50% price premium for best river views of the Boat Race

Monday 28 March 2016

Following Sunday’s annual Cancer Research UK Boat Race, analysis from London estate agents Marsh & Parsons finds that homes with all-year-round views of the Thames can attract price premiums of over 50% compared to ones without.

This gulf is particularly noticeable in a number of new housing developments lining the riverbanks of the Thames along the 6.8km stretch from Putney to Mortlake, and prime properties can command a significantly higher asking price with a stunning vista of the river. On average, homes overlooking the famous rowing race attract a premium of around 20%, compared to like-for-like properties. 

In King Henry’s Reach, situated on the Middlesex side of the course on the approach to Hammersmith Bridge, a two-bedroom flat with direct views onto the River Thames and across towards the historic Harrods Depository is currently on the market with Marsh & Parsons for £1,250,000 – equivalent to £1,275 per square foot.  But the price of a comparative two-bedroom apartment in the same gated development without any outlook onto the river is £425,000 lower, at £825,000. This means a river view adds a 52% premium to an apartment here.

Similarly, Marsh & Parsons recently sold an almost identical flat in neighbouring Lords Court for £956 per square foot without a river view – representing a 25% discount.

Matthew Hodder-Williams, Marsh & Parsons’ Associate Director and Sales Manager for Bishop’s Park, comments: “A river view definitely comes with a considerable premium in this part of town, and properties with outstanding views don’t stay on the market for long. I recently took a buyer to view a sixth-floor flat overlooking the Thames. It was high tide and the sun was setting just as a four-man scull went up river. It was an amazing sight and you would hardly know that you were in a capital city. This certainly cemented the buyer’s decision to purchase the property.”

On the opposite Surrey bank of the river – near the mile post in the Oxford and Cambridge race – there is a significant price difference between similar apartments with and without a river aspect in Handel Mansions on the outskirts of Barnes Village.  A two-bedroom flat with beautiful views over the Thames is for sale for £1,450,000, while another two-bedroom flat on the ground floor of the same development with a restricted river view sold by Marsh & Parsons for £950,000 in 2013. 

Samuel Bide, Marsh & Parsons Sales Manager for Barnes, said: “The panorama you get from this building is something special. On one side you’ve got the river, and on the other the London Wetlands Centre with sheep and cattle grazing, and great bird life. But combined with the feeling of nature, you can also see right across the centre of the capital to the Shard. Apartments in this development rarely come onto the market, so we do see impressive price rises when they do. For this wow-factor, buyers are prepared to pay a premium, and will move quickly to snap up these prime properties. As a general rule of thumb however, for a river view in Barnes you can expect to pay £1,100 per sq. ft and for an apartment without that same appeal, between £900 and £1000 per sq ft.”

Liza-Jane Kelly, Sales Director of Marsh & Parsons, said: “The Oxford-Cambridge boat race is a landmark annual fixture in London’s social calendar – but the whole event lasts about 16 minutes from start to finish. It’s not because the famous crews row past your window that value is added to these waterfront properties. While it means everyone may want to attend your party on 27 March, it’s the year-round appeal of living with a river panorama that buyers are willing to pay a premium for.  In a capital city, securing an impressive outlook over the Thames is one way to guarantee a sense of space and light, plus that all important wow-factor.”