sustainable self-build: richard hawkes' clay arch house

Grand Designs named the top property TV show

A new study ranks the Channel 4 classic as the nation's favourite

By Victoria Purcell | 24 August 2022

Research into the nation’s viewing habits has revealed that Channel 4’s Grand Designs is the UK’s favourite home and property TV show.

The findings by Hammonds Furniture incorporate a survey of 2,000 UK adults taken in June 2022, as well as each show’s Internet Movie Database (IMDb) rating, and an online search popularity score calculated in July 2022. The results placed the long-running self-build programme, fronted by Kevin McCloud, in the top spot. Escape to the Chateau and A Place in the Sun, both also shown on Channel 4, came in joint second.

Homes Under the Hammer, the BBC’s popular daytime TV show, came top of the survey with 39% of the votes. Grand Designs wasn’t far behind, with 33%, but because it rates much higher on IMDb, scoring 8.5 out of 10, Grand Designs’ overall score came out on top.

Escape to the Chateau also scores well on IMDb at 8.6 out of 10, while A Place in the Sun proved the most popular online, with 74,000 monthly Google searches (Grand Designs averages 33,100).

Richard Hawkes' Clay Arch house from Grand Designs

Richard Hawkes’ Clay Arch house from Grand Designs classic. Photo: Jefferson Smith

More than 82% of those surveyed claim to regularly watch at least one home and property TV show. For the majority of those (51%), the process of seeing a property renovation from start to finish is the main reason for tuning in. Almost half (42%) simply find them to be entertaining, while a third (35%) enjoy seeing inside other people’s homes, and 32% said they watch for design inspiration.

Other reasons people watch such shows are because they like architecture (28%) or they enjoy learning about the process of buying and selling homes (24%). Those aged 35-44 were found to be the largest viewing group, with 90% tuning in for at least one property series.

Hux Shard, Devon, from Grand Designs 2021

Joe and Claire Priday’s Hux Shard made an impression in the 2021 series of Grand Designs. Photo: Mark Bolton

‘We love to see spaces given new life on TV because we all have areas of our homes that we hope to transform – especially since the lockdowns provided us with more time to reorganise our indoor spaces,’ said Dennis Relojo-Howell, Managing Director of psychology website Psychreg. ‘But even prior to Covid, the open-space concept in domestic projects held a certain allure.

‘Aside from reorganising our homes, we are also drawn to property platforms. We spend time on Rightmove or Zoopla for fantasy window shopping or perhaps just to see what’s on offer. It’s simply because, as humans we’re just plain old curious, and we always look for ideas. And more importantly, because we need to dream,’ he continues.

‘We are also more likely to be drawn to property programmes like A Place in the Sun and Location, Location, Location because ‘house shopping’, just like other forms of shopping, can boost serotonin.’

Grand Designs Manchester: Adele and Colin's cantilevered house with curved walls

Adele and Colin’s curvy cantilevered house is one of many exciting builds due to air in the new series of Grand Designs. Photo: Andy Haslam

The UK’s top 10 home and property TV shows

  1. Grand Designs (Channel 4)
  2. A Place in the Sun and Escape to the Chateau (both Channel 4)
  3. Homes Under the Hammer and DIY SOS (both BBC)
  4. Escape to the Country (BBC)
  5. George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces (Channel 4)
  6. Location, Location, Location (Channel 4)
  7. The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes (BBC)
  8. Property Brothers (W Network)
  9. Love it or List it (Channel 4)
  10. Marriage or Mortgage (Netflix)

Further information about this study, including a table of results, can be found at hammonds-uk.com/blog


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