That property with outdoor space has become everyone's obsession in the wake of coronavirus is by now academic. But what do we picture when we think 'outdoor space'? Probably a garden; yet gardens have always been in limited supply everywhere but in rural areas, so city dwellers who want to spend more time outdoors have always had to be more creative in their definition of outdoor space.
Mortgage woes and rising house prices aside, house hunters in urban areas are actively searching for homes with roof terraces, according to research by MoveBubble. The appetite for properties with roof terraces has gone up by 204 per cent between March and May 2020.
It's no wonder people are going for roof terraces in particular: they can be every bit as spacious as a garden but are typically paved or decked, which gives the opportunity to create an extra room outdoors and requires less maintenance than a garden. Roof terraces also offer spectacular views of cities, adding to their appeal at night.
Of course, for those who do enjoy gardening, rooftops offer an enviable amount of space for starting a rooftop garden. Container plants do particularly well on rooftops, and as you're not restricted by shade falling from other buildings, you can grow pretty much anything.
And if you can't buy right now? There are plenty of flats with roof terrace access available to rent, especially in London and Manchester. This one-bedroom apartment in Hayes, for example, can be rented for £1,275 per month. Barbecue on the roof? Very nice.
Don't like the idea of a communal roof terrace? Renting a flat with a private roof terrace is also a possibility, although, of course, there are fewer of them and they will cost more. What all of these properties prove, however, is that thinking 'up' is always a good idea if you're a city dweller and can't or don't want to consider moving out just so you can have a garden. In fact, who knows – perhaps the upsurge of interest in roof terraces will make developers, current owners, and landlords reconsider the potential of unused roof spaces in cities.