‘Mary Berry Effect’ hits home market

Research from property portal OnTheMarket.com has found a modern or open plan kitchen is most likely to make a home ‘more desirable’ to buyers and tenants, after the ‘Mary Berry Effect’.

A driveway or off-street parking and a back garden are also features most likely to make a home more appealing, according to data was gathered from more than 500 estate and letting agents across the UK.

Some 28% of agents said a modern kitchen was the one feature most likely to prove attractive to potential buyers. Meanwhile, 23% of agents chose a driveway or off-street parking, 17% an open plan kitchen/diner and 14% a back garden.

Other features chosen as ‘most desirable’ to buyers were an en suite in the master bedroom, neutral painted walls, fast internet connection, a conservatory, a front garden and real wooden floors.

According to some agents, a modern kitchen could add up to £50,000 to the value of a property and the majority said it could add between £4,000 and £5,000, depending on the property’s overall value and size.

Agents who said a modern kitchen was the most likely feature to make a home more desirable were mainly based in the south-east.

Martin Flashman, partner at Martin Flashman & Co, which has branches in Weybridge and Walton in Surrey, said: “Whilst the kitchen has always been a central part of the British home, its popularity amongst buyers and tenants has increased, triggered in part by the surge in culinary TV programmes. Buyers are particular about kitchens, their existing facilities and the ability to extend them – you could call this the ‘Mary Berry Effect’. Families are now spending more time in the kitchen, cooking together, baking (of course) and generally being foodies.”

Nick Guy, director of Martin & Co, based at the Reigate branch, said: “The explosion of TV cookery shows has led to more people experimenting with food and pushed the kitchen to the forefront of tenants/buyers’ minds when they view a property.

“Everyone likes to picture themselves cooking impressive meals among family and friends. Buying a new home represents an investment in a certain lifestyle and for some, having a top-of-the-range kitchen with a ‘wow factor’ is part of this. It is true that this is the room that can often make or break a property deal.”

Helen Whiteley, commercial director of OnTheMarket.com, commented: “Our data was gathered from over 500 estate and letting agents across the UK, which forms a powerful barometer of the tastes of homeowners and the rental market. Given the popularity of programmes such as ‘The Great British Bake Off’, it’s no surprise that kitchens have become more of a focus for homeowners and tenants.”

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