It's true that houses in many of London’s streets look the same from the outside, whether it be one of the rows of Victorian terraced houses that characterise much of South West London or a Georgian street in the heart of Islington.
So you might think you could apply the same value to identical properties in neighbouring streets. But while buyers and sellers often fall into the trap of making a basic calculation based on price per square foot multiplied by the space on offer, a property's true value can only be determined once you step inside. A home’s more obscure details can often add a significant premium to its overall value.
In our most recent agent survey, we have taken a typical four-bedroom family home in London valued at £1.25 million, and looked at what features might add to its overall value.
Off-street parking: 3-7 per cent (£37,500+)
Kerbside parking is a premium in itself in many London areas where home-owners often struggle to park outside their own houses. Off-street parking could add a small premium, especially for buyers looking to upsize locally within their area.
South Westerly facing garden: 1-4 per cent (£12,500+)
Although it’s always a preference, a garden’s aspect won’t necessarily add value. The majority of gardens in London get the sun in summer regardless of which way they face, and more often than not size is more desirable than aspect. Having said that, the right combination could certainly add value.
A good view: up to 10 per cent (£125,000)
Most London houses are to a degree overlooked so a good view is not something that would normally be factored into a valuation. However, for those prime homes on the edge of a common or waterfront, the added bonus of a good view is very attractive to some buyers who would be willing to pay significantly more for one.
Low EPC rating: 0-2 per cent (up to £25,000)
In period properties, buyers accept the historic fabric of the building will compromise the eco credentials. However, a good rating is definitely a consideration that might rank more highly in years to come as energy bills continue to grow. For a new build property, if the rating was excellent it could command a small premium.
Historical significance: 0-5 per cent (up to £62,500)
Some buyers might be willing to pay more for an architecturally significant home if it were particularly appealing or had a personal history. Similarly, a blue plaque stands out from the crowd and if a buyer has fallen in love with a house because of its historical connections, they might be willing to pay a little bit more.
An annexe or garden room: 5-10 per cent (£62,500+)
Secondary accommodation in the form of an annexe or garden room is becoming increasingly desirable. Having an extra space to allow you to work from home or a seperate space for boomerang children is important to many. For sellers, they are a very profitable way of adding value – you get your money back without spending a fortune.
Original Period features: less than 1 per cent
A few years ago original period features were at the top of buyers’ wish lists but today they appreciate these touches can be easily restored at a small cost and won't pay the same premiums for them. However, period features might increase the saleability of a property.
Technology and Gadgets: 2-8 per cent (£25,000+)
A house with the latest technology and gadgets adds profile and is usually a good reflection of the rest of the property. If it’s got the latest Meile appliances for example, it’s likely to have a good boiler and other important features.
Planning: up to 4 per cent (£50,000)
Securing planning permission for an addition such as a side-return or garden room is an inexpensive way for a seller to add a small premium to their home’s value.This is matched well by some buyers who look for properties where they can build and add value.