Ceiling heights must stack up for home-hunters


First-floor apartment in York Terrace West, £6.95 million. Agent, Arlington Residential. The seven floor-to-ceiling windows, facing Regent’s Park, all have access to a private balcony.

London homes can command a premium of around 15 per cent if they have exceptional ceiling heights, say property experts.

The volume and grandeur created by higher ceilings is particularly in demand from European purchasers who are used to higher-than-average ceiling heights in, for example, Paris, Rome and Vienna.

Increasingly, as well as offering detailed floor plans as part of the marketing collateral, London agents are including ceiling heights in response to buyers’ enquiries.

Marc Schneiderman, director at Arlington Residential, says: “High ceilings and double volume spaces really do have a significant impact on the value of a property. Around 15 per cent can be added to the value of homes where ceiling heights are way above the norm.

“With the average ceiling height of a home in the UK being around 2.4m, a property with ceilings heights of 3.7m has a totally different atmosphere and sense of grandeur that elevates the impact of the space and certainly raises the value. At the top end of the market, impact and grandeur are important. Additionally, there is the opportunity for high-end buyers to display impressive artworks in rooms with ceiling heights of 3.7m-plus.

‘One of our clients has a 20m drawing room with 5.5m ceiling height, which, in effect, has become a cross between an art gallery and a museum. It is simply impossible not to gasp at the scale and magnificence of the space. The artwork alone is worth more than the house.”

Christian Warman, director at Tedworth Property, says: “In London ceiling heights are very important; they are also very difficult to quantify. European buyers in particular are very sensitive to ceiling heights – probably due to the architecture they are used to enjoying in their home countries.

‘We often get ceiling heights measured when getting a floor plan done because we know it is a question we will be asked by prospective buyers. With the rate per sq ft influencing a property’s value substantially, it doesn’t take into account the volume/ceiling height — a property with low ceilings could have a lower value than one with high ceilings.

“The way traditional buildings were built also dictates ceiling heights — the ground and first floors traditionally have the highest ceilings, with the ceilings becoming lower as you get higher in the building.”

Middleton Advisors, Rhianne Mcilroy says: ‘Knowing ceiling heights ahead of viewing a property is important. It can be a deal breaker for some people, so having it printed on a floorplan can be very helpful.

“The height of ceilings is a major factor when considering lateral apartments, as ceiling height can vary quite significantly from building to building. Mostly, people specify ‘high ceilings’ rather than the height, but largely anything over 2.7m would be desirable.

“Varying architectural styles through the ages will give varying ceiling heights. Mostly, the feeling of grandeur in a Victorian or Georgian London home is very desirable. The ceiling height of a basement, usually one that has been dug in more recent years is a dealbreaker when it comes to family houses. If corners have been cut leaving low ceilings in basements, this leaves lacklustre rooms which can be expensive to rectify. In most houses and apartments, there is little you can do to increase the ceiling height on anything above the ground floor, as this would compromise the floors above.

‘When looking at apartments in prime central London, the raised ground and first floors offer the best volume and usually command a premium. Examples of these impressive living spaces can be seen throughout Lennox Gardens, Cadogan and Onslow Squares. These are considered best-in-class assets.

“Generous ceiling heights are universally appreciated, but I’d say loved most by the British and Europeans.

“Obviously if people have collections of sizeable artwork, they may need much more generous ceiling heights because they require the right scale and proportions. The art will play a role in deciding whether a home will be suitable.”

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