Househunters face paying 'garden tax' for outside space after lockdown

Househunters could have to pay a virtual ‘garden tax’ to secure a home with private outside space, it has been predicted – after a poll found finding such a property was top of buyers’ wish lists after lockdown.

Monday, 6th July 2020, 7:00 am

The survey, by mortage broker firstmortgage.co.uk, indicated that more than half of respondents thought the garden was the most important thing to consider when buying a home.

Eighty-five per cent of those who took part in the research said they wanted to live somewhere with a garden, while almost three quarters said they valued somewhere private so they could avoid other people and stay safe. One fifth said they wanted somewhere they could have a barbecue.

David McGrail, compliance director at firstmortgage.co.uk, said buyers could be forced to ‘pay a premium to get homes with outside space’.

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Homes with gardens are expected to attract a premium. Picture: Andrew Roe.
Homes with gardens are expected to attract a premium. Picture: Andrew Roe.

“A garden can go a long way to helping people feel relaxed in their property, especially during a prolonged period spent at home,” he said. “The fact almost half say that moving to a property with a garden is important shows a change in what is desired in property post-Covid.”

More than half of those polled thought the garden was a top priority for a new house, ahead of the condition of the property, the existence of a friendly community and the proximity to transport.

Mr McGrail added: “Coming out of lockdown, I think we will see a shift in where people want to live. It might be that people leave the city for the countryside or surrounding towns where outside space is more available.”

It comes after the website Zoopla forecasted that a ‘surprise’ housing market rebound, which has seen demand for homes rise, would mean that property prices do not start to fall generally until later this year.

Zoopla said it expects to see house prices bounce upwards over the coming months as pent-up buyer demand which has grown during lockdown is released into the market – before falling towards the end of 2020 into early 2021.

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