When the meter reads pounds 35,000
Penny Jackson reports on the premium prices paid for parking
Saturday 28 June 1997
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."
08 May 2015 10:30 PM
13 May 2015 07:34 AM
The Tories have appointed campaigner Ros Altmann to the post
30 April 2015 07:30 PM
06 May 2015 09:39 AM
One reader’s monthly direct debit charge has been increased by 62 per cent
05 May 2015 02:09 PM
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
24 April 2015 07:30 PM
01 May 2015 12:00 AM
More than £60m was paid out to more than 2 million prizewinners this month
28 April 2015 05:20 PM
Why can’t we just have open and honest charges, without all the cross-subsiding?
28 April 2015 03:50 PM
With the pound at a high against the euro, it pays to buy now before uncertainty post-election
17 April 2015 06:00 PM
23 April 2015 12:00 AM
Experts disagree about the 7% increase over the past year
22 April 2015 07:29 AM
Too many mortgages are being sold with misleading gimmicks
21 April 2015 09:54 AM
The firm’s revenues slumped by a third to £217 million in 2014
21 April 2015 12:00 AM
The average quote for a buildings and contents policy has fallen by 3.6 per cent
10 April 2015 07:00 PM
- 1 Games of Thrones actor Lena Headey makes emotional promise to her unborn daughter
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 3 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...
Day In a Page
On the market for the first time in more than 50 years, this six-bedroom home is a project with vast potential - spread over three floors of living space.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, this four-bedroom barn conversion comes with a self-contained, one-bedroom annexe that could serve as an office or a holiday let.
Located near Harrogate town centre, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is arranged over three storeys while a current study serves as an optional sixth bedroom.
A ground-floor flat in a country house, located a mile from Sway; this two-bedroom home would make an ideal weekend retreat on the edge of the New Forest.
On a popular residential lane in Caterham on the Hill, this four-bedroom family home offers a secluded garden and a convenient location for local schools and public transport.
Just a short walk from Westerham green, this three-bedroom cottage has a light kitchen with exposed brickwork and double doors that lead to a south-facing garden.
In a prime spot opposite the River Thames, this one-bedroom flat has an 18sq ft reception room with glass doors that open out to a private terrace.
Set in the hills above Llanwrda Village, west Wales, this 18th-century three-bedroom farmhouse has holiday-let potential from a separate barn conversion and annexe.
This charming end-of-terrace townhouse is arranged over three floors, with two double bedrooms and a private courtyard garden located at the rear of the property.
This four-bedroom Edwardian home offers a combination of original features and contemporary design after a renovation by the current owners.
Located in the University area, this semi-detached five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors - there's even a rear garden and off-road parking too.
Only a few minutes' drive from the charming town of Marlow, this two-bedroom home sits on the private riverside estate of Harleyford.
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
Surrounded by the Western fells, this five-bedroom Georgian home retains many original features including panel-plastered ceilings, sash windows and fireplaces.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B, subject to change of use permissions.
A former period coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
This four-bedroom home has exposed brick chimneys and a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining - the doors open to the patio and garden.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof