Direct Line magazine

Don't get sucked in by south-facing property myths

Updated on: 13 March 2020

A south-facing garden

If you’ve spent any time with an estate agent, you’ll know that south-facing gardens are a big deal. They like to talk about the virtues of these ‘sun traps’ – but do south-facing gardens actually add any real value to your property?

The short answer is no; or at least, not really.

It’s all a sun trap

To cut a long story short, research by Direct Line shows that the benefits of a south-facing garden are not reflected in the asking price of a property.

In fact, south-facing gardens only carry a measly 0.37% premium, when compared to north-facing gardens.

So, although it’s nice to have a back garden that gets the sun for longer, and is generally warmer and brighter, it won’t typically increase the value of your property.

While south-facing gardens don’t add much value, river views add an average of 9%

So what can increase the asking price?

River views

While south-facing gardens don’t add much to your property’s value, river views carry a considerable premium – an average of 9%.

For example, a three-bedroom property in North London with a river view recently had an asking price of £850,000. Unbelievably, that’s 42% more than identical houses in the same development that cost £600,000 but were without a river view.

Which begs the question: is it really worth an extra £250,000 to look out your window and see a river?

Height matters

In big cities, the price of a flat skyrockets the further up a building you go.

According to one developer, for every floor you climb, £15,000 is added to the value. It seems ‘a room with a view’ has taken on a whole new - and more expensive - meaning.

An example of this is a 14th floor flat located five minutes from Angel tube station in London. On the market for £850,000 – it’s 31% more expensive than the exact same property down on the third floor.

So the higher you climb, the higher the price.

But keep in mind, while a property with pretty views overlooking water will probably be more expensive, home insurance may also cost more because of increased flood risk.

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