What is most important when choosing housing ?

The survey revealed what is most important for Lithuanian residents when choosing a new home

As the real estate (RE) market heats up, new-build housing is being snatched from the drawings. When choosing a new dwelling, the most important thing for Lithuanian residents is its energy efficiency class, quality of work and sound insulation, according to a representative survey conducted in May by the company "Spinter research". Real estate developers warn that not all these aspects are properly assessed by buyers before purchasing the desired housing.

When assessing the advantages of an apartment building, as many as 71 per cent of the country's residents who took part in the survey believe that the most important thing is to pay attention to its energy efficiency class. According to Aleksandr Inozemcev, project manager of the general contractor Versina, most often buyers want the highest possible energy efficiency, but few people know what is the difference between energy classes A+ and A.

"The energy class indicates how efficiently a building uses energy to ensure the main functions to be warm and tight. The higher the energy class, the higher the energy efficiency. Class A+ housing is characterized by greater comfort and lower heating costs, because better thermal insulation materials are used for its construction, the proper ventilation system of the building is taken care of while maintaining its tightness," says A. Inozemcev.

Unappreciated sound insulation

According to the survey data, when choosing new-build housing, the country's residents evaluate not only the quality of work, but also the sound insulation of housing – these aspects are important for 63 per cent and 61 per cent of respondents, respectively. If the quality of the work can be assessed only after moving into the purchased housing, then the sound insulation can be judged in advance from the class assigned to it.

Since 2004 In Lithuania, it is mandatory for new apartment buildings to comply with class C sound insulation, but a rare project boasts higher-end sound insulation solutions. Higher standards of sound insulation are beginning to be implemented only now. For example, the "Mindaugas Residence" project, which is currently under construction in the Old Town of Vilnius, will allow the settlers to achieve class A sound insulation – the builder of this project has performed many complex solutions to implement the highest possible requirements for sound and acoustics suppression.

The survey revealed that the sound insulation of new-build apartment buildings is most appreciated by respondents with incomplete secondary education (74.6 per cent), while for those with high education, the energy efficiency class (79 per cent) is more important, and sound insulation is in third place of choice.

"The sound insulation of the dwelling is important for the quality of life – if we constantly heard the steps or conversations of the neighbors in the house, the noise coming from the yard, no energy class of the building or the view from the windows would redeem it. It is better to live not only warmly, but also comfortably, to have privacy – high-end sound insulation ensures that the residents of the dwelling will neither hear what is happening outside the walls of their houses nor the sounds they make will be listened to by their neighbors. Only the fulfillment of all components provides full-fledged comfortable living conditions," says A. Inozemcev.

According to the study, sound insulation when choosing housing is more often taken into account by women and residents of smaller cities and rural areas, as well as students.

"It is often the opinion of real estate buyers and sellers that in order to have a calmer place of residence, new housing should be looked at in more remote areas of the city or in the suburbs, in the sleeping areas. However, if you choose a dwelling with extremely high-end sound insulation, it is possible to have a quiet haven in the very center of the city," says A. Inozemcev

Building materials are also important for acoustics

Half of those surveyed believe that when choosing a new housing, the location of the apartment building is important, especially considering its location in terms of street noise.

"In Lithuania, buyers are extremely reluctant to live near high-traffic streets not only because of noise, but also because of car pollution. On the other hand, residents are particularly interested in good access to the city center, places visited daily – larger shops, educational institutions, workplaces. Therefore, you often have to look for a compromise between where you want to live and the location close to the daily movement route," emphasizes the representative of Versina.

35% of respondents pay attention to building materials such as blocks and reinforced concrete panels, 31% – to the type of windows, 29% – to façade finishing materials.

"The materials used in the construction of an apartment building have a lot of influence not only on the thermal insulation properties of the building, but also on the acoustics. For example, the monolithic overlays, partitions, external exterior walls of the house selected for construction depend on whether you will hear the noise from neighbors or transport. Finishing materials are also not only for beauty, they can also trap heat and noise," says A. Inozemcev.

In order to find out the opinion of the residents of the country regarding the advantages of new construction apartment buildings, the company "Spinter Tyrimai" surveyed 1010 residents of the country aged 18-75 years on May 18-28.


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