£50,000 'small price' for parking
Three car parking spaces in the exclusive Cornish resort of St Ives have been sold at auction for a combined total in excess of £160,000.
The spaces, measuring 20ft (6.1m) by 8ft (2.4m), were three of five such parking bays on Barnoon Terrace near the Tate St Ives gallery due to go under the hammer.
The first was sold for £55,000, while the other two fetched £56,000 and £50,000 respectively.
Two remaining parking bays attracted bids of £50,000 each, though this was not enough to match their reserves. Their individual sales are expected to be agreed privately within the next 24 hours.
Chris Baxter, director of Bradleys estate agents, said the going price for each of the lots - in excess of double the average yearly salary in Cornwall - indicated the importance of a parking space in St Ives, one of the jewels in the West Cornwall crown, and preferred holiday destination for thousands of people every year.
Mr Baxter said: "(The auction) tells me that despite the recession and credit crunch, if you look at the last 30 years, property prices pretty much without fail have gone up in price.
"Clearly in St Ives, it's a diminishing asset with a higher demand so in effect you're looking at a price that's going up yearly. We are talking about an area where property is happily fetching £500,000 - £700,000 - if not more.
"If you haven't got a car parking space, £50,000 is a small price to pay for that extra amenity."
Each open-air parking space - overlooking the picturesque Carbis Bay - was sold with the condition that it must be used solely as a car park, with no scope for building, the auction was told. Successful bidders were also made to pay a premium of £5,000 plus VAT.
Mr Baxter added: "It was slightly unusual, but I think it was quite a successful day."