Many have the ‘Mary Berry Kitchen Effect’, new research reveals – The London Economic
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Many have the ‘Mary Berry Kitchen Effect’, new research reveals

By Bea Patel, TLE Property Editor and Director of Shop for an Agent

It’s no surprise that a modern or open plan kitchen is the feature most likely to make a home more desirable to potential buyers. With the popularity of TV cookery shows, the influence of chefs make us want to spend more time in the kitchen.

It’s the ‘Mary Berry Effect’ say some estate and letting agents polled by property portal OnTheMarket.com. The new research reveals that 43 per cent of adults said when viewing a property, modern kitchens were ‘more desirable’ because they had been influenced by TV chefs and cookery shows, and they wanted to spend more time in the kitchen as a result.

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Kitchen, St Marys Road. Image credit: Arnold & Phillips Estate Agents, Omskirk

Results from the estate and letting agents research on the most desirable features revealed:

  • 28 per cent of agents (mainly based in the South East) said a modern kitchen was the one feature most likely to prove attractive to potential buyers.
  • 23 per cent of agents (mainly from the South East, Wales and the Midlands) chose a driveway or off-street parking.
  • 17 per cent chose an open plan kitchen/diner.
  • 14 per cent of agents (mainly from the South East, London and the South West) chose a back garden.

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.

Martin Flashman, partner at Martin Flashman & Co, 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.

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Kitchen, Whin’s Farm. Image credit: Dobsons, Ponteland

“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 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 a tenant’s/buyer’s mind 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’s true that this is the room that can often make or break a property deal.”

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Kitchen, Manor Place, Edinburgh. Image credit: Ben Property

Helen Whiteley, Commercial Director at OnTheMarket.com, said: “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.”

In the lettings market, 36 per cent of letting agents said a modern kitchen was a feature most likely to make a property more desirable to potential tenants, and 18 per cent said a driveway or off-street parking.

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