Esure's annual 'Outbuildings Explosion' poll* shows UK shed surge continuing - with 18-24s fuelling trend for 'more attractive' garden storage.
23rd June 2005: Over a third of homeowners (37%) have added an outbuilding - such as a shed, greenhouse or garage - to their property in the last five years and the garden shed continues to top the popularity charts, according to research for esure home insurance.
In the last 12 months since esure's 2004 poll, the number of additional roofs popping up in backyards across the UK is up by almost 3% to 15% - that's over 3.62 million new outbuildings, including 2.9 million sheds.
Whatever their function - whether for storage or a quiet haven away from the kids - the British love of sheds is clear. Over half the UK population own a shed (55%) and one in 10 of us (12%) bought one in the last 12 months. Almost a quarter (23%) of proud new owners are 18-24 year olds - so perhaps the shed is the latest 'must have' among space-hungry first time buyers.
Looks rather than locks!
In true garden make-over style, it's the look and design of a shed rather than its security that seems top priority. When purchasing a shed, two thirds of people (63%) consider the overall look of the shed 'important' when making a purchase with one in three (30%) considering it 'very important'.
But when it comes to securing this 'eye-pleasing' garden accessory, a staggering one in 10 people (8%) have either never locked their shed or haven't replaced a broken lock - with 18-24 year olds being the worst culprits. The over 55's are the most security conscious - probably because years of hoarding has bumped up the value of their shed contents - with 16% owning shed alarm systems.
Whilst the outbuildings explosion continues to boom, extensions, loft conversions and conservatories are being snubbed. There's been a fall of over 40% in the number of homeowners creating extra space within their homes over the last 12 months (down from 7% to 4% year on year).
Nikki Sellers, Head of Home Insurance at esure, said: "We have seen a shift over the last 12 months as the housing market has continued to slow, with many people now leaving their homes alone and adding separate outbuildings. In the popularity stakes, the shed beats all other outbuildings hands down."
"But sheds can be easy prey for burglars - especially if they are tucked away at the bottom of the garden. Out of sight can often mean out of mind but security, shed positioning and the ample insurance of both the shed and its contents are vital. Alarmingly, just two fifths of homeowners considered the insurance implications when adding to their properties this year." Click here to find out more about home and outbuildings insurance.