If you’ve spent any time with an estate agent, you’ll know that south-facing gardens are a big deal. They like to talk about the virtues of these ‘sun traps’ – but do south-facing gardens actually add any real value to your property?
The short answer is no; or at least, not really.
It’s all a sun trap
To cut a long story short, research by Direct Line shows that the benefits of a south-facing garden are not reflected in the asking price of a property.
In fact, south-facing gardens only carry a measly 0.37% premium, when compared to north-facing gardens.
So, although it’s nice to have a back garden that gets the sun for longer, and is generally warmer and brighter, it won’t typically increase the value of your property.
So what can increase the asking price?
While south-facing gardens don’t add much to your property’s value, river views carry a considerable premium – an average of 9%.
For example, a three-bedroom property in North London with a river view recently had an asking price of £850,000. Unbelievably, that’s 42% more than identical houses in the same development that cost £600,000 but were without a river view.
Which begs the question: is it really worth an extra £250,000 to look out your window and see a river?
Pros & Cons of a South-Facing Garden
What Does ‘A South-Facing Garden’ Mean?
The garden could be slightly off-facing southwards and still be classed as ‘south-facing’. Anything from South-East through to South-West can be described as south-facing.
Advantages Of A South Facing Garden
- Warmer – it’s likely you’ll be able to sit in the sun and enjoy your garden for longer periods than a north-facing garden
- Less Damp/Moss – Because the garden will be sunnier, things like moss and dampness will be less of a problem
- Growing Plants – If you like growing fruit and vegetables, they’ll love the long sunny days facing south
- Drying Clothes – Your washing will dry much quicker when hung in a sunny southerly facing garden
- Less Heating – Even in winter you may find rooms that face south need less heating to stay warm
Of course, there are other advantages of a south-facing garden but that covers some of the main ones.
Disadvantages Of A South-Facing Garden
- Too Hot – At the height of summer, a south-facing garden can end up getting too hot to enjoy!
- The ‘North’ Side – The other side of the house may suffer more from damp and moss
- Inconsistent Room Temperatures – You’ll often find rooms on the south side are too warm, while rooms on the north side are too cold!
- Fading Colours – Furniture such as curtains, sofas, and even walls tend to fade in the relentless sunlight
- Cracked Walls – The constant changes in temperature and moisture levels can eventually cause walls to crack!
Therefore it’s clear, that it’s not always the case that a south-facing garden is best.
If you do have a garden that faces south then you’ll probably need to invest in some form of sun shade like these in order to protect your furniture.
In big cities, the price of a flat skyrockets the further up a building you go.
According to one developer, for every floor you climb, £15,000 is added to the value. It seems a room with a view has taken on a whole new – and more expensive – meaning.
An example of this is a 14th floor flat located five minutes from Angel tube station in London. On the market for £850,000 – it’s 31% more expensive than the exact same property down on the third floor.
So the higher you climb, the higher the price.
But keep in mind, while a property with pretty views overlooking the water will probably be more expensive, home insurance may also cost more because of increased flood risk.