A home office set up in a dedicated room apparently adds £17,500 to the value of a property.
Direct Line Insurance has assessed property listings and found the average price of a home with such an office in situ is £456,500, four per cent higher than equivalent properties in the area.
And a survey of estate agents by the same firm found that 73 per cent now say a dedicated home office adds significantly to the desirability of a property.
Studies and dedicated office rooms appear in many listings (35 per cent), while sellers are also identifying external studios (29 per cent), converted lofts (nine per cent) and even landings or mezzanines (six per cent) as “home office space”.
Research amongst agents reveals 81 per cent believe outbuildings and sheds have the greatest potential to be converted into offices, boosting prices ‘considerably’, due to new working styles caused by the pandemic.
The insurance firm says an agent in central Bristol highlighted a recent three bed listing had an outside office “and it pushed the price considerably"; Direct Line also claims agents now regularly recommend clients consider describing large landings (12 per cent) and garages (eight per cent) as being ‘ripe for office conversion’ when putting their home on the market.
However Direct Line says just one in 10 of those working from home have a dedicated pre-existing workspace at home. For the majority, work has meant setting up a desk, table or even ironing board in their living room (19 per cent), a spare bedroom (19 per cent), their own bedroom (16 per cent), dining room (10 per cent) or the kitchen (nine per cent).
The company says employer surveys suggest that one in seven current home workers expect never to return to the office with a much greater number believing they will continue to work from home at least some of the time.
“As their home office is likely to become a permanent fixture in their lives, it’s understandable many people are now starting to think about the changes and improvements they could make to their property to make home working more comfortable” says Dan Simson of Direct Line’s home insurance division.
"Anyone considering building work just needs to remember to inform their insurer before the work is carried out and update them on any additional rooms created so they have the correct level of cover.”