After its dismal hiatus during lockdown, the property market is well and truly up and running again, with buyers and sellers keen to make the most of Rishi Sunak’s temporary stamp duty holiday.
When it comes to getting the best price for your property, many homeowners usually give the interiors a spruce to make it more attractive to interested parties.
But according to top UK estate agents, there are a number of features that buyers in the current market are looking for – and they can add up to 10 per cent to the value of your home.
While some are out of your control to an extent, others could be installed and capitalised on if you’re willing to invest.
Here FEMAIL reveals the sought-after characteristics that could help you clinch a sale at the price you’re looking for.
Homes with their own private entrance could now have a premium of up to 10 per cent on their value. Pictured: A luxury three-bedroom maisonette at 18 Curzon Street in Mayfair, currently listed with Wetherell for £5.5million
Having your own front door
In recent years, Mayfair-based estate agency Wetherell claims ultra-prime mixed-use developments have appealed to buyers, with residents-only access to world-class amenities a top priority.
But the group reports that homes with their own private entrance could now have a premium of up to 10 per cent on their value.
Following the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, Wetherell has found a growing number of homeseekers are putting ‘own front door’ top of their priority list.
They deduce this is because people are increasingly wanting to control their home environment, and a private entrance and hallway that is not shared with another household is now a top requirement for security and peace of mind, leading to a rise in popularity for traditional townhouses and maisonettes.
Peter Wetherell, chief executive of Wetherell, said: ‘We have seen a resurgence in buyers keen for properties with their own front doors.
‘Although every property is different, given the significant demand for front doors, we estimate this could put a premium of up to 10 per cent on the property’s value.’
A garden studio
Having a separate home studio in the garden is currently very desirable among potential buyers.
Having a separate home studio in the garden is currently very desirable among potential buyers. This stunning garden studio is in the grounds of a Grade II listed semi-detached period residence in Queens Grove near St John’s Wood in London, which is on the market for £11.95million
Mark Pollack, co-founder of luxury real estate agency Aston Chase, told FEMAIL: ‘A single storey space discreetly appointed at the foot of a garden which provides versatile space for things such as a home office, home gym, Pilates studio, games room or a place to home-school are providing a noticeable premium as people look to separate work and leisure aspects of their lives from the safety of their own property.’
‘In terms of a single-storey studio, you are effectively adding square footage to a property. So, if it’s equipped with heating, plumbing and electricity, you can be adding around 10 per cent to a property’s value.’
Private outdoor space
If you have a garden, it’s worth investing a bit of time in getting it looking as good as possible before attempting to sell, as it could prove your number one asset.
Jeremy Gee, managing director of Beauchamp Estates, said: ‘Homes with private outside space have become so coveted and valuable since Covid-19.
It’s been a particularly hot summer at times, and with so many more people now working from home, a home cooling system is now seen as a very desirable asset.
‘In recent months air conditioning and comfort cooling have provided a price premium as people have been spending more time at home throughout the day,’ said Mark from Aston Chase.
‘This adds sale-ability as opposed to a direct value increase to the property.’
‘Buyers are very aware that there could be second-spikes, local lockdowns and also in the future, other pandemics. So the housing market has been really transformed over the last six months and outside space has become as coveted as gold and diamonds in the property market.
‘If a home has a private garden or patio, alongside high ceilings, tall windows and a large kitchen and master bedroom, then it really is ticking all the boxes that buyers want.
‘A home offering these types of features will be highly sought after. Given a choice between a house with a garden in a secondary location or an apartment with no outside space in a prestigious address, many buyers at present are choosing the house and garden over the posh address or postcode.
‘Covid-19 has made buyers realise that postcode snobbery isn’t as important as it used to be, and faced with a lockdown they would much rather be in a house with outside space on a less prestigious road rather than an enclosed apartment in a premium address.
‘When it comes to apartments, buyers want either maisonettes, garden flats or penthouses which have an abundance of outside space in the form of spacious terraces, balconies or patios.’
An interesting history
According to Beauchamp, properties with a well-known former resident or an intriguing story are appealing to buyers.
Jeremy of Beauchamp says: ‘Prior to the pandemic buyers liked homes with an illustrious history, such as a famous past owner or an interesting history.’
While new-builds aren’t likely to have much behind them, it’s worth delving into the history of the local area to see whether it’s built on a noteworthy site.
UK house prices hit all-time HIGH in post-lockdown bom with average home now worth £224,123
UK house prices have hit an all-time high following a post-lockdown boom, with the average home now worth £224,123.
House-buyers have shrugged off continued uncertainty in the economy and social distancing with August seeing a 2% rise in prices, the biggest monthly jump since February 2004.
Prices are now 3.7% higher than they were last August, with the £3,188 rise wiping out the losses made earlier this year as the pandemic tore through the country, according to data from building society Nationwide.
Despite the country officially being in recession, demand from buyers is 34 per cent higher than a year ago, with four and five bedrooms homes with a garden in high demand and properties selling faster than they were pre-lockdown.
Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner said: ‘The bounce-back in prices reflects the unexpectedly rapid recovery in housing market activity since the easing of lockdown restrictions.
‘House prices have now reversed the losses recorded in May and June and are at a new all-time high.
‘This rebound reflects a number of factors. Pent-up demand is coming through, where decisions taken to move before lockdown are progressing.
‘Behavioural shifts may also be boosting activity, as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown.
‘Our own research, conducted in May, indicated that around 15% of people surveyed were considering moving as a result of lockdown.’