Credit Crunch or Designers’ PunchLine?

by : Duncan Heather

The credit crunch looks likely to prove an unexpected blessing-in-disguise for garden designers and those thinking of switching to Landscape Design as either a first or second career.

How so?

Because according to a new survey just published by the UK Building Society, Alliance & Leicester, there are still millions of UK residents looking to move house over the next 12 months and therefore, seeking to do everything they can to improve the value and desirability of their current property.

The survey of over 2,000 UK households was carried out by Opinium Research on behalf of the Alliance & Leicester and showed that about one in eight homeowners are still planning to sell in the coming year, despite the gloomy downtown in the housing market.

And of those planning to make significant improvements, almost 60% said they were intending to improve their outdoor space which is where the good news for designers comes in. For example, in a street with two fairly matched houses on the market, the one with the most attractive or well-designed outdoor space will be the first to sell.

As a general rule, designers can tell potential clients that they need to spend around 10% of the existing value of their home on the outdoor space to see a guaranteed return of up to 20% uplift on the value.

That means if someone whose home is presently worth ?600,000 spends ?60,000 on their garden, they will then be able to market their home at up to ?720,000 which in the current financial market is a better return than most savings accounts.

And, for working garden designers, a very persuasive argument to get potential clients to commit to a quality design project.