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Demand for home offices soar in London’s outer boroughs

Demand for home offices

Demand for home offices soar in London’s outer boroughs – adding one could boost your property value by £40,000

Across London, demand for homes with a home office has increased by 259% since the start of lockdown according to research by leading lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves.

Benham and Reeves looked at the number of homes listed online with a home office as a featured selling point and what proportion of these homes were already under offer or sold subject to contract as a percentage of all properties listed.

The data shows that currently, 27% of all stock listed with a home office has now been snapped up by London homebuyers, a huge increase on the 8% demand seen in March.

Not surprisingly, this demand is far higher in London’s more peripheral boroughs, accounting for the top 10 most in demand, with homebuyers looking to avoid a commute into the city with their own home office.

Bexley saw the highest demand for this property feature with 53% of properties with a home office already sold subject to contract or under offer. Hillingdon, Bromley, Croydon, Redbridge, Ealing, Havering, Waltham Forest, Haringey and Richmond also placed in the top 10 for home office, homebuyer demand.

How much does a home office cost?

If you’re holding tight on a move, a home office can be a fairly affordable addition to your home providing you have the additional space. For an average cost of £450 you can kit out your spare room with a desk, chair, PC, keyboard and mouse, while broadband will set you back roughly £32 a month, with the additional use of utilities coming in at £19.

While this total set up will cost you £501 for the initial first month, a fair chunk more than the average £238 cost of commuting in London, it soon starts to pay for itself with broadband and utility bills averaging £51 a month thereafter.

Adding a home office to your home

If you don’t have the extra space for a home office, investing in one could be a worthwhile addition to your home. A small extension to your property, such as an additional room, conservatory or loft conversion will set you back between £16-£21,000.

According to the Hiscox, such an extension could boost your property price by an average of 8.4%. On the current London house price of £485,794, that’s an increase of £40,807.

Alternatively, you could add an outdoor office to your garden if you have the space. A basic cabin style outbuilding will start at around £4,000 but can climb to over £20,000 for the more sophisticated ones. However, these are unlikely to add as much value to your overall property’s value so an extension is money better spent if you do have the budget.

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented:

“Demand for home office space has understandably boomed since we entered lockdown but with many of us reluctant to return to the office, this trend could become a more permanent fixture within the housing market.

The good news is they can be fairly affordable to get off the ground and even adding one in the form of an extension is likely to make a good investment. Not only will it add value in the current work from home climate, but if you’re smart and make it a versatile space, it can easily double up as an additional bedroom or otherwise for those who aren’t interested in a home office.

It’s these additional features that can help your property stand out from the crowd and with the market exploding back into life in recent weeks, this could be a great help when securing a buyer.”

Demand for properties with a home office listed on the portals
Location / borough Total listings Still for Sale SSTC or Under Offer Demand
Bexley 55 26 29 53%
Hillingdon 411 245 166 40%
Bromley 137 83 54 39%
Croydon 200 124 76 38%
Redbridge 83 52 31 37%
Ealing 121 76 45 37%
Havering 205 129 76 37%
Waltham Forest 98 63 35 36%
Haringey 74 48 26 35%
Richmond upon Thames 80 53 27 34%
Barking and Dagenham 27 18 9 33.3%
Enfield 68 46 22 32.4%
Sutton 100 68 32 32.0%
Islington 48 33 15 31.3%
Lambeth 94 65 29 30.9%
Merton 103 73 30 29.1%
Greenwich 57 41 16 28.1%
Wandsworth 133 97 36 27.1%
Kingston upon Thames 139 103 36 25.9%
Brent 82 62 20 24.4%
Lewisham 55 42 13 23.6%
Hounslow 86 66 20 23.3%
Harrow 113 88 25 22.1%
Barnet 252 198 54 21.4%
Tower Hamlets 52 42 10 19.2%
Southwark 73 60 13 17.8%
Kensington and Chelsea 24 20 4 16.7%
Hammersmith and Fulham 37 31 6 16.2%
Newham 59 51 8 13.6%
Hackney 31 27 4 12.9%
Westminster 43 38 5 11.6%
Camden 36 33 3 8.3%
City of London 5 5 0 0.0%
Average at start of lockdown 8% Change 259%
Average now 27%
Average cost to set up basic home office
Item Average price
Desk / workstation £200
Office chair £100
PC monitor £120
Keyboard £20
Mouse £10
Total £450
Monthly Running Cost Once Set Up
Home Office £51
Commuting Cost £238
Saving £187
Extension Cost
Loft/Conservatory/Building £16-21,000
Garden Office £3,815-£28,000

About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents. With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 14 international offices.