When the meter reads pounds 35,000

Penny Jackson reports on the premium prices paid for parking

We know that parking is a critical issue when a space in a Cornish village sells for pounds 12,000. The owner of the plot of land in the centre of Polperro has seen some bays snapped up within a week. While in London, the newly launched plans for the redevelopment of the old Brompton Hospital include underground parking spaces at pounds 35,000.

The top of the market has been quick to step into the breach. Northacre, the developer of the hospital, has already seen the value of major excavation work at Observatory Gardens. Certainly many buyers who have abandoned west London for Docklands cite parking facilities as a real incentive.

In many quiet residential roads, parking problems have provoked open warfare. An armoury of wooden planks, dustbins and traffic cones are deployed as soon as a car noses out of its usual spot; number plates are jotted down in the case of long stays and notes are left asking the drivers to move on. Parking is not just an issue in central London, where residents have long been resigned to restrictions and permits, but increasingly on the inner-city fringes where people still take parking for granted even though affluence and gentrification now mean at least two cars to each household.

More buyers than ever are putting ease of parking on their list of priorities, while vendors realise how valuable it is as a selling-point. Lucinda Comyn, who lives in a quiet Wandsworth street, finds the constant anxiety about spaces stressful. Her predicament is becoming common in all cities: a nearby permit zone has created a problem where there was none. "You have to be able to park near your house if you have 15 bags of shopping and children. You see mothers cruising around desperate for a spot. I have a two-year-old child and I am so worried about never getting my parking spot back, I hardly ever use my car. It's ridiculous, and I suppose we could do without two cars, but there is always the feeling that there might be an emergency."

Agents suggest that buyers investigate the opportunities for parking. Rather in the way that roads without humps see a disproportionate amount of traffic (another useful consideration), what seems like an oasis of free parking can quickly turn into a nightmare akin to living in a long- stay car park for commuters. Lucy Woolley, editor of Living South, who has campaigned for better parking management, believes that residents with at least two large cars will eventually have to bear the cost. "It is ludicrous that there are more four-wheel-drive vehicles in London than in the whole of Wales."

Given that houses with garages are rare in cities, properties in popular areas where the front garden has been converted to a parking area carry a premium, as much as pounds 50,000 in certain places. "Some buyers will sacrifice an extra bedroom or a garden if there is a garage," says Matthew Kaye, of Chesterfield. "They can also be very particular about which permit area a property lies in. Kensington and Chelsea is more desirable than Westminster."

In cities such as Bath, which has the additional parking headache of being a tourist attraction, it will cost about pounds 20,000 to buy a garage in the prime Georgian parts. "The increase in the number of house conversions to flats has put a tremendous squeeze on unrestricted parking, says Paddy Stewart-Morgan, of Cluttons. "A nice house within walking distance of the station sells for between pounds 300,000 and pounds 400,000, and has risen in price over the past six months."

In Oxford, which similarly plays host to hordes of tourists, the council uses stringent planning controls to restrict traffic. Cluttons finds that a four-bedroom town house will sell for about pounds 25,000 more with off-street parking, and this can add up to pounds 15,000 to a pounds 100,000 flat.

It is no wonder that garages themselves can be a good investment, and particularly where they do much to enhance the value of a property. Douglas & Gordon had a home for sale on Chelsea Embankment that would not shift. The only interested buyers were insisting on having somewhere to park. When a garage close by went on the market for pounds 75,000 they bought it, and within a matter of weeks the sale was agreed on the house.

Andy Buchanan, of John D Wood's Chelsea office, has seen the prices of garages, which have generally stayed pretty steady, go for staggering prices where it becomes part of a package. "Spending pounds 100,000 on a garage if you have a pounds 2.5m house makes the property even more valuable. Families who buy pounds 800,000-to-pounds 900,000 homes in the World's End area would regard pounds 50,000 for a garage at the end of their street as a bargain."

But before anyone imagines that all garages in London have money-making potential, Mr Buchanan warns that many are poky, with difficult access. There has to be room for a good-sized car, not just a motorbike and a few boxes. "Their entrances are always being blocked by drivers who know they cannot be clamped for parking there, only towed away."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Sport
Sam Allardyce
sport
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Bob Dylan
art
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Up and away: rates will rise but your mortgage won't escape its moorings with a long-term fix

Is a 10 year mortgage deal a fix too far?

A cut-price deal for a decade-long home loan - where's the problem? Only, says Simon Read, that circumstances can change and it won't be easy to get out
In a surprise move the Tories have decided against putting a career politician into the job. Instead they’ve handed the responsibility to campaigner Ros Altmann

New pensions minister has massive job on her hands

The Tories have appointed campaigner Ros Altmann to the post

Promises, promises: David Cameron talks to staff at Asda's head office in Leeds today

General Election 2015: How you vote next week could affect your finances

Rival party pledges could shrink your savings or grow your nest egg
Logos for the 'Big Six'; energy companies (top row from left) British Gas, EDF, RWE npower, (bottom row from left) SSE, E.ON and ScottishPower

Winter heating underpayment brings summer pain

One reader’s monthly direct debit charge has been increased by 62 per cent

Almost 15,000 people died last winter through living in cold homes that they couldn’t afford to heat

Social tenants locked into energy tariff for 40 years

Many Londoners who live in social housing estates are not allowed to switch because their landlord has ‘locked’ them in to buying from one supplier

Will your credit card rewards be scrapped following new EU rules on charges?

Providers are unhappy with new EU rules - but ultimately it is customers who will have to foot the bill
There remain more than a million unclaimed Premium Bond prizes worth collectively around £48m

Have you won £1m in the May Premium Bonds draw?

More than £60m was paid out to more than 2 million prizewinners this month

The 0 per cent introductory deals that credit cards offer are one of the most odious tricks

Beware credit card firms’ odious tricks

Why can’t we just have open and honest charges, without all the cross-subsiding?

The pound’s recent strength against the euro could be hit by economic uncertainty under a new government

How planning can make your travel cash go further

With the pound at a high against the euro, it pays to buy now before uncertainty post-election

Put the phone down on the coldcallers who see pension liberation as an opportunity to liberate your pension from you

Pension freedoms: How to deal with cold calls from scammers

Sean O'Grady offers advice on keeping your money safe
Switching to a better bank account is much easier than it used to be

More people are switching current accounts – but what do the figures mean?

Experts disagree about the 7% increase over the past year

The chance of getting what appears to be free money can be hugely attractive, especially to first-time buyers who can be fooled into thinking it’s extra cash to buy the essential new items they need for their dream home.

Beware the boom in cashback mortgage deals

Too many mortgages are being sold with misleading gimmicks

The firm’s revenues slumped by a third to £217 million in a disastrous 2014

Wonga results could get even worse this year, chief admits

The firm’s revenues slumped by a third to £217 million in 2014

The cost of a buildings policy has dropped by 10.1 per cent over the year, with the cost of a contents policy falling by 8.2 per cent

Simon Read: Mild winter cuts the cost of home insurance

The average quote for a buildings and contents policy has fallen by 3.6 per cent

Don't count your retirement money yet: employers will stop receiving a pension rebate next year and their staff may lose out

Defined-benefit pension schemes: Rebate change in 2016 may leave you out of pocket

Employees in defined-benefit schemes are held up as the lucky ones, but the state pension scheme will be overhauled in April 2016
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

    Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

    Laura Norton: Project Accountant

    £50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?