In a lot of ways, a garden is the true sign of luxury when it comes to owning a home, especially if you've grown up in a densely populated area. But how much of a difference does it really make when it comes to house prices? The answer is, it depends.
Research from online estate agent Hatched has revealed that where you live can determine how much extra value you could get out of owning a garden. For instance, those living in London will see house prices that are on average £57,824 higher (+9%) when looking at a property with a garden, while in Preston a garden can add a lesser £37,049 to the house price, which is nonetheless a whopping 44% increase in value for that city.
Meanwhile, people in Manchester seem to actually lose value when it comes to properties with a garden, at least in terms of monetary worth. Still, a garden is worth more than simply the extra money that can be gained from it, with it offering a space for kids and pets to run around, for friends to come over and enjoy a barbecue, or simply a nice outdoor area to relax in after a long day of work. That said, given ever-increasing house prices and the challenge of coming up with even a small deposit, is the 'green premium' worth it?
Additional figures from Hatched show that garden sizes have been shrinking, with the average garden in 2015 measuring just 14 metres squared, down from 16.8 metres squared in 1983 – a decrease of around 17%! Indeed, if this shrinkage keeps up, they predicted that the size of an average garden might measure just 12.6 metres squared at the end of next year.
The question then becomes; do you even need all that space? While your first instinct might be 'yes', the figures show that people get less use out of their gardens than they'd like to think, with 32.68% only using their garden around 20 times per year, so once or twice a month. Only a minority of 12.18% said they use their garden more than once per week.
That said, there are all sorts of factors that can influence how much you use your garden, not the least being the weather. This in turn can affect the added value of a green space when it comes to property prices – in a rainy city, people may care less about having a nice garden. And yet, a private garden can bring peace of mind to some people simply by having it, and being able to look out over it. As such, it can all come down to personal preference and how green-fingered you feel.
If you've decided you'll happily pay a premium to get a house with a garden, it's time to get to work. You'll need to adjust the size of your deposit, and save up for your adjusted goalaccordingly. If you're a would-be first-time buyer, a Help to Buy ISA can bring that dream at least 25% closer, thanks to the Government bonus.
If you're a current homeowner looking to move somewhere with a garden, it's important to find the best mortgage rate you can afford. Likewise, if you've recently remortgaged to take advantage of the low mortgage rates in the market and now have some breathing room in your outgoings, it might be a good idea to start overpaying, to make sure you can apply for a lower loan-to-value tier whenever you decide to move, and reduce your monthly repayments even further.
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.