In a city where any outside space is a luxury, in the lettings market, Londoners are prepared to pay a premium of up to 10% just to have a bit of greenery. This figure often increases in the summer months, when it’s not uncommon to see premiums closer to 15% depending on the property.
This varies across London however and is dependent on the location. In Hammersmith we are currently letting two comparatively similar properties. One is a one bedroom flat with outside space located on Stonor Road, while the other located on Hamlet Gardens also has one bedroom but without the benefit of outside space; the difference in rental value is equivalent to 17%. Holland Park is another area which is particularly renowned for its greenery and even if a private garden isn’t possible, many of the homes here include access to communal gardens or private garden squares.
These days, developers have become wiser to the growing market for properties with some semblance of outside space and are increasingly designing new builds with balconies or communal gardens. Roof terraces have also become part of this growing trend, especially where young professionals are concerned. These easy to maintain spaces are a great place to entertain and often command in the region of 8% more than properties without.
Buy to Let (BTL) investors are taking note of the rental premium that can be achieved when a home has outside space. In the last two years the number of BTL investors purchasing property has increased by 180%.With many of them buying a property with some form of outside space, an easy to maintain garden is high on their list of priorities, there are some even considering options like Astro Turf. On occasion we’ve seen landlords even hire a gardener or buy gardening tools for the tenants to use. Some tenants however, families in particular, enjoy looking after their gardens and enjoy a larger space. Caroline Basma, Lettings Manager at our Earlsfield branch says, “Despite the fact that there are many local parks and open spaces for families to enjoy across London, tenants will often prefer a garden which is directly and easily accessible from the property so that they can watch their children from indoors and be able to get to them quickly if necessary. If they are renting a flat, then they often opt for something on the ground floor.”
Although properties with outside space command a better premium in summer, throughout the rest of the year, when the weather is less than desirable, outside space can be high maintenance. Subsequently, many landlords have begun trying to improve and extend their properties so that the space can be used year round. This often involves lengthening the roof so that it covers the patio and some have installed electronic canopies that can be easily manoeuvred. We’re also seeing more homes with integrated sound, lighting and self-watering systems as well as gas barbeques which further add to the feeling of extending your reception and offer more space to socialise in. Caroline also notes that, “London attracts many nationalities who are used to having large gardens and outside space. They are enthusiastic outdoor diners and will spark up the barbeque in all weathers and place a high importance on this luxury.”