Game on: A third of UK Adults would pay more for a house with a Games Room

New research by Sony has found that our growing passion for gaming is even having an effect on house prices, with the games room a key feature for house buyers, particularly in London.

With gaming on the rise, just under half (46 per cent) of UK adults are now playing video games, putting the games room firmly into the top ten desired features of a new home if money were no object.

And while it isn’t as popular as a garden (74 per cent), en-suite bathroom (74 per cent) or a guest bedroom (71 per cent), a games room is now desired by four in ten of us (40 per cent), or 20,900,000 UK adults, meaning out with the old and in with the new as it has become one of 2015’s must haves and is now more popular than having our own library, bar or the traditional wine cellar (24 per cent).

Almost nine out of 10 gamers would like to have a separate space for gaming.

When asked what they would most want to use an additional spare room for, more UK adults opted for a games room than a walk-in wardrobe (11 per cent versus 9 per cent).

So why don’t more of us have a games room?

Despite the average UK household now containing 2.4 TVs, many people don’t have a spare room (39 per cent). Gamers still mainly play in their living room (63 per cent) or bedroom (30 per cent).

The Games Room Premium

Nearly ½ of 18-34 year olds (48 per cent) and 41 per cent of men would consider paying more for a house or flat with a games room. Overall, nearly a third (30 per cent) of UK adults would consider paying more for a house or flat with a games room. Londoners are the most likely to consider paying more, despite the inflated cost of property, with 41 per cent of them saying that they would consider it.

Of those who said they would consider paying more for a games room, the average extra amount that they would pay is 3.2 per cent. Without adding extra floor space, converting a room into an extra bedroom adds an average 3.4 per cent, meaning that a games room is almost as attractive to house buyers as an extra bedroom. More than one in ten (16 per cent) of UK adults would consider paying 5 per cent or more for a property with a games room.

Ex-football legend Robbie Fowler says that with space at a premium, creating room for gaming is difficult for most house buyers. Fowler owns many properties and thinks this research shows that adding a feature such as a games room would help you sell or rent your house for more:

“When I’m letting flats or houses, one of the key things I have to consider is ‘what stands this property apart?’ It’s amazing how many people play games now, it seems to have replaced other entertainment in the house, which means that having an extra space designed for gaming would be hugely attractive to a large proportion of the population. It’s understandable that the main reason people don’t have a console is because of space constraints.”

London is the Gaming Capital of the UK

Londoners and Digital Natives lead the way in gaming with over half of Londoners being gamers (54 per cent) and a staggering three quarters of 18-34 year olds. With this in mind, it’s perhaps not surprising that—even with space at a premium in the capital—one in ten Londoners is currently using a spare room as a games room, while almost one in ten (9 per cent) of 18-34 year olds are doing the same. If we look at those who have access to a spare room, then these figures are even starker:

  • One in three London gamers currently use their spare room as a games room – three times as many as the rest of the Country
  • 17 per cent of 18-34 year olds use their spare room as a games room
  • One in 10 men use their spare room as a games room

A quarter of 18-34 year olds say that having a games room is an important consideration when selecting somewhere to live. This is most striking in London, where over a quarter (26 per cent) cite having a games room as an important consideration. Almost one in five men (18 per cent) said that having a games room was an important consideration.