Walled gardens come out as top outside item in dream home survey 230715

Q3 2015

Strutt & Parker’s latest Housing Futures survey has revealed the nation’s top outside items for their homes.

Strutt & Parker’s latest Housing Futures survey has revealed the nation’s top outside items for their homes.

When it came to a dream outside item for a new home, one in five respondents chose a walled garden (21.6%), with a near tie for second place between an outdoor sitting room or entertaining terrace (12.7%) and a swimming pool (12.3%). As for space requirements, a small private garden was top of the list, followed by a large private garden (greater than 1 acre). Patios, conservatories and terraces were the next most desired outside spaces, but communal gardens ranked as the least popular.

Other dream garden items which ranked highly were vegetable patches (11.1%), orchards (5.9%) and tennis courts (3.6%). Outdoor pizza ovens were also popular with 2.8% of respondents saying that their dream home garden would have one.

Mark Wiggin, Partner at Strutt & Parker’s Ludlow office comments: “Our Housing Futures survey shows that gardens shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to selling your home. Traditional walled gardens have existed mainly for horticultural purposes, but for the modern family, a walled garden provides security and privacy. In a rural setting, an enclosed garden offers both a physical and nostalgic encompassing of the property; providing security from the outside and encasing the archetypal rural detached home.”

“Literary works such as Burnett’s ‘The Secret Garden’ have ensured a child-like romanticism of walled gardens, evoking a sense of quintessential Englishness that a lot of people take pride in. Whether it is a way to showcase home grown vegetables or a private place for alfresco dining in the summer, gardens shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to presenting your home in its best light.”

Dream Outdoor Elements for all UK

Walled garden


Outdoor sitting room/entertaining terrace


Swimming pool


Vegetable/Kitchen garden




Summer house/pergola


Garden office


Hot tub


Outside kitchen/BBQ


Tennis court




None of the above


Wood burning stove/pizza oven




Water feature/Fountain


Digging a bit further into regional preferences

East Anglia, the South West, Yorkshire & Humber and the West Midlands with their benign weather or good growing soil, had a vegetable/kitchen garden as a top preference pointing towards those who like to eat healthily and get out in the garden.

The hardy northern residents were all about swimming pools, with the North East, the North West and Scotland all rating it as their first or second dream choice. Across the Irish Sea, those from Northern Ireland also sought somewhere for a dip. The Welsh, Londoners, those from the East Midlands and the South East dream of entertaining in the sun and would place outdoor seating areas/entertainment space as their most desired outside attribute. 

By collating answers from 2,000 respondents from across the UK, Housing Futures gives a refreshing insight into the housing desires of the population. To download the full report, ‘Housing Futures: Key trends shaping the residential market’, click here.

The Bay Horse, pictured, is on the market with Strutt & Parker's Ludlow office. Click here for more information.