Art

Street art boosts property prices, survey finds

People willing to pay £8,500 extra to live in an area with colourful street art

Once upon a time graffiti was considered a menacing blight on the urban landscape. Newly respectable, street art now regularly fetches four and five figure sums at exhibitions and is a valued commodity on the most fashionable city streets.

So valued, in fact, that it can even boost the property market.

New research by the Affordable Art Fair found people would pay an extra £8,500 to live in a neighbourhood with high-quality street art.

Some 84% of people surveyed in London said street art strengthened community spirit, and one-third said they would choose good street art over a good transport connection when it came to finding a place to live.

Art is indeed associated with improving economic conditions of urban neighbourhoods

While street art has largely left the discussion about vandalism behind, it is now caught up in the thorny debate over gentrification in fast-changing cities.

Last year, researchers at the University of Warwick found a strong connection between street art and house prices in London. By studying photos of the capital uploaded to Flickr, they found neighbourhoods with the highest amount of street art had experience the highest price rises – places like Peckham and Shoreditch (pictured below).

“Our results suggest that art is indeed associated with improving economic conditions of urban neighbourhoods,” the study’s authors concluded.

Several leading street artists will exhibit work at this year’s Affordable Art Fair in Bristol this weekend. Set up back in 1999, the fair aimed to showcase new talent to art lovers, and now takes place in 14 locations around the world.

Affordable Art Fair Bristol starts this Friday, September 8 and runs until Sunday, September 10 at Brunel’s old station.

Photos: Adam Forrest and Berit Watkin, licensed under Creative Commons

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