GARDEN annexes are the latest must-haves in the UK’s housing market, with planning applications up strongly as they add value to the price of a home, new research suggests.

There are about 10,000 applications made to councils across the country each year to create garden annexes - one every three minutes - according to the study from Churchill Home Insurance.

It also found that 82 per cent of applications for new or converted garden annexes are successful and there has been a 27 per cent increase in the value of three and four-bed homes with a garden annexe over the past five years.

A breakdown of the figures, from an FOI application, in the last financial year shows there were an estimated 7,000 applications for new garden annexes, those newly-built rather than converted, with 5,700 or 81 per cent of these applications successful.

There were an estimated 2,800 applications recorded by local councils for converted garden annexes, those produced using an outbuilding or conversion of a shed or building already there, of which 2,400 or 84 per cent were successful.

Between April 2015 and March 2018 there has been a five per cent increase in the number of successful applications for new garden annexes and a seven per cent increase in the number of successful converted garden annexe applications.

In the last financial year, Torbay council received 466 applications for new garden annexes, the most of any council that responded to Churchill’s FOI request. On the opposite end of the scale, Wigan Metropolitan Council received no applications.

The study says that some homeowners are taking advantage of the benefits a garden annexe can offer when trying to sell their homes, with research among estate agents revealing that three and four-bed homes with a garden annexe can command asking prices as much as 27 per cent higher than the average comparable property in the area.

“Whether you’re building an annexe for an older relative or just for the additional space, it is often a cheaper and easier alternative than moving to a larger property,” said Craig Rixon, head of Churchill Home Insurance.