The honest answer to this question is it depends but we’d never leave you with an unsatisfying answer like that.
Typically a new-build property will fetch a higher price than a period property. The reasons behind this include the 10-year warranty that comes with them, better eco-efficiency, minimal requirement for renovations post-purchase and the simplicity of a no-chain purchase. That being said, few people are aware of the long-term increase in value that can come with a period property.
What’s more, there are many characteristics of period properties which make them highly sought after in London and prices in the property market are determined by demand. Therefore, while period properties remain unique treasures and ‘few of a kind’, the qualities which make them appealing to buyers (listed below) are likely to help them achieve high prices. The main value of a home to the majority of us is determined by how good it is to live in, more so than how much it’s worth and many of the unique characteristics of period properties lend themselves to pleasant living environments.
Think high ceilings, cornicing, classic fireplaces, bay windows, sash windows, steeply pitched roofs, stained glass and tiled hallways. Older properties are often beautifully designed with original features like these, which can be strong selling points. In a recent study, 59% of participants pointed to the ‘character’ of period homes as the factor that made period property appealing.
Period features don’t rely upon current trends or the latest technology for their appeal and yet, modern features and styles blend beautifully into many period conversions. Period homes offer the opportunity to incorporate fittings and technology, updating as and when you want to. You’ll find a lot of period property in London with iconic and classic exteriors that also boast modern, chic interior style.
Most period properties also have front and rear gardens which you don’t always find with modern builds. A well maintained garden can increase a properties value by up to 20%. Read our tips for increasing your property value by improving your garden here.
Opportunity to add value
In addition to the above qualities which make period property attractive to buyers, the space, design and layout of many period conversions enable you to add extensions, either upwards or at the rear. This provides more space and features to your property and adds value to it if you’re looking to sell in the future.
There may however be restrictions in place, particularly if the building is listed or located in a conversation area, as these types of property are legally protected from too much future development. Ensure that you’re aware of the implications from the outset and have fully undertaken your research by speaking to specialists and also neighbours who live in similar places.
Sought after locations
Many people believe the physical characteristics of a house will lead to increased property value. In reality, a property’s physical structure tends to depreciate over time, while the land it sits on typically appreciates in value, so this one is an important point. By virtue of being older, period properties have secured some of the most sought-after locations in London, some of which benefit from being situated around garden squares.
Low risk of surrounding commercial development
It’s reassuring to know that in order to preserve the character of the vicinity, the period charm of this property will be protected across all similar houses in the area. Buyers should consider current local amenities and the prospective commercial and municipal developments in the area, such as plans for new schools, hospitals, and public infrastructure, that may impact land values. Future development can change the value of a property for better or for worse.
You may experience maintenance issues with period properties owing to the age of the building (materials and building techniques) but generally speaking, older buildings are built extremely well, plus any long-term problems will have been fixed by previous owners. With new-builds no the other hand, as the first occupant you might discover issues.
The Georgians downed their tools nearly 200 years ago and true period housing stock won’t be replenishing itself. So what’s currently on the market is all that’s available. It’s exactly this scarcity that’s part of the appeal – and bankability – of period property.