Since the lockdown in March and the move towards remote working, UK residents have been making use of their property’s space more than ever. But how much more do we value a garden and study than a flat?
We have compared the increase in the value of semi-detached houses versus flats across the UK, to show how much more demand there is for a spacious property and where this demand is, as well as where first time buyers can afford their own larger house.
Where is the Highest Demand for Gardens in the UK
Commuters are moving out of London in search of bigger homes
The top areas seeing a surge in demand for semi-detached houses versus flats are primarily areas within commuting distance to London. With companies turning to remote work and reducing office size, more London workers are looking outside of the capital for a spacious property with useful travel links. While it may seem like a strange time to buy for travelling to London, as more people turn to remote working with the occasional commute, these areas will continue to rise in value, especially the pricier semi-detached properties that equal the cost of a London flat.
Where are London workers moving?
The top spot, South Northamptonshire, has easy access to the M1 via several A-roads, along with train stations in Northampton and Milton Keynes. A train from Milton Keynes to London Euston can take as little as 33 minutes. Situated between Birmingham and London, this area of the midlands is also great for workers that move between different locations.
East Sussex, third for semi-detached demand, is located between Royal Tunbridge Wells and Brighton. Travelling from Crowborough, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to London Bridge takes just 1 hour 9 minutes – you can go from some of the most scenic UK countryside to the Shard in under an hour and a half!
Oxfordshire is fourth in this ranking for semi-detached demand and is another excellent choice for commuting into London. Travelling directly to London Paddington or Marylebone via train will take an average of 1 hour 8 minutes, or you can take the M40 straight to the M25 ring road.
East Hampshire, fifth overall, has a few towns nearing the golden 1 hour commute time, such as Petersfield, described as a ‘nirvana for commuters’ by the Guardian, and Alton, which takes just over an hour by train to London Waterloo.
South Northamptonshire has the highest demand for properties with gardens
Semi-detached houses in South Northamptonshire have increased by 1.03% in value between March and May, versus flats which have decreased in value by 0.21% over the same period. This has resulted in the largest increase in semi-detached demand over flats in the UK, at 1.24%. Therefore buyers are demanding extra space and gardens the most in this area.
The reason that demand for houses in South Northants is higher than the other London commutable areas featured is the lower house prices attracting buyers. You can get a semi-detached house here for an average of £266,638, versus £313,072 for one in East Sussex, or £372,357 for a semi just over the border into Oxfordshire.
Why move to South Northamptonshire?
There are a handful of commuter towns to choose from in South Northants, the largest of which is Brackley, followed by Towcester. Both of these lay on the A43, with the A5 also running through Towcester. The A5 leads directly to Milton Keynes – a great city for both shopping and catching a train into London Euston.
If you’re looking for a combination of bustle and countryside, consider moving to the village of Silverstone, where the motor racing circuit hosts the Grand Prix, Moto GP and other car events that’ll keep you occupied throughout the year.
Another great village to check out is Stoke Bruerne, which is situated just 10 miles north of Milton Keynes, and lies directly on the Grand Union Canal. As a result, this village is a popular area for tourism, with canal boats drifting up and down the river adding to the relaxed way of life.
North West Leicestershire is second in demand for properties with gardens
With the prices of semi-detached properties increasing by 1.14% more than flats, demand for more spacious properties in North West Leicestershire has risen by the second-highest amount since lockdown. Access to the M42 and M1 means that you can commute up or down the country to your office when necessary. Birmingham is also easily within reach, with a drive down the M42 from the central market town of Ashby de la Zouch taking just 35 minutes.
Why move to North West Leicestershire?
Neighbouring cities include Leicester, Loughborough, and Nottingham, all of which enjoy a thriving nightlife and plenty of job opportunities for the budding young professional or relocating office worker alike.
When we can finally travel abroad again, the East Midlands airport services the area from Castle Donnington, and is a quick drive from most parts of the district.
Ashby de la Zouch and Coalville are the two main towns in the area. Ashby de la Zouch is a vibrant up-and-coming market town with pubs, shops and venues. As a finalist for rising star highstreet of 2019, potential buyers can be safe in the knowledge that the area will only become more popular, and house prices will continue to increase. If you’re looking to experience a larger town, head to the busier university town of Loughborough, where a taxi there will cost just £30-£35.
England-based first-time buyers should consider a semi-detached house in Boston
Overall, Boston offers the best value for semi-detached houses in England, versus the first-time buyer average spend. You can pick up a spacious, semi-detached house for just £141,931 on average, 0.47% lower than the amount a first-time buyer would usually pay in the area. If you’re looking for classic coastal views, check out several of the villages located right on the seafront, to the northeast of Boston.
Wales has some excellent choices for first-time buyers
The average price of a semi-detached house in Ceredigion, West Wales, is just £159,297.50 – that’s 8.35% below the average first-time buyer price in the area, so easily within reach of any new property owners looking for a larger house and garden.
Carmarthenshire could be the best choice for prospective buyers looking for their first home. A semi-detached house here costs £135,009.80, which is just under the average first-time buyer’s purchase of £135,046.40 in the county. This area has great opportunities for young professionals, as it borders the county of Swansea. Llanelli, the largest town in the county, is just 12 miles from the city itself. In July 2020, Swansea was ranked the fourth best place in the UK to start a business – the perfect area for lower-cost living and work opportunities.
David Truby, spokesperson for Greensleeves Lawn Care: “It’s great to see the increased interest in houses with gardens over flats since the UK lockdown. Many families have reassessed the importance of outdoor space to call their own, whether it’s for a spot of gardening or a family BBQ at the height of summer.
“At the moment, the stamp duty holiday and low-interest mortgages have created an excellent opportunity for property buyers to push the boat out, and opt for a house with a slice of garden.
“If you’re a first-time buyer or moving from a flat, check how well cared for the lawn is. Dead patches will jump out at you first, but also make sure the grass isn’t waterlogged or covered in weeds. Read up further with our autumn lawn care tips for any common issues to look out for and how to resolve these.”
If you’ve recently moved into a property with a tired garden, or are new to owning a garden altogether, check out our lawn care tips to identify any potential issues or get a quick quote for freshening up your lawn.
If you would like your lawn assessed and a tailored treatment routine made to ensure your garden looks its best throughout the year, get in touch directly or find your local lawn treatment expert for further advice.
Can’t see your district above, and want to know how in-demand a larger house is in your local area or an area where you’re planning to purchase? View our full results here to see the demand for semi-detached houses versus flats in every area of the UK.