolves of Cornwall, England.
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