Which places have the best value back gardens?
The top locations where similar properties are worth more with a garden include:
- Walsall – 16% more
- Sunderland – 15% more
- Liverpool – 11% more
But the extra value a back garden adds is not always clear-cut. Typically, a garden increases the size of the property and thereby the price, but location is also a factor. In Birmingham near to Walsall, a garden adds just 3% in value, yet the average house price is over £46,000 more – plus there may be more houses with gardens in Birmingham.
Down on the south coast, a back garden in Brighton is worth the most cash. With an average house price of £379,259, a home with a back garden is £27,297 more – a 7% increase. The city is the most expensive to live in after London, just an hour away by train.
Properties within the London area are seemingly cheaper with a back garden – possibly because apartments in central London and along the Thames push the average property price up beyond the cost of a typical home.
After London, properties in Glasgow see the least increase from a bit of green space. A back garden adds only 1% to the average price of a home, but this may be due to the history of the one-time port city. Edinburgh gardens add just 3% to a house price, but the average property price here is over £128,000 more than Glasgow.
How do Brits feel about their back gardens?
So a back garden adds a bit more to a home, but what do people use theirs for?
We polled 1,025 AA Members and found that 60% had spent more on their back gardens during the summer of 2020 than 2019 – with over 40% spending over £100 more.2 The coronavirus lockdown was probably a significant factor, as homeowners sought solace and shrubs in any spare space.
Welsh residents in particular were keen on their gardens, with nearly 1 in 5 spending over £500 more in 2020 compared with the previous year.
And while Brits primarily invested in their gardens for pleasure, 1 in 5 thought that the garden would add between £10,000 and £40,000 to their property. Residents in the south east went even further: 15% believed the price increase would be between £20,000 and £40,000.
In most cities the demand for a garden is definitely there, as 56% of the Members polled said they would look for a property that had a garden after living without one.
What should I buy for my back garden?
We asked Members how they'd improved their garden in 2020. Out of the 514 replies, buying plants was the top option, picked by 80% of respondents. Others focused on things like decoration (20%) and their patios (17%).
Barbecues were more popular when it came to adding a dining option, beating pizza ovens and garden bars.
Residents in West Midlands preferred to spend on plants (85% of respondents) and improving their lawn (38%).
|Garden improvements in 2020
|Improved the lawn
|Buying garden furniture
|Bought or improved a patio or decking
|Buying a shed or greenhouse
|Buying a swimming pool or hot tub
|Buying children's outdoor toys
|Installing a garden bar
|Installing a BBQ area
|Installing a pizza oven
Retired people had more time to potter in their back gardens, whereas over half of the generation aged 26–35 used their back gardens mostly to relax. Those over 76 still felt relaxing was important (37% agreed), but a quarter spent more time doing gardening itself.
Back gardens in 2020 and the future
The coronavirus lockdowns have given Brits the opportunity to spend more time and money in their gardens. Having added to the value of our homes, it seems unlikely we'll desert these precious greens spaces anytime soon.
Where do the numbers come from?
1 To find the average value of a back garden, we collected the prices of homes with up to 3 bedrooms in the UK's 30 largest cities from Zoopla on 2 November 2020. Homes with shared ownership or up for auction were excluded. We then compared these prices with the same homes filtered to show only those with gardens.
2 Passenger Seat received 1,025 responses from AA Members to its online poll during 19–22 October 2020. Passenger Seat is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
Published 28 January 2021