£799,950: at Wandsworth’s Lightermans Walk, this 70ft renovated four-bedroom boat has glorious views. Visit
On the other hand, you can pay a lot. Russell Day, a director of houseboat sellers River Homes (riverhomes.co.uk), says prices are up. “Summer is our busy time,” he says. “We advise people to buy a boat and mooring rights at the same time."
“We have a houseboat for sale at Canary Wharf for £2 million and a three-bedroom boat at Lightermans Walk in Wandsworth at £1.65 million. Typically, we might sell a houseboat with two or three bedrooms at £500,000. As well as pop stars, artists and creative types, we also sell to City executives who want a central London base.”
There is much less red tape involved in buying a boat than a house. But this can be a danger. “We advise using a solicitor even though you don’t have to,” says Day. “If you buy a boat and there is something wrong with it, it’s your problem, like a car. This is caveat emptor territory.”
In terms of rental investment, Day says houseboats have better returns than bricks and mortar. So how many more houseboats will there be in 10 years? Day feels the number of different agencies involved represents a check on progress.
£799,950: this impressive houseboat has four cabins, an open-plan reception, dining area and kitchen and two decks, as well as central heating. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/lightermans
British Waterways says there has already been an increase, with, for example, 40 per cent more houseboats along the River Lea in east London now than four years ago.
Top 10 London houseboat moorings
1 Cheyne Walk
2 Imperial Wharf
3 Cadogan Pier
4 Dove Pier
5 Chiswick Pier
6 Blomfield Road, Little Venice
7 Eagle Wharf, Holborn Studios
8 Kingsland Basin
9 Lee Valley Marina, Springfield
10 Packet Boat Marina, Uxbridge