I think the answer to this is a resounding yes and there are murmurings that reference to local celebrities is a well worn tactic used by brokers and agents to elevate prices and increase local desirability. But how much can the celebrity effect elevate real estate values. It’s a tricky variable to measure but as a qualified chartered surveyor with over a decade of property experience behind me I would make an educated guess of around 10% to 20%. Quite a sizeable chunk of value.
Is this because agents and brokers are making greater capital out of celebrity? I would say so. Read this excellent extract from CountryLife.co.uk by Carla Passino:
“Leaning towards me, the estate agent lowered his voice to a confidential murmur.
‘Hugh and Jemima live nearby, you know,’ he said. Huh? I had asked whether the area was safe being often on my own, I am obsessed by safety. What did I care if two of his friends lived close by? Taking me for dim-witted, he slowly repeated: ‘H-u-g-h and J-e-m-i-m-a. Round the corner,’ with a self-satisfied grin.
Faced once more with blank incomprehension, he valiantly tried again: ‘Hugh Grant?’
Aha! It finally dawned on me. This specimen belonged to the increasingly common estate agent species that sells a property on the back of names. Once, they used to quote the distance to the nearest tube station. Now, it’s the distance to the nearest celebrity (rigorously called by first name, to imply some kind of acquaintance).”
Personally, I don’t have beef with agents who employ this tactic (so long as it is truthful and not misleading) but I must admit that personally, it would carry very little importance in my overall decision to purchase a property. In fact, it would probably count heavily against, due to the unwanted attention and hassle that comes with being near to someone of celebrity. Roads blocked by paparazzi, TV crews behind bushes, groupies and fans camping on your doorstep, etc etc. No thank you!!
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