Buyers in London want green spaces more than shops, new study suggests

People in Londoners value green space above shops, healthcare and entertainment facilities with the vast majority wanting to see trees and green space around new developments, according to new research.

Some 80% rated trees and dedicated planted areas as the most important element of a new build with 78% wanting parks and grassed areas and 71% open spaces between buildings, the study from house builder Barratt London shows.

It has commissioning dedicated research to identify specific green elements that engage best with Londoners’ ever changing housing needs.

The association between green space and wellbeing isn’t a new one, Karly Williams, regional sales director at Barratt London pointed out but she added that historically there were difficulties with incorporating communal parks into developments at planning stages, partly because of limitations on design and the pressure for more units per development.

‘However today, the concept of a green oasis within an urban sprawl is highly regarded, and we’re seeing this in almost all of our Barratt London developments. Sustainability and wellbeing go hand in hand at our sites, knowing we have a responsibility to look after not just our environment, but our residents too,’ she explained.

More than 50% of respondents to the survey believed the impact of having green space will dramatically improve air quality and demand for greener living is growing. Research from Barratt London suggests that over 82% of respondents would be more likely to buy a home in an area with incorporated green space, such as communal gardens, access to parks and outdoor seating, than one without.

The preference for a green view increases with age. Some 77% of Londoners aged 45 and over preferred a view of trees, a planted area, a park or a landscaped communal garden, 14% above the London average. While 82% of Londoners aged 55 plus valued green spaces, which is 12% above the London average, highlighting the different needs of this demographic.

The poll also found that 52% of respondents felt that there weren’t enough ponds, lakes and other water features such as fountains within new developments. ‘Water has a proven calming effect on stress as well as supporting the surrounding ecosystem. I am not surprised that buyers value this so highly,’ said Williams.

One new development in Hendon by Barratt was chosen with wellbeing in mind. It overlooks the Welsh Harp reservoir within 170 hectares of green surroundings with features that include courtyard gardens and a new green thoroughfare giving residents more opportunity for outdoor and active living.