A third of properties in major UK towns and cities have no...

A third of properties in major UK towns and cities have no outside space

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A third of properties (31.4%) currently for sale in major UK towns and cities don’t have any outside space, according to research by Housesimple. The online estate agent looked at properties currently on the market in more than 100 major UK towns and cities.

Grimsby is the UK’s greenest town with nine out of every ten of properties (90.7%) listed for sale having a garden, compared to just over a third (38.9%) in Salford, home to MediaCityUK, and the BBC’s headquarters in the north.

Of the UK’s largest cities by population, Bristol is the greenest, with 82.1% of properties currently on the market having outside space, compared to just 53% in Manchester and 54% in Liverpool.

Outside space is on many London buyers’ wish lists, but not surprisingly it’s at a premium in the capital, with six in every ten properties (39.2%) currently for sale not having any garden space. The greenest borough is Bexley, with 85.7% of properties having a garden of some description, compared to just 29.9% in Islington.

The following table shows the bottom and top five greenest UK towns and cities based on the percentage of properties for sale with gardens:

The following table shows the bottom and top five greenest UK towns and cities based on the percentage of properties for sale with gardens:

Town/City Region Total number of properties for sale % of properties on the market with a garden
Salford North West 383 38.9%
Gateshead North East 136 48.9%
Manchester North West 1,658 53.0%
Liverpool North West 2,936 54.0%
London London 38,707 60.8%
Grimsby Yorkshire and the Humber 388 90.7%
Chesterfield East Midlands 942 89.8%
Huntingdon East Midlands 915 88.3%
Mansfield East Midlands 485 87.6%
Solihull West Midlands 418 86.4%

The following table shows the bottom and top five greenest London boroughs based on the percentage of properties for sale with gardens:

Borough Total number of properties for sale % of properties on the market with a garden
Islington 609 29.9%
Hackney 588 32.9%
Westminster  (City of) 1,489 37.7%
Tower Hamlets 1,305 38.3%
Camden 994 45.8%
Bexley 835 85.7%
Havering 1,210 83.7%
Bromley 1,417 81.8%
Redbridge 999 80.5%
Hillingdon 1,401 79.3%

Sam Mitchell, CEO of online estate agents Housesimple comments: “The back garden isn’t on its last legs, but the relentless pursuit of profit has seen outside space sacrificed, particularly in densely populated areas. Developers are building upwards to squeeze every pound of profit out of a plot of land, and gardens take up valuable square footage. Something has to give.

“Sadly, it’s a similar trend with new build family homes. Houses no longer have the expansive back gardens you might have seen 30 to 40 years ago, as developers look to pack as many properties as possible onto new estates. Big three and four bedroom houses with postage stamp sized gardens are becoming the norm, and although a new build might be family-friendly on the inside, the small gardens are not children friendly.

“If a large garden is top of your wish list, search for older properties in areas that are well established. Many period properties have beautiful, mature gardens, and although the property itself might need some updating, particularly if it’s been in the same family for years, it will be worth the extra expense if it’s on a large plot of land.”

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