Cricket tops football in the property stakes

Propertyfinder.coms latest survey of estate agents reveals that properties near football grounds are less popular with home buyers, while those near tennis and cricket grounds attract premium valuations.

Famous cricket grounds are estimated to add 3.3% to property prices nearby. While a property close to Lords in London could be worth 2.8%, or 14,500 above the average 520,025 property in Westminster. The effect may well increase with the new found national enthusiasm for cricket. Edgbaston is also a very popular choice, with a home close-by being worth 3.4% or 5,500 more than a similar home further away.

Agents report that buying a house near to a cricket ground can sometimes lead to other concerns. 29% of homebuyers are concerned about traffic issues, while 57% are worried about lack of parking in the area.

Over half of agents questioned in the survey said that homebuyers find good public transport links a concern, and 43% found that homebuyers sometimes cite cricket grounds as one of their reasons for moving to the area, compared to just 11% who find buyers who want to be near a football ground.

Simon Shinerock, acquisitions agent, of Choices Acquisitions says: Edgbaston is already a very sought after area, but properties near the ground are highly in demand. The area is doing very well and people certainly like the cachet of being associated with the cricket.
Scott Alexander, of Anscombe & Ringland in St Johns Wood, London says: Overlooking Lords is always an attractive benefit for a potential purchaser which was highlighted during the recent test series. I had two or thee buyers who wanted a penthouse that overlooked Lords and were prepared to pay a premium for a direct view of the pitch.

A lot of the properties benefit from underground parking, allocated parking or their own garages. St Johns Wood is an attractive area with its tree-lined streets, village feel and proximity to central London.

On average, homes within a mile of a football club are worth 1.8% less than similar properties further away. Chelsea FCs Stamford Bridge and Fulham FCs Craven Cottage are both typical examples. In Kensington & Chelsea, where the average house price is 744,340, a home within a mile of Chelsea FC is worth approximately 13,000 less than a similar place further away.

Near Fulham FC, a home is worth 2%, or 8,500 less than the average in the borough. The impact of Aston Villa FC on its local area is slightly less than the overall average, but will still mean 1,500 off the typical home in Villa Park, the location of the club.

63% of agents near football clubs said that buyers sometimes or often voiced concern about properties they deemed too close to the venue. Half of buyers state that they are looking for property a safe distance away according to agents.

56% of the agents blamed traffic congestion as the principal factor deterring prospective buyers looking at properties close to football grounds, while 22% mentioned noise. The fear of vandalism and the major parking problems on match days were also cited.

On the positive side, 44% of agents said that good transport links enhanced the attractiveness of areas close to football grounds.

Kate Rossi, manager of Bushells in Fulham says: People do voice concerns about properties being near the ground. However, Craven Cottage is really out there on its own as a footlball ground. Its a great building located in a beautiful area on the Thames and next to Bishops Park – one of Londons best kept secrets. With Fulham supporters it tends to feel like a family day out instead of the typical football hoodlums associated with some other teams.

The main concern for residents is parking, and Hammersmith and Fulham have changed parking to benefit the residents on football days. Properties near the ground may cost you less, but for buyers this means better value for your money while still living in a beautiful area.

Shinerock, says: While businesses prosper by being close to the Aston Villa FC ground, local residents find the crowds and the noise the disruptive. This reduces demand for local property and that inevitably has an effect on prices.

Being within two miles of Wimbledon adds approximately 20,000 to the 293,238 average property price in Merton. Although 75% of agents say that buyers voice concerns about parking problems close to the All England Club during the tournament, and a smaller proportion note traffic congestion, potential buyers never say they do not want property near the venue. Indeed almost 80% have found that buyers are attracted to living in the area.

A fifth of agents also highlighted the opportunity to generate a bit of extra cash during the tennis season.

Nick Allen of Allen Briegel in Wimbledon says: A lot of people living close to Wimbledon are proud to be near such a prestigious sporting venue. Also, many people go away during the tournament and rent their houses at a very high price or turn their driveways into car parks.

The whole of the high street is decked out with flowers and flags for the event and theres a great party atmosphere in the village. Theres a great buzz. We see a lot of the famous people from around the world wandering around the village during the tournament. Its really nice. Its a wonderful thing to be part of.

The effect of rugby grounds is less marked. Agents do not believe they affect house prices significantly. Buyers find the relatively good transport links attractive (as with the other sports) and are less likely to be put off by a big rugby venue than a football stadium, although more likely than a famous home of tennis or cricket.

Propertyfinder.coms survey found that other types of sports venue, such as athletics do not have any marked effect, perhaps owing to the lower frequency of events or smaller numbers of spectators attracted.

Jim Buckle, managing director of propertyfinder.com says: Football may be the nations favourite sport, but people dont seem to want it on their doorstep. Even though match days are relatively infrequent, the crowds do spoil residents enjoyment of their homes and this has a modest impact on house prices.

Cricket and tennis have a better reputation and their supporters generally behave better, but we mustnt forget that the main fixtures take place only in summer when people are generally in a better mood.