Why living beside a park could seriously pay off

By : Nick Marr

What do you see when you look out of your bedroom window? If you’re fortunate enough to have a property overlooking a park, then you should count your lucky stars. We’ve always known that properties with park views generally go for more than those without – but recent research has shown just how much value a scenic park view can add to your home.

In fact, properties with park views have an average value of 19% more than others. In cold hard cash, that translates to almost £41,000 on average. Of course, these statistics can vary depending on where in the country your property is located, and which park it overlooks. In some cases, living near a park can actually reduce your property’s value – read on to find out why.

The parks with the biggest pay-off

Topping the list of parks which add value to your home is Southend-on-Sea’s Priory Park. Buyers who choose to invest in a property with views of this scenic area pay a bigger premium – in terms of percentage – than anywhere else in the country. Amazingly, views of the Priory Park add 165% to a property’s value when compared with the average prices in Southend-on-Sea. That’s £444,177 of added value, just for the park view!

Also high on the list is Hyde Park in London. Naturally, properties in this exclusive part of the capital don’t come cheap – but views of the park will add 85% to a home’s value.

It’s not just in England that parks boost your home’s value. North of the Scottish border, views of Westfield Park in Aberdeen are worth a significant premium, too. Properties overlooking the park cost an average of £360,324, compared to the Aberdeen average price of £221,413. That’s an increase of 63%.

Low value parks

If you’d like to invest in a property with park views without paying a massive premium, then there are some options available. When it comes to property prices, not all park views are created equal. Right at the bottom end of the scale you’ll find Nottingham’s Highfields Park. Properties overlooking it cost an average of £148,506, while properties across Nottingham go for £175,851 – so it’s actually 15% cheaper to buy a house alongside the park than it is elsewhere in the city.

Other parks which actually have a negative impact on property prices include Southampton Common, Leicester’s Appleton Park, and Birmingham’s Brookvale Park. But be careful! Parks which reduce a property’s value inevitably do so for a reason. Often, this is due to an unsavoury local reputation – parks that are not well-lit after dark can be seen as hotspots for crime, so residents avoid them, no matter how picturesque the views.

Investing in these areas could pay off in the long run. If local authorities invest in cleaning up the park, putting in better lighting, and improving the area, then park-view properties should see a massive increase in price. However, this is a bit of a gamble, and could take a very long time to see results.

Lessons for investors

If you’re looking to invest, then a nearby park certainly tends to add a hefty premium to the property price. The bigger and more industrial the city, the more value a park view offers – particularly in places where most residents don’t have their own gardens, terraces or other open spaces. The all-day greyness of city living can easily get people down, so even the chance to look at greenery can be enough to boost residents’ moods – and, subsequently, the amount of money they’re willing to spend on their home.

Before making any decisions, though, do some research on the park in question. If property prices are lower around the park, then there’s probably a reason for that. It’s worth thinking practically: will the situation improve here in the future? If so, then it might be worth taking the risk. If not, you might want to look further afield for a park that is currently an attractive draw, rather than gambling on one that might become one further down the line!