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A third of properties in major UK towns lack outdoor space

A third of properties currently for sale in major UK towns and cities have no outside space, according to research by Housesimple.

The online estate agent looked at properties currently on the market in more than 100 UK towns and cities. It revealed Grimsby as the greenest town, with 90% of properties listed for sale having a garden, compared to just 38.9% in Salford.

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 53% in Manchester and 54% in Liverpool.

Properties with outside space is on many London buyers’ wish lists, but surprisingly, it’s not at a premium in the capital. Currently, 39.2% of properties don’t have 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 back garden isn’t on its last legs, but the relentless pursuit of profit has seen outside space sacrificed, particularly in densely populated areas,” Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer of Housesimple, commented.

“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.”

He said there is a similar trend with new build family homes. Houses no longer have spacious back gardens as they did 30 or 40 years ago, as developers look to pack as many properties as possible onto new estates. Therefore, big three and four-bedroom houses with small gardens are becoming the norm.

Mitchell concluded: “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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