How much more will Londoners pay for outdoor space?

Monday 22nd July 2013

With a heatwave sweeping the UK, now is the perfect time to take some time out and relax in your garden, balcony or root terrace, that’s if you have one. The reality is that many people living in this country do not have access to outside space, especially in London, where space for housing is extremely limited.

With around 8.3 million residents in 2012, London is the most populous city in the country, which means that the proportion of people living in homes in the city without outdoor space is generally below the national average.

The lack of properties with outside space in the capital means that many Londoners are prepared to pay a premium for outdoor space when it comes to buying property in the city, especially as far as gardens and roof terraces are concerned. But how much more are people in the capital willing to pay?

Research by Marsh & Parsons reveals that two comparable properties in the same area could vary significantly in price due to the impact of a garden, outside terrace, or proximity to a park. An attractive garden, roof terrace or being near to green, open space can add around a 20% premium to the price of a London property. Now that the summer is here, the importance of a garden or alfresco space such as roof terraces and balconies moves up to the top of the wish list for buyers.

The company analysed two home sin Bayswater and found that there are strong price differences between those properties which feature attractive outdoor space and those which do not.

A one-bedroom property in Bayswater with an outdoor patio garden is generally £75,000 more expensive than a comparable one-bedroom property, also on the lower ground floor of a building only two minutes’ walk away– a premium of around 16% for a property of relatively the same size, on the same floor, in the same building and mainly due to one having a private patio.

Proximity to London’s great parks can add an enormous premium to prime London property.

Analysis of two homes in Kensington, for instance, found that a property featuring a magnificent garden, overlooking Kensington Gardens, is being offered at an asking price of £3.5 million. A similar sized flat without a garden in the same area shows that a 36% premium exists for the Palace Gardens Terrace property with an exceptional garden – compared to this similar sized property without a garden and only a stone’s throw away.

Another property in the same neighbourhood that consist of a private patio and access to a roof terrace, shows the price gap is substantial compared to the Makepeace House property which is the same size but lacks outdoor space). Here Marsh & parsons found there to be a premium of around 6% for an almost identical property in size and style, simply owing to the fact the Palace Gate property has the additional appeal of a small patio and a roof terrace.

Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, said: “In the summer months, Londoners yearn for some outdoor space and the freedom to have an external room in which to entertain. But fulfilling the dream of a countryside idyll in London comes at a premium. In such an urban area, outdoor space is both scarce and expensive. Thankfully, Londoners can also retreat to one of the capital’s treasured parks and green spaces, where it is possible to find a piece of the great outdoors here in the city.

“Location and outdoor space can make the difference between a desirable property and an incredible property with a wow factor. Gardens, roof terraces and the proximity to green space can all add substantial value. Properties without gardens are not as appealing for many home buyers and it can be harder to sell them during the summer months.”


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