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Why I’ll happily forgo a garden in favour of a cheaper home in a great location

·2-min read
Location trumps outside space when the weather is never like this (Alamy Stock Photo)
Location trumps outside space when the weather is never like this (Alamy Stock Photo)

Sitting in my fifth-floor flat, gazing out over the drizzle-slicked rooftops of London for the best part of this summer, I have to admit my first thought hasn’t once been ‘God, I wish I had a garden to enjoy this in’.

Rather, I’ve basked in warm and dry splendour, revelling in the fact that my aversion to pruning, planting and generally fussing about with flower beds has made my dream home available to me.

While apparently every single one of my fellow Londoners has discovered green fingers lurking beneath the layers of commuter Tube smut this year, I have nurtured little more than a contention – one that in post-lockdown Britain amounts almost to a perversion – that having your own outside space is just one more tedious household chore.

And so, smugly swimming against the tide, my fellow garden refuseniks and I have managed to score remarkable discounts on the homes no one else wants any more.

London homes with gardens are commanding an average price premium of 6.2 per cent since the pandemic kept us under house arrest or loosened enough to allow outdoor-only socialising time and again. Conversely, homes without a garden saw their value drop by 0.9 per cent.

It’s a similar story in the rental market, where agents are reporting bidding wars for homes with gardens, while those without outside space are languishing with no viewings and discounts of as much as 30 per cent.

This made a lot of sense in the blazing first lockdown of 2020 but, as one Italian acquaintance wondered the other day ‘What do you want with a garden in London? It rains all the time!’

Not for me an anorak, soggy sausage and an acrylic beaker of Pimms.

I’ll hold out for the full-throttle pleasure of real glassware and dry chairs without the tour of yet another freshly planted raised bed. Kerrching.

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