Report: Buyers Really Want Big Backyards 


Prospective home buyers highly value large backyards and outdoor family time, according to a broad survey of homeowners’ preferences.

Nearly 70 percent of homebuyers want a large backyard for outside time and family activities, according to a survey of 987 homeowners from Porch, a platform that connects homeowners with local home improvement contractors. In fact, about 76 percent of respondents that highly value a big backyard said they’d pass on a home without one, the report found.

In addition to outside family time and enhancing their home’s aesthetics, the respondents agreed that a large yard allows them to live a more active lifestyle.

“Opting for a property with more yard space doesn’t just mean the occasional barbecue or having to keep up with landscaping,” Porch wrote. “Research suggests spending more time outside can be beneficial to your health, resulting in lower blood pressure, a boost in mental health, and a lower risk of cancer. In one study, participants who spent time walking around trees performed better on a memory test than those in urban environments.”

In most cases, Porch said that a bigger yard was less about aesthetic improvements to a home than it was about practical use. 71 percent of Porch survey respondents said a bigger backyard would help their family spend more time outside, 59 percent believed it would be fun, and roughly 42 percent said it would help them lead a more active lifestyle.

In addition to roughly two out of three homebuyers seeking a large backyard, buyers also are wanting outdoor amenities, according to the survey. About 51 percent of respondents said they want a back deck while 46 percent said they’d like outdoor entertaining space. About 35 percent of respondents strongly desired a large front yard and only 25 percent want a pool.

New construction trends don’t seem to address the survey respondents’ demands. While new homes have consistently been built bigger, yard space appears to be shrinking, according to Porch. Among homes sold in 2017, the median lot size for a new, detached single-family home was 8,560 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Median lot sizes fell below 8,600 square feet in 2015 for the first time since the bureau started recording such data.


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