A SINGLE brick garage has been sold in York city centre for a staggering £40,000.

The sum - believed to be a record for York and £2,500 more than the guide price - was paid for a garage situated near the Bootham Row car park, just off Bootham and Gillygate.

Kevin Webb, partner at estate agents Churchills, said it was one of three garages out of a row of six which were snapped up for between £37,000 and £40,000 each.

He said two had been bought by businessmen and the other by a resident living locally.

"One has been bought by someone with a nice, sporty car who wants a secure place to park it up," he said.

He said that whenever the estate agency received instructions to sell a city centre garage, it was always snapped up quickly.

"It's a question of location, location, location. They are a good investment - they can be rented out for £1,800 per annum. I reckon £40,000 is a record for York but I would expect their value to go on rising," he said.

Over the past two or three years, the price achieved for a garage had been steadily increasing. "Two and a half years ago, this sort of garage might have sold for £30,000."

He stressed that the garages, measuring 18ft by 9.5ft, had pitched roofs, in which items could be stored. They also came with running water and power, a skylight and metal roller doors.

He revealed that garages elsewhere in the city were also selling for big sums, with one in Shaws Terrace, The Mount, recently fetching £26,500 - £1,000 less than the guide price.

He said people liked to park their cars in The Mount and then walk to work in the city.

Mr Webb said he had been at Churchills for 19 years. "When I started out, you could get a two bedroom terrace for less than £40,000."

Asked what his reaction would have been at that time, if someone had told him then that one day he would be selling garages for £40,000, he said: "I would have said: You're barking mad!'"

Allen Rutter, of Blacks Estate Agents of Fulford, said he could not match £40,000, although he had sold a garage in Walmgate two or three years ago for about £26,000. "The prices reflect demand," he said.

Tim Blenkin, owner of Blenkin and Co, of High Petergate, said: "I own one myself. I bought a single, lock-up garage five years ago in the Gillygate area for £20,000. It's a five-minute walk from my office.

"The prices achieved reflect the difficulties of finding secure parking."

Kevin Hollinrake, of estate agents Hunters, said the high prices were due to a lack of city centre parking, particularly in the wake of York's apartments boom.

"So many apartments have been built in the city centre, some of them with three or four bedrooms but no parking, and a lot of car parks have been built on," he said.

Parking is a costly business

SO how much would you pay to park your car in a car park in the Gillygate area, if you don't own your own garage?

A City of York Council spokeswoman said that a local resident could pay £576 to park all year round at the Marygate car park, but this was not available to people with businesses in the centre.

She said that at the Bootham Row car park, there was a maximum of five hours parking available at a cost of £8.50 per day.

This would work out at £2,210 to park for someone parking five hours a day, five days a week, all year round.