Gardens and parking are most important considerations when moving home

Outdoor space for both leisure and practical purposes is the number one priority for UK house hunters, followed by parking space, according to a new study.

The research, conducted by hard landscaping manufacturer Marshalls, asked 1,000 people for the most important features they look for when deciding on a new property, with gardens and off street parking coming out top of the list.

Over half, some 54% of respondents, said that a private garden would always be on their must have list when looking for a new home, while 24% opted for off street parking as the most important feature.

The research also found that location was the most important factor for only 18%, with the size of the property mattering for just 4% of respondents.

With such high demand for outdoor space, it is not surprising to see a private garden or driveway add value to a property. However, by analysing current house listings against UK averages, the research shows that this additional value can vary dramatically depending on where you are in the country.

With available space such a high commodity in the capital, house hunters are going to have to pay well above the city average if they want to secure a home with a garden in London. 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 gardens may be the number one priority for house hunters in 2019, those looking in London will have to spend an additional 69% in order to buy one. Prospective house hunters in Leeds will find it much easier to afford a new home with access to green space, with houses that have gardens listed at only 10% over the average house price in the Yorkshire city.

With 45% of respondents complaining about finding a parking spot close to their home, it should come as no surprise to see the market reflecting the additional benefit of knowing you can park right by your front door every day.

As a whole, driveways in Leicester come with the largest premium, adding a further 60% to the average house price in the area. At the other end of the spectrum, properties with driveways in Liverpool and Bristol can only expect to see a 4% increase in asking price, compared to those without this luxury.

While it may seem like a worthwhile gamble to bet on street parking to avoid paying extra for a property with a driveway, the research shows that whilst people may save money on their purchase initially, they will end up paying in different ways in the future.

Residents who rely on on street parking spend an average of seven minutes a day looking for a parking spot close to their homes, working out at 42 and a half hours each year.

‘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.