The top priority for house buyers in the UK is outdoor space for leisure and practical purposes, followed by a driveway or parking space.
Marshalls, the manufacturer of hard landscaping materials, asked 1,000 people to grade the features they consider most important when deciding on a new property.
More than 50% of those surveyed said that a garden that is not overlooked was the feature they valued the most when buying a house, while 24% said that off-road parking was most important.
A house buyer will have to pay substantially over the odds for a house with a garden in London as space is at a premium. Whereas the average London price for a house is £482,200, the average price for a house with a garden is £813,500, an increase that reflects the great demand for outdoor space in the capital.
On the other hand, a house buyer in Leeds will find a house with a garden much more affordable as such properties in the Yorkshire city command a premium of only 10% above the average price.
Making the most of a garden
A well-kept garden can add value to a property, but which specific garden features will result in the greatest financial return? Sellhousefast.uk has conducted research to find out how home owners can make the most of their outdoor space to maximise the value of their property. They asked 36 UK estate agents, garden designers and property professionals.
The results showed that the garden feature that adds the most value is a shed. No fewer than 82% of property professionals claim that a decent-sized shed is the most mentioned feature to boost value. 76% stated a good quality patio or paving, followed by secure fencing, walls or gates (72%).
The garden feature lowest on the list was artificial grass or lawn, with only 40% of experts choosing this as an important asset. Outdoor space is becoming more popular and in demand than ever, with 37% of Brits spending more time in their garden than five years ago.
However, the experts were quick to point out that a combination of these most popular graden features is more likely to add maximum value than focusing on just one.
Marshalls’ research found that 45% of respondents complained of the difficulty of finding a parking space near their home, which is why off-road parking was considered to be the second most valuable feature.
The results showed that those who have to park on a road spend on average seven minutes per day looking for a space, equivalent to 42.5 hours per year. This could be the reason why 24% of buyers value the time-saving benefits of a driveway as the most important feature of a property.
Nonetheless, the added value of a drive varies across the UK. A house with a drive in Leicester will add 60% to the average house price, but only 4% to similar properties in Liverpool and Bristol.
Chris Harrop, Director of Sustainability at Marshalls has commented that the results of the survey demonstrate that the house-buying public strongly appreciates good quality outdoor space at home and that it’s a decisive factor when looking at property.
Harrop added that investment in a garden or drive will increase the value of a house when sold as well as enhance the lifestyle of the owners. The creation and maintenance of an outdoor space can provide a family with years of enjoyment and relaxation, but it’s also worth knowing that a beautiful garden will attract buyers when it comes to selling up.