In third was a farmhouse with a smallholding of land, with 15% saying this would be their perfect type of property.
Some 12.9% said they would like to be the owners of a bungalow and 6.5% said they would most prefer to live in a flat or apartment.
Perhaps surprisingly, just 5.6% said their number one choice would be a castle or a converted barn or church, and a modest 4.7% said a townhouse or terrace would be where they would reside in an ideal world.
There were some regional variations in the results, however. More people in the East Midlands (18.1%) and Yorkshire (16.9%) said they'd prefer to live in a cottage than a detached house.
Those surveyed in Northern Ireland, the South West and Wales, on the other hand, said a farmhouse with smallholding would be their home of choice.
This was the case for more than a fifth (22.2%) of those quizzed in Northern Ireland. Some 19.9% chose this option in the South West and 21.9% felt the same way in Wales.
Residents in the North East, meanwhile, said they dreamt of living in a bungalow, with 19.1% saying they'd like to own one.
Ocean Finance spokesman Ian Williams said: "Rates of homeownership may continue to decline but the idea of owning our own place remains deeply engrained.
"Typically we have fairly modest aspirations - preferring a detached house to a 'Grand Design', for example.
"And while most of us live in urban areas, the draw of rural living in the 'chocolate box' country cottage remains very strong."