With a sea view along a palm tree-lined road in the heart of a Cornish resort, an asking price of £50,000 seems like a bargain – until you realise that it is just for the parking.
Five car spaces in the much-sought after St Ives have gone on sale for a staggering £50,000 each – more than double the average wage in Cornwall.
But the sale has sparked anger among local residents who say they are being priced out of buying homes and land because the value is being forced up by out of towners.
One local councillor said it “sticks in the throat” and is creating a divide between locals on low wages and wealthy second home owners.
The sale of the five parking spaces, which are just a 30 seconds walk from the town centre, comes just three months after another space sold for £55,000.
The town, once famous for attracting the country’s artistic elite including Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, is hugely popular for both holiday homes and tourists and parking has become a premium.
The appointed estate agent has already received an offer of £100,000 for two of the spaces – but had declined it because each is now going to be auctioned – potentially selling for even more than the guide price.
The sites will pay for themselves because they will push up the price of any house sold in the town that can boast a parking spot.
However, the average worker in Cornwall earns just £22,000 a year.
Andrew Mitchell, chairman of the resources committee at St Ives Town Council, said: “It shows the mismatch in St Ives and many other Cornish villages and towns between the local population on low wages and seasonal jobs and second home owners.
“It’s ridiculous that many of those that live here can’t afford a home. They can’t even afford one of these parking spaces.”
Councillor Colin Nicholls, the deputy mayor of St Ives, has described the sale of parking spaces as a “dinner party accessory” for those who are “awash with money”.
There was outrage in the town five years ago when a parking space was sold for £24,000 but the going rate is now double that.
Around 60 people had already shown interest in the latest spots, which have been created from a former garage site and garden in Barnoon Terrace in the town.
The agent commented: “There is simply not enough parking capacity in the town for the number of people that are here. And there are plenty of people prepared to pay these kind of prices.”
He accepted that the likely buyers would be second home owners and added: “If a house has a parking space in St Ives the values shoots up, so the spaces will pay for themselves.”
The town council objected to the development of the spaces, which included the loss of a hedge, but was overturned by Cornwall Council.
Earlier this year a beach hut on Mudeford Sand Spit, near Bournemouth, sold for £170,000 after being on the market for just two days.