As property prices, particularly in the south-east, expand relentlessly, we look at a growing interest in narrowing houses
Would you buy a skinny property? With the news that property prices have reached (another) record high, it’s hardly surprising that property buyers are having to stretch their finances further to buy what is, sometimes, quite literally nothing more than a room with enough space to turn around in.
Sometimes the way to achieve small, it seems, is to go skinny. Two weeks ago we reported in this blog on a seven-foot wide house that is on sale for £235,000. The property is, perhaps not surprisingly, in London and, although it may seem ludicrously small to those outside of the capital, may well seem a steal for a cash strapped London buyer. Wider homes on the same street in Haringey have been changing hands for much more – a three-bedroom terrace is currently on the market for £580,000. And if the £235,000 price tag seems steep, it’s nothing compared to the £450,000 eight-foot wide house that was up for sale in south-east London in May this year.
But it’s not just London where skinny is the new full-fat when it comes to houses. The owner of what was once described as Britain’s narrowest house is apparently thinking of selling up for offers in excess of £125,000 – this time not in London but in Fratton, Portsmouth. The property is just 4ft 10in at the front, a measurement the owner claims makes it the second narrowest in the United Kingdom (beaten by a property in Scotland that is, apparently, an inch slimmer). You don’t have to shimmy sideways to get to bed however, as appearances can be deceptive. “Originally we called it the Tardis – the outside looked so small but on the inside it’s massive,” owner Stuart Beckett told the Portsmouth News. “You’d never expect it to be this big inside when you look at the front.”
Further west in Redruth, Cornwall, another contender for skinniest property is up for sale for £119,000. This one, however, is positively rotund by comparison to the others listed above as it is a chubby 6ft 1in wide at the front. The estate agency marketing it, Miller Countrywide, features nine pictures of the property – but none of the shots are from the front. This, says a slightly shirty sounding Miller Countrywide representative, is because the property positively blooms outwards once you’re through the entrance hall. However, if you do want to see the front, one of its agents, Roger Teague, is pictured in the Western Morning News demonstrating just how narrow the front section of the house is.
What do you think of the above properties? Would the potential lack of curb appeal put you off? Or perhaps the very quirkiness of owning a squished property is a plus?
This article was written by Lisa Bachelor, for theguardian.com on Thursday 18th September 2014 07.00 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010