54% Of House Hunters Say Private Garden Is A Must Have

The number one priority for UK house hunters is outdoor space, for both leisure and practical purposes, followed by a parking space.

Hard landscaping manufacturer Marshalls asked 1,000 people for the most important features they look for when deciding on a new property. Over half of respondents said that a private garden was the most important feature they looked for when buying a house, with 24% saying that off-street parking was the most essential.

The research found that 45% of respondents complained about finding a parking space close to their home, suggesting why having off-street parking space was the second most desirable feature.

These results may seem obvious when considering how much value a garden or parking space can add to a property. However, this additional value can vary dramatically depending on location.

House hunters will have to pay well over the city average if they want a home with a garden in London, as available space is such a high commodity. The average London house price is £482,200- but properties with gardens are listed at an average £813,500. This drastic increase reflects the high demand for outdoor space in the capital.

Leeds house hunters on the other hand will have to pay less for a garden, as houses that have gardens in the Yorkshire city are listed at only 10% over the average price; making them much more affordable.

Driveways in Leicester come with the largest premium, adding a further 60% to the average house price. But in Liverpool and Bristol, properties with driveways only see a 4% increase in price.

The research found that those who rely on street parking spend an average of 7 minutes a day looking for a parking space, which is 42 and a half hours a year. The time saving benefits of a driveway could be another reason as to why 24% of house hunters view them as the most important aspect of buying.

Chris Harrop, the Director of Sustainability at Marshalls, said:

“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.”

“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.”

Have conveyancers found that buyers are waiting for these key property features before buying a home? Or, rocked by a reduction in available housing stock, are more buyers making property compromises?