Having no off-street or private parking can put off house buyers and reduce property values. Parking in and around major towns and cities in the UK is the subject of much politics. As well as reducing the risk of vehicle crime, off-street parking can allow residents to avoid parking and congestion charges. Garages and private driveways are not only reducing motor insurance premiums for thousands of people; they are adding tens of thousands of pounds to house prices all over the UK. However, if your home is without a private parking facility – particularly in a central urban area – you could find that similar homes in your neighbourhood with private parking are selling for much higher prices than your most recent property valuation.
Congestion measures could reduce property prices for those without garages.
In 2006, Richmond upon Thames became the first council in the UK to tax residents who park high-emission vehicles in the area. This charge – coupled with significant parking and congestion charges – has the potential to increase the cost of motoring to prohibitive levels – and that means homes without private parking will effectively carry a hidden expense for motorists.
Indeed, some property experts think that parking permit rises in certain areas could add as much as 20 per cent to property prices in affected areas – as long as those properties have either a garage or a private driveway. As a result, there is a fear that homes without such facilities could be left lagging in terms of house values, leaving many homeowners worried.
Cars in Richmond are graded according to their size – with gas-guzzlers such as 4-by-4s costing the most to park. However, each vehicle requires its permit, so modern families with grown-up children living at home could find themselves facing a vast permit bill. Prospective buyers will undoubtedly be put off buying homes without off-street parking, which will have an inevitable effect on house values. With the political momentum behind carbon emission cuts, it surely won’t be too long before similar measures are rolled out in the UK’s other major cities.
UK house prices and vehicle crime
According to official statistics from the Home Office, only 7 per cent of all car thefts are from a private garage. However, a surprising 66 per cent of vehicle thefts occur on driveways or public streets. This means that homes that don’t have an attached garage will be far less desirable than those that do, and that difference in demand will probably translate to a significant difference in property values. Moreover, car-owners feel happier parking their vehicle within a few feet of their home, and many will pay a premium for the privilege.
Unfortunately, homes without a private parking facility may also lead to increased insurance costs. Insurance providers prefer cars to be parked on private property, and they will usually substantially reduce annual premiums for vehicles stored in garages overnight. If you are trying to sell a house without a garage when there are identical homes for sale in the area with attached garages, you may find that your home’s possible final sale price falls some way short of others in the area.
Whether it’s because of financial concerns or for sheer convenience, motorists like to buy houses with private parking, and many are willing to pay a premium for the benefit. Unfortunately, properties without private parking are at an immediate disadvantage, and with reduced demand, the likelihood of a disappointing house valuation is significant. If your home doesn’t have a private parking facility, you may have to choose between installing one or accepting a slightly reduced property valuation.