Since 2020, properties with garden spaces have jumped in value. Estate agents have estimated that gardens can add around 20% of value to a home on the market and, as demand for an outdoor space increases, this figure could rise further.
While garden spaces have always been a feature that many property buyers have wanted, many are now asking what factors have driven the considerable rise in demand over the last few years. The most common and justified consideration is the cultural impact of the international health crisis and its resulting lockdowns on the UK’s society. Suddenly, residents were unable to have access to the same outdoor areas, such as parks, that they once had and were forced to turn elsewhere.
For those with garden spaces, spending time outdoors and soaking up the sunshine was still possible. However, for those without gardens, especially those in central and urban apartments, the lockdowns meant being entirely removed from nature. This initial realisation did certainly have an impact on buyer preferences, with homeowners seeing that gardens had such a significant value, and few wanted to be without access to the outdoors, even if the circumstances of social lockdowns weren’t to happen again.
The pandemic also had a significant indirect impact on homeownership and garden preferences. With many employees working from home during the lockdowns, remote working became ubiquitous and persistent, continuing even after restrictions were lifted. While some businesses were firmly against supporting ongoing teleworking practices, the years following COVID’s outbreak revealed that it was not only possible for many positions to be performed remotely but that it benefitted many too.
Individuals with gardens, however, were generally better equipped to begin working from home in the long term. Summer houses and garden sheds became office spaces, giving residents a space separate from the central household that could become the ‘office’. This enabled them to continue working without compromising their home’s living space and without the distraction of other residents.
This remote working situation posed another interesting question; if employees were going to work remotely, what need was there to live within close proximity to or even within a city?
Urban environments are known to have their challenges, such as pollution and noise, as well as generally small living spaces. For newly remote employees, there was a realisation that the only reason these challenges were at all weathered was to remain in close proximity to a business’ central location and, with that reason gone, employees could live elsewhere and with better access to nature, as well as homes with larger living spaces.
These living spaces were, at least temporarily, more affordable too. Those living in central urban areas paid a premium to do so and were generally enthusiastic to spend the same amount or even less to live further afield to also have access to gardens and greater amounts of living space.
Gardens now continue to capture this longing for nature, with residents recognising the benefits that the outdoors has on mental well-being. While remote working has its favour, it also requires employees to spend a greater amount of time inside the home. As such, having access to an outdoor space as part of private property can make this challenge easier, giving residents their own portion of nature to enjoy at any time.