How a wildlife-friendly garden can make you more money on your house sale
Two thirds of UK homebuyers would consider paying more for a house with a wildlife-friendly garden, according to a study by the RSPB. Of the 1,548 people surveyed, 14% said they would ‘definitely’ pay more for such a property, another 14% were ‘probables’ and a further 39% said ‘maybe’. More than nine out of 10 said that seeing wildlife in their garden made them happy.
The RSPB’s new campaign, Giving Nature a Home, encourages homeowners to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces.
Sarah Houghton, RSPB campaign manager, said: “The results of this survey are really encouraging. To find out that the majority of people in the UK think having a wildlife-friendly garden is so important they’d consider paying more for one is great news. Nature in the UK is in trouble and some of our more familiar garden species are amongst those suffering serious declines. Gardens provide a valuable lifeline for things like starlings, toads, hedgehogs and butterflies, so we want to persuade people to give nature a home where they live – it could really help make a difference.”
London house prices: evolution over 13 years
Illustreets have put together an interesting animated map of London, showing the increase in average property values between 2000 and 2013, comparing individual boroughs against London overall.
Good time to sell?
According to figures from Halifax, more people now think it will be a good time to sell than think it will be a bad time in the South East, East, South West, London, North East and West Midlands. Compare this to June, when more respondents thought that it would be a bad time to sell in all regions. Those in Scotland, the North West, and the East Midlands were the least positive about the prospects of selling in the next 12 months.
Cash buyers vs mortgage buyers
Figures from Quick Move Now suggest that cash buyers bought a greater share of properties on the market in four out of the last 12 months. Donna Houguez, Market Analyst at quickmovenow.com described this as a ’significant change’: “A rise in the return on investment levels of buy-to-let and a drive to purchase before the market rises again has led to those people with cash reserves available using them to buy property outright,” she said. “Looking to the future, I think this is a great index for measuring the success of the Help to Buy scheme as if it is successful, we should see a noticeably larger proportion of properties being bought with mortgages again.”
You can date property ownership at the site of the Grade I listed Westenhanger Castle in Kent back to 1035, it became a Royal Palace under Henry VIII, and has been restored since 1996 by its current owners the Forge family. Among the many intriguing features is the bridal suite with a stone mullioned leaded light window dating back to 1500, complete with ancient “graffiti” said to depict James II. There’s also a splendid dovecote tower with 420 nesting boxes. Pictured above, it’s on for £2,600,000 with Jackson-Stops & Staff (down £400,000 from its first listing, so something of a snip).
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