Why well designed homes are worth more

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Regular readers of our blog may have noticed that we frequently talk about the importance of good design when it comes to planning your home renovation project. A build based on detailed and well thought through plans generally runs more smoothly, avoiding misunderstandings and expensive last minute changes. 

Good design also results in better use of space and a house that works well for the people who live there. We would always suggest spending a bit more time and money to find an architect who understands the aspirations you have for your project.

As architects ourselves it’s probably no surprise that we feel this way, so we were interested to read about recent research commissioned by The Modern House estate agency which confirms that this would be money well spent.

Having dominated a niche of the property market for over 10 years by specialising in design-led homes, the directors of The Modern House wanted to find out if their hunch that people will pay more for good design was right and, if so, by how much.

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“Well-designed London homes sell for 12% more on average, so keep design at the centre of your project”

Their research analysed the sales of over 14,000 London homes over three years, comparing them on a price per square foot basis. The results showed that the architecture and design focused homes sold by The Modern House achieved a 12% higher selling price on average.

The uplift does vary slightly depending on the property value (higher value houses saw a greater increase), and of course there are no guarantees, however there does seem to be a clear premium for well-designed homes.

Albert Hill, a founding director of The Modern House, acknowledges that there may be other factors involved: “There is a question around whether the uplift is down to the design […] or the positioning and presentation of the property by The Modern House. Is it, in other words, a design premium or a curation premium? […]We think it’s a mixture of the two.”

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The Modern House do an exceptional job of marketing the houses they sell, but when you consider that previous research by the London School of Economics has reached the same conclusion regarding the added value of design, their results become even more compelling.

This is something that we, like the founders of The Modern House, have always suspected and it’s affirming to have some evidence. One of the aims of our workshops is to help everyone achieve the best design for their money - we don’t believe that good design should be only for those with biggest budgets!

As to why people are prepared to pay more, based on his experience Hill suggests: “Today’s consumer increasingly values experiences over products, and well-designed spaces that you occupy every day offer just the sort of transformative experiences that buyers aspire to. In the past, the Joneses may have been impressed by how many bedrooms you had, or how far your garden extended, but today it’s more about how you’ve used the space that you have. How, in short, it has been designed.”

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