The homes we most wanted to buy last year

What the top ten most-viewed properties tells us about the housing market

dream home

The homes we spent our time browsing in 2016 tell us all sorts of things about where we are right now - and it seems we're hankering after a whole new life.

According to Zoopla, the most viewed properties of the year were a very varied bunch of homes - ranging from a beautiful Welsh farmhouse to a brand new lakeside home with it's own private jetty.

See also: Prime multimillion-pound central London house prices fall nearly 7%

See also: Your new year's resolution: properties with a gym

You can browse through the full top ten below.

Most viewed property of the year

Most viewed property of the year

The list reveals exactly what we're thinking about property at the moment.

1. There's nothing positive about London property right now
In past years this list would have featured plenty of flash London pads, but they have been pushed out by two phenomena: they are way too expensive, and they are dropping in price. Why would we hanker after a property that would destroy our finances?

2. Commuting for hours is miserable
As London prices increased, we started to look further and further out of the city, with a cry of "ooh look what we could afford in Rochester!" It means last year sensible family homes - for committed commuters - dominated the top ten. This year, the reality of living far enough out to be able to buy a home is depressing - especially when you factor in public transport. So while plenty of people are looking for these properties. nobody is dreaming of them.

3. When we think of 'affordable' we're thinking further afield than Watford
The list demonstrates that beyond the influence of London there are some stunning properties at reasonable prices. The fact that so many people are viewing them means we're starting to dream about leaving the rat race for a more sensible life elsewhere.

4. The real dream is a whole new life
We don't just want a flash property, some of the properties on the list show that we really want to run a stable or a holiday let from home, which would pay for us to live far away from expensive property hotspots.

Clearly dream properties are very different from the ones we end up buying, but if these trends feed through at all into house prices, we can expect to see the slowdown in London property price rises spread further within the city. We can also expect beautiful areas beyond the capital to play a bit of catch-up in house price terms. And we can expect more people than ever to quit the rat race and find a less frenetic balance.

But what do you think? Are your dream homes on this list? Let us know in the comments.