There’s nothing better than enjoying a sunny day in your garden. Whether you are an avid horticulturist or you simply enjoy soaking up rays with a good book in hand. And with a south-facing garden, you can enjoy the sun for longer periods of time, even as summer draws to an end.
This is one of the main reasons properties with south-facing gardens are so desirable. In fact, according to GetAgent, 71% of UK home buyers are more likely to buy a house with a south-facing garden. Understandably, this likely leaves you questioning whether having a south-facing property increases the value of your home — and if so, by how much. Look no further, we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about south-facing gardens, including what the term really means, how to check whether your property has one, and their pros and cons. Also, most importantly, we’ll reveal how much value your south-facing garden adds to your property. So, let’s get stuck in!
What is a south-facing garden?
The term south-facing garden means exactly that: the garden faces south. This means that anything from the southeast to the southwest is still considered south-facing.
When describing the features of a property, it usually refers to the back garden of a property as it is the one in which homeowners are more likely to spend their time.
Why is a south-facing garden more desirable?
Understandably since lockdown, the desirability of gardens overall has increased as more people have realised the benefits of outdoor spaces. In particular, spending time in green spaces has been linked to improved mood and better mental health. So really, it’s no surprise that many home buyers place greater importance on having a garden. So much so that they will pay a price premium to secure a lovely outdoor space to call their own.
When it comes to south-facing gardens, the demand is even higher. As previously mentioned, one of the main reasons they are so popular is that they receive the most sunlight throughout the day. This means that a south-facing garden is not only perfect for entertaining guests in the summer evenings, but a home with one will receive far more natural light.
Furthermore, south-facing gardens are incredibly popular with gardeners as they provide the best opportunity for growing a wide variety of plants and flowers and making the most of the space.
How much value does a south-facing garden add to a property?
The property website Rightmove studied 400,000 listings for homes with three and four bedrooms throughout Great Britain to find out how much they were listed for. They found that homes listed as having south-facing gardens are, on average, priced £22,965 higher than homes listed without — this is a 7% national asking price premium. The following table shows the breakdown of the regions in Great Britain:
|Region||Average asking price (south-facing)||Average asking price (non-south-facing)||Asking price premium (%)||Price difference|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||£288,681||£253,053||14%||£35,628|
|East of England||£439,948||£431,389||2%||£8,559|
However, it is worth noting that these are the asking prices and, therefore, may not be a true reflection of the price difference between homes with a south-facing garden and homes without. This said, the demand for properties with south-facing gardens is high — for this reason, 42% of homebuyers would pay more for a property with one. On top of this, 71% would pay approximately 5% above the asking price to try and secure a property with a south-facing garden. So, if you are selling your home and you have a south-facing garden, you may be able to increase your asking price by around 5-7% in comparison to a similar home in your area that does not have a south-facing garden.
Do homes with south-facing gardens sell quicker?
According to the study by Rightmove, homes with south-facing gardens sell faster than those without in almost all the regions in Great Britain— 8 out of the 11 regions.
This is shown below:
|Region||South-facing, time to find a buyer (days)||Non-south-facing, time to find a buyer (days)||Difference (days)|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||39||47||-8|
|East of England||45||45||0|
On average, in Great Britain, homes with south-facing gardens sell in two days less than homes without. In Yorkshire and The Humber, homes with south-facing gardens sell 8 days quicker which is the fastest in the UK regions.
How can you tell if a property has a south-facing garden?
Estate agents usually highlight whether a property has a south-facing garden as there is a huge demand for them. This said, it doesn’t hurt to check whether a property is definitely as advertised, particularly if you are interested in buying it. You may also want to check your own property regardless of if you’re thinking of selling.
One of the easiest ways to check a property’s garden is to head to Google Maps and search for it using the address. You’ll then want to click on the ‘Satellite View’ option and zoom in so you have a clear of the garden. Bear in mind that Google Maps is automatically set so that north is at the top of the screen and south is at the bottom, so try not to rotate the map as this will affect the result. Once you’ve located the property and ensured the map is facing the right way, you’ll be able to tell if the garden is south-facing as it’ll be facing the bottom of the screen.
You can also identify whether your garden is south-facing by seeing where the sun is. As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, you can follow through it to see where it moves. If you stand and look towards the end of your garden and the sun rises on your left and sets on the right, the garden is south-facing. This also means that you have a north-facing garden if the sun rises and sets from right to left.
Of course, you’re not likely to be able to do this for a property you’re thinking of buying. However, you can always take a compass with you to a property viewing or use a compass app on your phone. It’s common practice among homebuyers to do this. David Phillip, partner of David Phillip Estate Agents in Yorkshire, said: ‘You’d be amazed at how many people turn up to a viewing and use the compass on their phone to work out where the sun is coming from.”
Should you buy a house with a south-facing garden?
South-facing gardens are a traditionally desired feature, and for many prospective homeowners, they are a must-have. But before you consider buying a property solely because it has one, or turning down an otherwise perfect property, here’s what you should know about south-facing gardens. We’ll run you through the pros and cons so you can decide whether you think one is right for you.
Pros of a south-facing garden
South-facing gardens do have plenty of benefits, including:
- The garden will see the most amount of sunlight during the day in comparison to gardens facing other directions
- Rooms will get better natural light
- Better for growing a wide range of plants and flowers
- The garden will be warmer for longer
- Lower risk of issues from damp and moss
- Clothes can be put outside and will take less time to dry
- Less heating is needed for south-facing rooms, even in winter
Cons of a south-facing garden
Of course, there are some disadvantages to having a south-facing garden:
- They can get too hot to enjoy when the warm weather peaks in summer
- The north-facing side of the house can have more issues with damp and moss
- There are likely to be inconsistencies in temperature between rooms that are north and south-facing
- Constant fluctuations in temperature and moisture levels can cause walls to crack over time
- Furnishings such as carpet and wallpaper tend to fade due to lots of exposure to the sun
Research by Rightmove suggests that not only does having a south-facing garden boost the asking price of a property by up to £22,695, but homes listed with one sell quicker than those without. On average, across the UK, homes with a south-facing garden sell two days quicker than homes listed without.
Furthermore, 42% of homebuyers would pay more for a property with a south-facing garden, and 71% would pay approximately 5% above the asking price for a property with one.
It is, however, worth being mindful that it is easy to get swept away competing for a property, particularly when there is high demand for a certain feature. If you are looking to buy a property, it is best to decide what you really place the biggest importance on. Despite the fact that south-facing gardens are hugely popular in the property market, you may find that other features of a property are more important to you personally, such as the location or number of bedrooms. You may also prefer outdoor spaces that face a different direction. For example, if you like to sit in the garden and enjoy the sunrise while eating breakfast, an east-facing garden would be perfect. Similarly, if you want to entertain guests in the evening, a west-facing garden may be preferable.