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qwerty_qwerty

London House Price Collapse?

36 posts in this topic

Hi,

I'm currently looking to buy a property in the N1 area of London, roughly around £350k. Am I right in thinking that London house prices are likely to remain separate from the rest of the UK (in that they will continue to steadily increase, or at least remain roughly at the same level over the next five years)?

Obviously no one can give a definitive answer, however I'd really appreciate some of your well-informed views on the situation.

I know about the favourable exchange rate for foreign nationals and the £1m stamp duty introduction propping up the market recently, but what about in the future? Surely if the £1m stamp duty kept average prices in London high during April, then the sub-£1m market would have fallen like the rest of the UK? Or is that an extremely simplistic view?!

Very confused on the situation if I'm honest, and would really appreciate your opinions!

Thanks!

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Good luck with 350k. Pains me to say it but not unless your happy with an ex local or lower ground (estate agent speak for basement) conversion then you goona struggle.

Sellers will not budge in this area.

N1 Angel forgeddit.
N1 Old Street close enough to walk to city/sq mile.
N1 Hoxton/Shoreditch may have been little while back but now b.o.m.d. hipsters flipsters area and brand new tube stations (yawn.....east london line).
N1 KIngs X ....shabby shabby. Few good roads hemmed in by truly awful depressing council estates...... but hey with the new Eurostar you could be in Paris by mid morning.

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Decent 2 bed flats are in your price range of £350k. (not meant to sound like £350k is in any way reasonable for a flat!)

Personally I think London is split into it's own micro area's. So some area's will be hit worse than others. I live (rent) in Chiswick and am pretty confident it's going to hold up. Brentford next door could well get battered. Just remember if London area's do drop then it will be hard. Personally I wouldn't take that chance.

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If interest rates go up then London gets hits twice - those with a mortgage who can't make the payments and overseas buyers deterred by a stronger Pound.

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[quote name='bergkamp N4' timestamp='1306438016' post='3000435']
Good luck with 350k. Pains me to say it but not unless your happy with an ex local or lower ground (estate agent speak for basement) conversion then you goona struggle.

Sellers will not budge in this area.

N1 Angel forgeddit.
N1 Old Street close enough to walk to city/sq mile.
N1 Hoxton/Shoreditch may have been little while back but now b.o.m.d. hipsters flipsters area and brand new tube stations (yawn.....east london line).
N1 KIngs X ....shabby shabby. Few good roads hemmed in by truly awful depressing council estates...... but hey with the new Eurostar you could be in Paris by mid morning.
[/quote]

Ha ha, I know what you mean about the areas you mention, however I *think* I've found a place which I'll be happy with, for the right price (assuming a fair bit of haggling - about 15-20% off a rather inflated asking price). The place next door sold for about 25% less than they're asking for back in September '09, so I think 15-20% is fair with the market how it is at them moment (just concerned that it may prove to be a massive mistake in 6 months time!).

[quote name='Starla' timestamp='1306442402' post='3000513']
Decent 2 bed flats are in your price range of £350k. (not meant to sound like £350k is in any way reasonable for a flat!)

Personally I think London is split into it's own micro area's. So some area's will be hit worse than others. I live (rent) in Chiswick and am pretty confident it's going to hold up. Brentford next door could well get battered. Just remember if London area's do drop then it will be hard. Personally I wouldn't take that chance.
[/quote]

Thanks for your insight - as I'm sure you've gathered, that's my main concern, so (whether I want to hear it or not) that's really helpful.

[quote name='rantnrave' timestamp='1306448137' post='3000640']
If interest rates go up then London gets hits twice - those with a mortgage who can't make the payments and overseas buyers deterred by a stronger Pound.
[/quote]

Ah, that's a bloody good point regarding the overseas buyers. Hmmm... I'm starting to get serious second thoughts on this now, for good reasons.

Thanks for all of your advice - it's very much appreciated!

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[quote name='qwerty_qwerty' timestamp='1306450391' post='3000706']

Thanks for your insight - as I'm sure you've gathered, that's my main concern, so (whether I want to hear it or not) that's really helpful.



Ah, that's a bloody good point regarding the overseas buyers. Hmmm... I'm starting to get serious second thoughts on this now, for good reasons.

Thanks for all of your advice - it's very much appreciated!
[/quote]

Every development around N1 / EC / E1 I have enquired about has almost sold out. So new build for that money, forget it.

Maybe heading towards the Hackney end of N1 you'll find somewhere suitable.

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I live in n1 and defintely overpriced as stuff is on the market for ages check property snake or property bee to see what i mean. Also bezier at old street is not selling at all. There is another at new development on new north to road and a couple on city road. Actually n1 must have the one of the highest amiunts of council tenants so will be interesting to see how the benefit cuts effect things.
[quote name='meltsheep' timestamp='1306510644' post='3001604']
Every development around N1 / EC / E1 I have enquired about has almost sold out. So new build for that money, forget it.

Maybe heading towards the Hackney end of N1 you'll find somewhere suitable.
[/quote]

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[quote name='qwerty_qwerty' timestamp='1306436606' post='3000408']
Hi,

I'm currently looking to buy a property in the N1 area of London, roughly around £350k. Am I right in thinking that London house prices are likely to remain separate from the rest of the UK (in that they will continue to steadily increase, or at least remain roughly at the same level over the next five years)?

Obviously no one can give a definitive answer, however I'd really appreciate some of your well-informed views on the situation.

I know about the favourable exchange rate for foreign nationals and the £1m stamp duty introduction propping up the market recently, but what about in the future? Surely if the £1m stamp duty kept average prices in London high during April, then the sub-£1m market would have fallen like the rest of the UK? Or is that an extremely simplistic view?!

Very confused on the situation if I'm honest, and would really appreciate your opinions!

Thanks!
[/quote]
Bear in mind mad Irish developers dumped alot of London property in Ireland's bad bank NAMA - the bureaucrats have been preparing since January to offload everything by 2013. They need readies, and reckon the UK is a much more liquid market than the domestic one.

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I have been watching N1 for quite some time as well and it is indeed one of these seemingly HPC-proof London areas. A few opportunities came up in early 09 but I didn't pull the trigger as I thought it had more to go on the downside (greedy bear, I guess) and now stuff is back to pricing levels that are completely nuts. I'm afraid 350 isn't leading anywhere in that area.

My feeling is that the good stuff is very low LTV or owned outright (so I am not even sure rising rates are going to help) so supply sucks and therefore stuff like Barnsbury/Canonbury is just not happening at the kind of prices I'd like to get. De Beauvoir/East N1 (but already Hackney really) has been ramping up as well - and links are still not that good, so you're left with shitty KX / York / Cally back streets, and that couldn't be more depressing.

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I've actually found a few places that I think I'd be happy with for 350k in N1, so I'm not really looking for advice on that regard. Admittedly, I wouldn't have thought everyone would be happy with them, but for me they tick the boxes.

My theory behind N1 (though it probably is a little simplistic) is that it central, and has very good transport links so is likely to hold its value if/when the crash reaches London. I know I could afford a nicer property further out, but personally, and financially, this makes the most sense to me.

Thanks for all your input!

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[quote name='yekim1967' timestamp='1306573369' post='3002060']
I live in n1 and defintely overpriced as stuff is on the market for ages check property snake or property bee to see what i mean. Also bezier at old street is not selling at all. There is another at new development on new north to road and a couple on city road. Actually n1 must have the one of the highest amiunts of council tenants so will be interesting to see how the benefit cuts effect things.
[/quote]

Hmmm... that would be interesting actually. Do you think that this would effect purely ex-local authority prices, or the whole sub-£4/500k market?

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[quote name='okaycuckoo' timestamp='1306590816' post='3002437']
Bear in mind mad Irish developers dumped alot of London property in Ireland's bad bank NAMA - the bureaucrats have been preparing since January to offload everything by 2013. They need readies, and reckon the UK is a much more liquid market than the domestic one.
[/quote]

Just been reading up on that (interesting article here, if anyone's else is interested: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/ireland-business-blog-with-lisa-ocarroll/2011/apr/28/nama-flooding-london-property-market) and it *seems* as though it's mainly commercial property, and for the residential property that is involved, they are trying not to flood the market. Of course, that could well be me reading what I want to read...

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Nice flat in best part of N1

http://catalogue.auctions.savills.co.uk/Data/Documents/Residential/may2011/sav5.pdf

Result: [b]£420,000[/b]


By Order of Metropolitan Police Authority

12 Grice Court, Alwyne Square, Islington, London N1 2JY

A[b] second floor three bedroom[/b] purpose built flat requiring modernisation – Vacant

Tenure

Leasehold. 125 years from 3rd July 2002. Ground rent £1 per annum.

Location

• Situated on the south side of Alwyne Square which runs off Canonbury Park North Edited by EDW

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[quote name='EDW' timestamp='1306759461' post='3003991']
Nice flat in best part of N1

http://catalogue.auctions.savills.co.uk/Data/Documents/Residential/may2011/sav5.pdf

Result: [b]£420,000[/b]


By Order of Metropolitan Police Authority

12 Grice Court, Alwyne Square, Islington, London N1 2JY

A[b] second floor three bedroom[/b] purpose built flat requiring modernisation – Vacant

Tenure

Leasehold. 125 years from 3rd July 2002. Ground rent £1 per annum.

Location

• Situated on the south side of Alwyne Square which runs off Canonbury Park North
[/quote]

I actually can't believe that sold for £420k! When was that?

For the record, I have found a few nicer places places, of a similar (if not larger) size, with similar leases, in similar areas that just had wildly exaggerated asking prices. I spoke to the estate agent before going for a second viewing, and explained that I wouldn't consider offering anything over 20% less than the asking price, which brings it quite a way under my budget.

To be honest, if I had £420k then I really wouldn't dream of spending it on that place. I just wouldn't be able to justify that to myself!

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London Garden Squares attract a premium but sometimes you have to pay for the garden maintenance.

That flat would rent for 475pw. It was a fair price sold at auction 2011.
.

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[quote name='qwerty_qwerty' timestamp='1306761396' post='3004034']
For the record, I have found a few nicer places places, of a similar (if not larger) size, with similar leases, in similar areas that just had wildly exaggerated asking prices. I spoke to the estate agent before going for a second viewing, and explained that I wouldn't consider offering anything over 20% less than the asking price, which brings it quite a way under my budget.
[/quote]

You must be quite a savvy negotiator, because 20% cuts in N1 just isn't happening in my experience. At least not right off the bat. Some of the off-the-run properties do not shift, so you can see asking price drop over time as the vendor gets back to earth, but 20% off in the OK-to-good locations is something I haven't heard of yet.

Are you looking for 1/2 bed? Ex-LA? I am not taking the piss, just struggling to understand what "nice places" are out there for 350k in that area.

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[quote name='Starla' timestamp='1306442402' post='3000513']

Personally I think London is split into it's own micro area's. So some area's will be hit worse than others. I live (rent) in Chiswick and am pretty confident it's going to hold up. Brentford next door could well get battered. Just remember if London area's do drop then it will be hard. Personally I wouldn't take that chance.
[/quote]

This is exactly what I am seeing a bit further out into the suburbs. The nice parts of my area are above 2007 peak and the good houses are selling quickly. A mile away, prices are probably 10% off their peak and sticking on the market. The actual difference in prices is at least 40%, and the cheaper area is by no means a 'ghetto', just a bit further from station/river/town centre etc.

Chiswick will always be a lot more expensive than Brentford, but there must be a tipping point where the differential gets so high that people start to say 's*d it, I'll move to Brentford because it is half the price'?

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[quote name='BentoBox' timestamp='1306778521' post='3004347']
You must be quite a savvy negotiator, because 20% cuts in N1 just isn't happening in my experience. At least not right off the bat. Some of the off-the-run properties do not shift, so you can see asking price drop over time as the vendor gets back to earth, but 20% off in the OK-to-good locations is something I haven't heard of yet.

Are you looking for 1/2 bed? Ex-LA? I am not taking the piss, just struggling to understand what "nice places" are out there for 350k in that area.
[/quote]

The particular place I'm referring to here has been on the market for quite some time, has had its asking price lowered quite a bit, and the owners have had a recent change in family circumstances so need to move fairly soon. I'd also take the 20% with a pinch of salt, as it could well be the estate agent purely trying to encourage me to make an offer to encourage them to lower their expectations a little, or even just to show the owners that they are doing something (something that I have read on here happens sometimes). Hopefully not, but I suppose I'll only find out if/when I make an offer!

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OP: I live in EC1 close to Old Street, I used to live N1 right on Upper Street.

I personally would not buy in N1, you'd have to drag me kicking and screaming.

EC1 is much nicer - but finding a good place for £350K - well good luck. Getting 20% off asking, just not going to happen unless you are very very lucky.

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[quote name='cool_hand' timestamp='1306879302' post='3005894']
I personally would not buy in N1, you'd have to drag me kicking and screaming.
[/quote]

Is that because of personal preference, or that you think it would be an error to spend all of your money on a place in N1 when you think the housing market in that area might be about to drop?

Basically I'm looking at N1 because that's the closest to central London that I can afford (in the North), and somewhere that I personally would be happy to live. My personal opinion is that the closer to central London, the sturdier house prices will be (however, I'm well aware that this might be a very simplistic point of view, and that there will be quite a few people on here that know a lot more about it than I do!).

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I can't wait to move out of N1, great place to go for a night out but to live there is another thing. Too many council scroungers, with their status dogs, crime is probably one of worst areas in London. I think there was a programme on TV a few years ago that called Islington the worst place to live in the UK, and now I understand why.

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Just be careful where you shop on a particular postcode. In W4 (Chiswick) you can get a 3BR semi in a crap area (far from anything desirable) for £350-400k. A similar sized 3BR terrace would go for £700k+ in the better areas of the same postcode. A simple thing like a main road, commercial complex, or rail line that’s seen as being too close can significantly reduce demand and thus price of any property. “Bargains”, even in this climate within inner London are usually priced lower for a reason.

Example: We’ve renting out our old flat (3BR 2Bath) for over £500/wk. A similar flat (2BR 2Bath) in the same complex is only getting 400/wk. Both have 2 parking spaces, the 2BR has a patio and direct access to the communal garden. Ours is on the first floor so it’s a bit harder to get to the garden. The key difference in my opinion? We have high ceilings and more usable space (ie. Only slightly bigger but better layout)…that’s it. The third bedroom is really a study/single. What can be considered by some as small factors such as orientation, views, layout, etc. can make a huge difference in desirability. Keep this in mind when buying.

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[url="http://www.sequencehome.co.uk/buy/property-details?r=HGT101543&src=1&searchType=buy&geographyName=n7&radius=1.0&maxPrice=300000&includeSSTC=0"]Good value garden flat in N7[/url]



An offer has been made for the above property in the sum o[b]f £275,000[/b]. Any person wishing to increase on this offer should notify the agents of their best offer prior to exchange of contracts.

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[quote name='qwerty_qwerty' timestamp='1306920667' post='3006334']
Is that because of personal preference, or that you think it would be an error to spend all of your money on a place in N1 when you think the housing market in that area might be about to drop?

Basically I'm looking at N1 because that's the closest to central London that I can afford (in the North), and somewhere that I personally would be happy to live. My personal opinion is that the closer to central London, the sturdier house prices will be (however, I'm well aware that this might be a very simplistic point of view, and that there will be quite a few people on here that know a lot more about it than I do!).
[/quote]

I think yekim1967 summed up some of my feelings. N1 looks a nice place until you actually live there.
I don't mind Amwell Street and Clerkenwell but Upper Street / Essex Road, no thank you. It's like a soulless corporate village.
I would avoid making a decision purely based on a financial basis, this is your home, yes and investment - as in you are putting your hard earned money into it - but most important it is a place to live, a place to feel happy in.
I think you could get better value if you are prepared to be a bit further out - that's what I would do if I was buying. I'm renting. I wouldn't buy at the moment - the market is not resolved.

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