The housing market is stiff competition at the moment and there are a disproportionate number of homebuyers compared with properties for sale.

However, those who are searching for a new place to live are being very selective over the features they want in their dream home. And among the most popular ‘must-haves’ is a garden, with 69 per cent of homebuyers looking for a house with some outdoor space.

According to GoCompare Home Insurance’s recent survey, this is the fourth highest in-demand feature from homebuyers. It follows secure doors and windows, with 74 per cent requesting this, and double-glazing, with 80 per cent of homebuyers ruling out properties without energy-efficient windows.

The most popular must-have is central heating, as 82 per cent of people want this in their dream property.

Ben Wilson, spokesperson for GoCompare Home Insurance, said: “Buying a home is the biggest financial commitment most people will make. So, before viewing properties it is helpful to have an idea of the type of area and property you’d like to live in and think about your real ‘must-have’ priorities.”

Outdoor space is certainly important for homebuyers, as more than half also want a driveway or dedicated parking space, and 41 per cent desire a garage for extra storage.

Those viewing properties should not be put off if the garden looks unkempt though, as there are many things that can be done to bring it back to life.

Lancashire landscaping can transform a garden with freshly-laid lawn, flower beds and water features, while laying down decking or a patio can provide an al fresco dining area for summer evenings.