Lots of things add value to properties and make them stand out from each other. The number of bedrooms, off road parking, and of course, the all-important location, location, location all play a role in how much a house is worth.
There’s one thing that pretty much everyone cares about when looking for a new house: whether it has a garden.
Gardens are great, aren’t they? From hosting family barbecues to those light evenings enjoying the last of the sunshine and the chance for kids and pets to play. They’re a great asset to any property, especially when it comes to trying to sell one.
But what's a garden really worth? Here at Hatched, we wanted to find out, so we looked at a few things which make all the difference.
Does size really matter?
Our research showed that although we love gardens as a nation, they've definitely shrunk over the years. The average garden in 2015 measured just 14m² compared to 16.8m² in 1983 – that's around 17% less garden space in a little over 30 years! If you look at the rest of the data it shows a clear pattern of garden shrinkage, and we've predicted it will be down to just 12.6m² by the end of 2018.
Why are gardens shrinking?
Probably because they shouldn’t go in the dryer. Seriously though, in recent years there has been a trend of homeowners not fussed about big gardens selling off parts of their property to developers as an extra source of income.
Why we love a garden.
The main reason people want a garden is unsurprisingly for children and pets. The next most popular reason was to socialise in, then hobbies like gardening and wildlife-watching. People care much less about having a garden to enjoy the weather – probably because we don’t get a lot of enjoyable weather in this country!
Is it an age thing?
With gardens shrinking over the past 35 years, we wondered if this had an impact on how important gardens are to younger generations. Turns out it did…
Our research suggests the older you are, the more important your garden is. For example, a third (32.97%) of those over 55 considered having a garden as ‘very important’, compared to only one in ten of under 35s (8.38%). Overall, the 18-35 demographic said that having a garden ‘isn’t a priority’ for them.
With those aged 55+ more likely to be retired and so potentially having more time on their hands to enjoy the garden, perhaps it’s easy to see why.
Must it be south facing?
Orientation is certainly a selling point. South-facing gardens are commonly thought to be most desirable, getting more sunshine compared to gardens in other directions. But when you compare house prices between properties with different-facing gardens, the direction doesn’t seem to matter that much. Research carried out by Direct Line* suggests having a south-facing garden only adds an extra 0.37% to the value of a home.
How much does a garden add to house prices?
A recent article by The Telegraph** claimed that a good garden can add up to 20% more value to a property, but that’s a lot more than the 0.37% the Direct Line research suggests a south-facing garden adds. So we decided to look into it ourselves.
Using some of our properties for sale around this time last year, we checked if having a garden significantly improved a property’s value or not. The findings were pretty interesting, with house prices on a whole having a much higher average value when a property had a garden. Here are a few examples from London and Preston.
London (May 2017):
- Properties for sale: 46
- Average property value: £688,794
- Average property value with garden: £698,496
- Average property value without garden: £640,672
- Average 'added value' with a garden: + £57,824 / + 9%
Preston (May 2017):
- Properties for sale: 31
- Average property value: £106,127
- Average property value with garden: £121,664
- Average property value without garden: £84,615
- Average 'added value' with a garden: + £37,049 / + 44%
As you can see, properties in London were worth 9% more with a garden – that’s not surprising with space at such a premium in the capital.
In Preston, however, this increase was even more significant. Properties were worth a staggering 44% more with the addition of a garden!
We did find one exception to the rule, though… when we looked at other places in the country, our properties in Manchester seemed to have a better average value without a garden! Only slightly, though.
It’s worth noting that many other factors come into play with property valuations. Things like size, location, layout, similar sales and buyer demand will always play a part in the market.
Overall, our research shows that we still love a property with a good garden (especially those of us with children and pets) and that having one can add significant value to your home.
…Unless you’re in Manchester apparently – where the rain probably makes a lovely garden a bit redundant!
How much do you think your garden is worth? We’ll tell you. Book a FREE valuation including your garden to find out.
* Please see: Direct Line Research
** Please see: Telegraph Article