A nation of talented gardeners and horticulturists, Britain has a long history. The fascination with all things garden-related has endured through Ground Force to Gardeners’ World, Monty Don to Charlie Dimmock, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to young gardeners sharing their best advice on social media.
However, this love affair intensified during the pandemic, when garden space became necessary for many people and quickly became a must-have when shifting homes. You must have a ton of questions for an estate agent: Has this love affair persisted now that the epidemic is less severe and isn’t the top story on the news agenda? How much value would a garden add to a home and are properties with gardens still in great demand?
A house price premium?
Long recognized as a desirable feature for many buyers, a south-facing garden can improve a home’s value and demand. But how much value would actually be added by having an outside area? According to a recent study by London real estate agency Benham and Reeves, potential buyers in the city may expect to pay an extra £64,000 on average for access to a garden.
This is even more pronounced in affluent Kensington & Chelsea, where local purchasers must pay an enormous £166,000 premium for garden space on average. Westminster, Camden, and the City of London, which are more central boroughs, all have premiums over £10,000. As opposed to 16.6 per cent in April 2021, Knight Frank discovered that the average asking price for a London flat with a private garden is 19 per cent higher. The increase in the outside space and garden premium shows the race for space triggered by the pandemic is far from run, and access to outdoor space remains high on buyers’ wishlists.
In contrast, a 2020 Rightmove survey found that homes promoted as having highly desired south-facing gardens had average asking prices that were £22,695 greater than those without. The data, which was examined for the first time, focused on slightly less than 400,000 three- and four-bedroom houses across the UK. It was discovered that asking prices were 7 per cent higher for houses with gardens that are south-facing.
In nearly all regions, Rightmove’s data revealed that homes with south-facing gardens often sell more quickly than those without them. According to surveys, the top change in buyer priorities brought about by the lockdown was the ability to host a more extensive garden or have access to one. Many people look for homes on Rightmove, Zoopla, or OnTheMarket.
Has the demand held up since the pandemic?
Numerous studies conducted at the height of the pandemic pointed to an increase in demand for homes with gardens, which was one of the most obvious housing trends resulting from the numerous lockdowns intended to fend off Covid-19.
Since then, there have been fewer, but nothing to suggest that this trend is beginning to slow down. Even if more people are moving back into cities, the struggle for space continues to be a major factor in the housing market.
A recent Rightmove study indicated that 63 per cent of homebuyers said having access to big gardens or outdoor space is a big selling point for many purchasers. Recent studies have suggested that garden space is a major selling point for many buyers. For house sellers, a number of studies have indicated that gardens can raise a property’s worth, with one AA study from February 2021 finding that having garden space can boost a home’s value by 5%. And in many situations, boosting that value may be done in a number of quick, low-cost steps by maintaining a garden healthy and up to date with current gardening techniques.
How does this affect buyers and sellers post-pandemic?
Garden premiums are definitely a reality for buyers when they buy a house, but one benefit of this is that if they ever decide to sell a house later on, they will experience their own premium, which will probably be much higher due to the inflation in housing prices.
Garden space is currently a more valuable asset for sellers than ever, and in many cases, it may raise asking prices very dramatically. This capacity is even higher if the garden faces south. The early summer months are also the time of year when garden space really shines as people host family barbecues, catch up for drinks with friends, or simply eat outside when the temperature rises.
The possibility for a garden to shine increases due to the likelihood that warm weather will now be more frequent and the lengthening of the days. Buyers are likely to prioritise this space and be keenly aware of its contents, therefore sellers are often advised to make the most of any garden or outdoor space they have to increase the appeal of their home.
Will outdoor space and gardens ever go out of fashion?
Even while maintaining a garden might require a lot of time, money, and effort, the allure of having a place to take care of flowers, grow your own food, and channel your inner Alan Titchmarsh is still quite powerful and was amplified by the pandemic.
It appears quite unlikely that this will change anytime soon, but it won’t be apparent if properties with gardens continue to fetch such high premiums until we have fully recovered from the epidemic and the value of gardens to buyers may have significantly diminished.