Plan Insurance Blog

Garden Rents Bloom: Covid Causes 43% Outdoor Space Premium

Enjoyment of gardens during the pandemic brings great rental yields. When you’re stuck looking at four walls, having your own outside space becomes something to treasure. As a result, demand for homes with gardens has risen since the beginning of the pandemic.

Research has recently shown that having a garden adds 25% more to the average rent price of a home in some cities. The most dramatic example is Bath, where a garden adds 43% to the average rental price.

With Britain coming in and out of lockdown, a centrally-located apartment in a busy part of town doesn’t have the same attraction that it used to. People want gardens and outdoor spaces. This is especially true for those more worried about or vulnerable to Covid-19, who may only be able to relax in areas that they know are free from risk.

Gardens Are Becoming Profitable For Landlords

Landlords and property developers should be aware of the opportunity present in a pandemic and post-pandemic world. A beautiful garden is valued like it never has been before, and people are willing to pay a premium for it. Landlords that have properties with gardens are likely to earn a higher rental income than ever before.

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The 2021 view of a garden isn’t just somewhere to plant flowers and sunbathe, it is a source of health and wellbeing. Even after the pandemic, people will view their gardens and outdoor spaces in a way that they hadn’t ever before. This unforeseen change is likely to carry on for years to come as a post-covid world braces itself for the risk of another pandemic. Gardens will be viewed as a sanctuary, a safe place in an uncertain world.

Estate agents have reported that smaller flats and houses without outdoor spaces have received much less interest than before. Daniel Bunting, Estate Agent at Apropos says that properties with outside space have rent increases of up to 10% more than similar-sized properties without any outdoor areas.

Gardens Aren’t Just Important For Us Now, But In ‘The New Normal’ Too.

With travel restrictions and lockdowns a reality for us living in the world today, the garden has taken on a life of its own. It offers a taste of nature, a break from the work-from-home grind and the mundanity of living and working within the same walls. Particularly in the UK, nice weather is limited, so people want to make the most of it. It is easy to see why renters are happy to pay a premium to ensure the British summertime doesn’t pass them by for one more year.

Rightmove’s housing market analyst, Miles Shipside, says searches for homes with gardens on Rightmove were up 42% in May 2020 compared to the same month in 2019. He noted that Kitchen space was the most important in the past, but now he has advised landlords to give greater prominence to pictures of gardens and outdoor areas to attract renters. He also suggests painting fences and clearing out the shed to make a property more attractive. He urged that communal gardens should be highlighted in rental listings.

Rental Prices May Be Changing For Good As Our Priorities Change.

The demand for outdoor spaces has translated to more people wanting to rent in coastal areas and the countryside. Travel links have become less critical during a lockdown, and the working-from-home revolution has also made commuting times significantly less of a factor. Unfortunately, the rise in rental prices may make gardens and outdoor spaces unattainable for those with lower budgets, which would be a shame.

A report released by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors confirms the changing tides of preferences about where we live. 74% of property professionals questioned noted an increase in demand for homes near green spaces. Of those asked, 68% thought properties with more private space and fewer communal areas would be more desirable.

At the other end of the spectrum, 78% of professionals expected a fall in the appeal of tower blocks, with 58% believing homes in urban areas will be increasingly less appealing.

It remains to be seen what the drastic changes in our priorities and lifestyles will have on the rental market in the coming months, particularly as we see the tail end of the pandemic. When all restrictions are eventually lifted, then its likely, life (and rental prices) may well being to edge back towards their pre-pandemic patterns. Though an element of the increase in flexible working is likely to remain, and those of us with gardens will continue to treasure them for the foreseeable future.

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