The number one priority for UK house hunters is outdoor space for both recreational and practical purposes, followed by parking space, according to a new study.
The research by hard landscaping manufacturer Marshalls asked 1,000 people what features are most important to them when looking for a new property, and gardens gardens and off street parking came out on top.
Indeed, a private garden was an absolute must for 54% of respondents, while off street parking was a deal-breaker for 24%. The research also found that 18% see the location as the most important aspect, and just 4% prioritise the property’s size above anything else.
With outdoor space being so sought after, it’s perhaps no surprise to see properties with a private garden and a driveway often valued significantly higher than those without. However, research on current house listings against UK average prices shows that the amount of additional value that these features carry can vary depending on location.
For example, with limited availability in London, to secure a home with a garden will naturally cost far more than the average for the city. By analysing a range of properties across the city against the average London house price of £482,200, the study found that properties with gardens are listed at an average of £813,500.
While house hunters may see a garden as a top priority, this will cost an additional 69% for those in the capital. By contrast, house hunters in Leeds will only have to pay around 10% more to secure a property with a garden.
With finding a parking spot close to their home a concern for 45% of respondents, it should come as no surprise that the additional benefit of secure private parking is reflected in the market value – particularly for those in Leicester.
Indeed, driveways in the East Midlands city add a further 60% to the average house price, the largest premium of any location. Meanwhile, properties with driveways in Liverpool and Bristol are only around 4% more expensive on average.
While having to rely on street parking may not seem like much of an inconvenience, the research shows that residents without driveways spend seven minutes a day on average looking for somewhere suitable to park. Over a year, this equates to 42 and a half hours.
‘The results of this research show that people really value good quality outdoor space at home and that it’s a strong deciding factor when house hunting,’ said Chris Harrop, director of sustainability and marketing at Marshalls.
‘As the study shows, an investment in your garden or drive not only benefits your lifestyle, but it also adds value to your home if you decide to move on. Creating and maintaining a garden can give you years of fun and relaxation with the family but it’s also good to know that it will encourage buyers when you come to sell,’ he added.