Remember when London gardens were just plain old patches of grass with a rusting barbecue (opened on the few days a year when it wasn’t raining) and a place for smokers to congregate at house parties? Well now, in this world of social distancing and allotted daily exercise, they’ve transformed into lockdown status symbols – your own private park where you can laugh in the face of the two-metre rule.
As people locked down in flats without even a sliver of a balcony jealously side-eye their neighbours’ crazy-paving patio and newly purchased hammock set, it’s no wonder that gardens are climbing up people’s property wish lists. During this period of lockdown, London estate agents have reported more people putting ‘garden’ and ‘outside space’ as their top request when searching for a new home.
UK estate agent Savills said since March 23 its website has seen a 20 percent increase in the use of the ‘garden’ filter to select a new home, compared to this time last year. Winkworth said its Blackheath office had seen a whopping 73 percent increase in new buyers specifically stating they want outside space.
Robin Chatwin, head of Savills’s south-west London branch, said: ‘We are increasingly hearing that buyers are now unwilling to compromise on having some form of outside space. Those currently lacking outside space might be feeling frustrated that they aren’t able to spend more than an hour outside, whilst London enjoys good weather. This sentiment could continue if the lockdown moves further into the summer months.’
However, according to property search engine Zoopla, Londoners have always had an innate fondness for green spaces, with the top search keyword for the capital being ‘garden’. ‘This has not changed particularly over the past six weeks,’ a spokesman from Zoopla said.
For anyone under 30 wondering what we’re banging on about, ‘gardens’ are what people used to have behind their ‘houses’, which they ‘owned’. Oh, never mind.
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