What’s in a road name?
We attach a surprising amount of value to the names of the roads we live in. 3% of us are willing to pay as much as £50,000 for a house with the right road name, according to a survey by property portal OnTheMarket. And what we want most of all is anything that sounds like it’s got some kind of regal connection, such as Royal, Palace, King, Queen or Crown, even more so if you live in some of London’s prime locations, such as Marylebone, Mayfair, Hyde Park or Regent’s Park.
Just under 40% of us would also be willing to pay a more modest £5,000 premium for a home in King’s Road, Prince’s Avenue or Bishop’s Drive. 10% would be willing to part with an additional £30,000. And our favourite? Royal anything. According to the survey, up to 14% of us would pay a premium for a house with the word Royal in its road name.
According to the poll of more than 1,000 UK buyers, 30% said the reason why they were willing to pay more for certain names was that they liked the extra prestige it added to their address. They did also find, however, that there were regional variations and it seems people in the North East are either more canny or less prone to snobbery, as only 19% of them were prepared to pay a premium, compared to 43% in London.
A similar survey carried out by rival portal, Zoopla discovered that there was also a value placed on the type of road name. They found the highest value properties tended to be called something ‘xxxx Hill’, where prices were 50% above the average property price. Next was ‘xxxx Lane’ at 37%, ‘Mews’ (35%), ‘Park’ (29%) and ‘Green’ (23%). Houses on a road with ‘Street’, on the other hand, were worth 29% less than average, which was probably because it is the most common name and so covered a wide variety of properties and locations.
In truth, these types of street names are not genuinely comparable to the ones that OnTheMarket were looking at, as they tend to have a direct bearing on the quality of the properties, ie mews tend to be in expensive areas and therefore have more expensive houses, as do Greens etc. However, a Royal Mews has got plenty of snob value, as does King’s Hill. There are some road names that have the opposite effect, such as Staines Road, Slag Lane (yes it does exist – it’s in Lowton Lancashire), Crotch Crescent (Marston, Oxfordshire) and there is even a Minge Lane in Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire.
Ultimately a name is not a criteria by which you should be choosing your next home and OnTheMarket points out,
“There is no question that location is one of the most important elements when buying or renting a new home, but it is interesting that a prestigious sounding street name can help to influence a buyer or renter’s idea of price and worth.”
The top street name prefixes that house hunters would consider paying more for a property are (by preference):
• Royal (14%)
• Palace (6%)
• Crown (5%)
• King (7%)
• Queen (6%)
• Prince (4%)
• Princess (4%)
• Duke (2%)
• Duchess (2%)
• Lord (3%)
• Lady (2%)
• Saint (2%)
• Bishop (2 per cent)