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47% put off buying or renting property by shabby garden – survey

By Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

Nearly half of people have been put off buying or renting a property by the condition of the garden, a survey has suggested.

Some 47% of people surveyed had been put off by shabby gardens in the past, property website Zoopla and the Society of Garden Designers found.

Half (50%) of the 2,000 people surveyed believe a good garden layout is as or more important than a well-designed bathroom or kitchen.

People said they spend an average of £678 a year to keep their current gardens, terraces and courtyards in good condition.

Nearly nine in 10 (86%) renters and home owners surveyed said they consider their outside space to be either very or extremely important.

Zoopla spokeswoman Laura Howard said: “The annual weather in the UK might be changeable but the requirement for a garden is steadfast.”

The survey also asked people to rank their favourite garden design features, with having somewhere to relax coming out top.

Here is the list of desirable garden features ranked in order of popularity, with the percentages of people who opted for a particular feature in brackets, according to Zoopla and the Society of Garden Designers: 

1. Somewhere to sit and relax (36%)
2. Maximum sunlight throughout the day/South facing (15%)
3. Somewhere for the children to play (12%)
4. Flowers/shrubs (8%)
5. A space for pets (7%)
6. Somewhere to entertain (6%)
7. Growing my own fruit/vegetables (4%)
8. Extra storage space/shed (2%)
9. A water feature (0.4%)

And here are the average amounts spent per year on gardens across Britain, according to Zoopla and the Society of Garden Designers:

– South East, £812
– North West, £518
– East of England, £753
– London, £554
– East Midlands, £734
– South West, £674
– Wales, £733
– North East, £732
– West Midlands, £731
– Scotland, £700
– Yorkshire and the Humber, £619