Published: 00:01, 07 April 2017
Terrace properties in the heart of Whitstable are fetching staggering sums – with some reaching upwards of half a million pounds.
Just recently, a three-bedroom property in Sydenham Street was sold for £480,000 and in nearby Woodlawn Street, an end of terrace house – with a sought-after parking space in the garden – went for more than £500,000.
Despite traditionally being at the cheaper end of the housing market, the Victorian terraces have become the most popular properties for second homes, according to Rory Patterson, managing director of Harvey Richards and West.
He said the estate agency in Oxford Street had witnessed a boom in prices for such homes since the crash in 2008. However, agents in the town have admitted the surge in values is bad news for local young people hoping to get on the housing ladder.
“Some people several years ago converted the standard two or three-bed with one bathroom into a nice three-storey attic conversion with another bathroom so they were much bigger than the normal ones,” he said.
“The one we sold in Sydenham Street as an investment property for £480,000 was much bigger and to an extremely high specification. In Woodlawn Street, an end of terrace three-bed, the owners managed to get a parking space at the end of the garden.
“That went for over half a million – it was the parking space that did it.” He added: “Two and three-bed Victorian and Edwardian properties, if they’ve got character and features such as original floorboards or London stock brick, can command good money.
“In Whitstable even the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s houses are all going up.”
According to figures on Rightmove, in January, a three-bedroom terrace in Cromwell Road sold for £441,500 after being bought in 2011 for £295,000.
And in Clare Road, another three-bed terrace sold for £407,500 in December – £126,000 more than in 2012. But it is not just terraced properties, says Mr Patterson.
"In Whitstable even the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s houses are all going up..." - Rory Patterson
Parking has become so in demand, people are paying extortionate prices just for a spot to leave their car.
“I just sold a double garage on Island Wall for £40,000,” he said.
“Two tandem parking spaces were also sold on Island Wall for £100,000 – £50,000 each – in June 2015. We sold the house for £675,000 and the guy wouldn’t have bought it without the spaces.
“He also bought a Seaway Cottage and paid another £100,000 for two spaces. These aren’t in garages – these are spaces on the road outside.”
Mr Patterson said the beach, beauty and proximity to London is a real draw for people.
“We get buyers from all over,” he said.
“People have grandchildren, they are finishing their careers and they are coming back here.
“They will have sold their property wherever they were for £700,000, £800,000 or £900,000 so spending £400,000 on a cottage here is nothing.”
He admits it is a dire situation for local people, though, who are priced out. According to Rightmove, house prices in Whitstable increased last year by 9% and were 22% up on 2014.
David Hayes, branch partner at Ward and Partners in High Street, said the location has made terraced properties more expensive.
“A lot of them are in the centre of town and that makes them extremely popular,” he said. “They are close to the harbour, to the town, the beach – you get the lifestyle with them.
“If you stretch out a bit, going into the likes of Millstrood Road, I’m not saying it’s massively cheaper but it’s a bit better value for money. I feel sorry for first-time buyers in Whitstable. The prices are so high.”
Gorrell ward Cllr Bernadette Fisher (Lab) said: “It is almost impossible for first time buyers to get a deposit together let alone pay a mortgage.
“Not everyone can rely on parents to fund their deposits and those on an ordinary wage cannot even afford to rent a place here. Families are instead buying homes in Herne Bay or moving to Thanet as they just cannot afford the properties in Whitstable.”
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