With the migration back to cities, housing is now getting denser and causing developers to build up to maximize their lot space. Usually that means the only outdoor space they can provide is also up.

Urban roof decks are the newest money-adding amenity in city housing trends, with landlords and homeowners alike investing in developing some rooftop hang outs.

The cost to builders of adding the decks is easily made up in the returns. Pete Reeb, principal at John Burns, ran the numbers and found the following: More bare-bones decks typically cost builders $15,000 to $20,000 to add to a home and generate $20,000 to $30,000 in revenues.

Larger and more extensive decks are more typical in most markets and cost an average $32,000, but add an average $44,000 in revenues. Roof decks add an average of 6 to 8 percent to the value of a home.

Of course those returns can vary dramatically depending on the view and how tricked out the deck is. It also depends on location, and whether or not the demographic of buyer in the neighborhood really wants that added outdoor space.

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