Shed office could add £22,000 to property value but conservatories could decrease it by £15,000, estate agents say

26 April 2023, 09:41

Open plan spaces aren't as popular as they once were, while shed offices are now in vogue.
Open plan spaces aren't as popular as they once were, while shed offices are now in vogue. Picture: Alamy/Getty images

By Jenny Medlicott

Once luxurious assets to a home, such as conservatories and open-plan spaces, could add thousands in value to a property, now they could devalue it by as much as £15,000.

The property market has taken a dramatic turn in recent years, as the pandemic pushed prospective homeowners to rethink their ideal qualities in a home.

Now a new set of features are being sought after by property hunters, and hot tubs or swimming pools didn't make the list.

Money Mail has revealed a set of new favoured assets in a home.

First mentioned is a ‘broken-plan’ layout - the opposite of open-plan - which refers to an area with a more defined division of spaces – this can be by reintroducing walls that were previously knocked down, or adding furniture to more clearly distinguish between different living areas, such as between a kitchen and dining area.

Home offices are perhaps the most unsurprising addition to this new list of assets, as the pandemic propelled many into a permanent work from home, or at least hybrid, situation.

A 'shoffice' - shed office - could add up to £22,000 of value to a property, a Birmingham estate agent has said.
A 'shoffice' - shed office - could add up to £22,000 of value to a property, a Birmingham estate agent has said. Picture: Getty images

Even creating the illusion of a home-office space can help bump up a property’s value in prospective buyers’ eyes, as it helps give them a chance to visualise what their remote working could look like.

But for those looking to really step up their property before putting it on the market, a ‘shoffice’ could add the most value, according to Birmingham estate agents Barrows & Foster.

The installation of this shed-office hybrid at the bottom of a garden could cost almost £10,000, but it can increase the value of a home by £22,000.

Once prized features such as conservatories, pools and hot tubs are now falling out of favour with property hunters, as concerns have increased about their energy consumption.

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Martin Ballantine, of consultancy Prime Collection, says: “Lots of buyers will be worried about the cost of maintenance. There are also safety issues for families with young children.”

A home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is becoming increasingly important to those searching the housing market.

This can translate into the quality and amount of insulation a home has, or whether it has double glazing.

Electric chargers haven't quite yet taken off in the property market, but they could in the future.
Electric chargers haven't quite yet taken off in the property market, but they could in the future. Picture: Getty images

Buying agent Henry Pryor says at present: “Most energy-efficiency improvements will be reflected in the value of a property these days, but not all of them.

“An electric car charging point will probably not add much value, yet.”

Adding extensions to homes remains a fairly safe option for increasing property value – however, it can still vary in different market areas, and so it’s worth assessing local markets to see how effective it is in local homes.

James Forrester of Barrows & Forrester, however, points out some essentials for selling properties, as he says: “There are some home improvements, such as repairing or replacing a boiler or a roof, that may not provide any payback at all.

“But without such repairs, you may struggle to sell at all. Address basic defects before considering any improvement project.”

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Ultimately, how homes are decorated can notably impact its value. Cosy furnishings may entice some prospective buyers, whereas minimalism may help others visualise how they’d put their own stamp on the home.

It all depends on the local market and pool of buyers, but some of the most budget-friendly redecorations, such as a new layer of paint, can be highly effective.

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