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You may have heard recently that a garage in Camberwell, South London has sold for a mind-boggling £550,000 at auction, more than £150,000 more than the average house price! This means that even the garage doors will have been worth tens of thousands!
The building used to house the Mayor of Southwark’s car and is right next door to a series of studios in which many famous artists have toiled away on their creations. The prominence of the artist’s studios is not to be overlooked; many are speculating that it was in fact a wealthy artist that has bought the garage to dissuade property investors from taking over the area and to preserve the studios.
Much attention has been given to expensive garages, particularly in the capital, but there can be a lot of logic to buying one.
Garages – Not a bad investment
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Buying a garage also means that you are also acquiring the land that it is on. When you consider that the property market in London is booming and that garages often occupy enough land to build a house upon, they can be quite a savvy investment.
A set of three run-down garages on Elsworthy Road, Primrose Hill, North London, were listed with an auctioneer at £1.25m in 2010. The story attracted the national press, with The Telegraph reporting on them in June, 2010. Bearing in mind that the average house price on Elsworthy Road was £2.15m at the time of writing (according to Zoopla, 2014), this may not actually have been a bad investment!
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The American city of Atlanta is adding a different spin to the use of parking garages across the city, arguing that small, underused garages present a great opportunity for ‘tiny housing’. The idea, first prompted by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), is to repurpose unused parking spaces in parking lots by turning them into tiny 135-square-foot micro-apartments (roughly the size of a parking space).
Although tiny housing sounds like a brilliant idea, and one which could help many individuals out with the costs of renting, it is unlikely to take off due to the fact that in places where there is so much demand for housing with a shortage of supply, it is more lucrative to sell the land that the parking lots are on than to try and turn them into affordable housing.
Although it would be nice to have a garage sat on a large plot of land in London, it is not very likely that you are. So before you start spending your £550,000, it might be worth thinking of a better way to use your garage.
We much prefer to keep garages for the purposes they were intended, to store your car!
This article was written by Garatec, a leading supplier of bespoke garage doors in Sussex.