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#1 Guitars

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 04:04 PM

Hi,

does anyone have any comments on Gateshead? Particularly the Bensham area.

I've rented here for almost 5 years but still don't know the area too well. I moved here because I was sick of the commute to work in Newcastle but where I am now I'm basically spending two hours a day walking too and from work, so I'm wanting to buy somewhere a bit closer.

I've just about got a 10% deposit saved up but can't really make a decision on what to do. I have the tendency to over analyse things so I'm pretty much going around in circles in my head. I'm really only looking at the bottom of the market (£50k-£60k) I could stretch further but my raison d'Ítre isn't to spend my life paying as much mortgage as possible. I know for some people this is peanuts but it isn't for me, I'm on 18k a year.

I've just come back from walking the streets to look at some of the newer For Sale signs.

There are several things that bother me about buying a flat in Bensham now (besides the standard the economy is on the verge of collapse/the government is pouring billions in to stop everything from crashing down.)

1. Tyneside Flats. Most of Bensham is Tyneside flats and they're the only properties within my price range (apart from the usual crud in sink estates). While I don't mind renting a tyneside flat I don't like the idea of actually buying one. The bathrooms are usually tiny (they were original built without a bathroom) and you can hear pretty much everything your neighbour, above or below, is doing. My gut tells me they're just not worth the money that's being asked for them. Around 2003 they were going for as little 20k. Are they now worth 4-5 times as much? I don't believe so but that's what the asking prices are at now. For the same time period in parts of Newcastle the council was essentially giving these types of flats away on the condition you spend a minimal amount on renovation. I don't mind buying one and saving money that allows me to have a better lifestyle. But buying one because it's the best I'm going to be able to afford is not an idea I like.

2. Prices. It's the prices that bother me most of all because there's no rhyme nor reason to them. A flat could be on the market for 70k and a few doors down is more or less the same property on for 90k. Because of the high density of property here and the relative cheapness at the start of the boom, Bensham was blighted by property flippers. I watched the same properties being bought and sold month after month, the price going up each time. Then when the crash came the flats were either rented out or just left empty. The flat above me had a For Sale sign on it for 4 years.

The prices haven't dropped to what I believe is a reasonable amount but the market doesn't seem to be able to decide what to do, and along with it neither do I. If a standard 2 bed flat is going to stick at 75k or even increase, then fine, I'm happy staying renting, taking advantage of the freedom it allows me and otherwise just get on with my life. If it comes down to 55k then I'm interested in buying and then getting on with my life.

There are some flats on for 55k in eastern Gateshead but they're in such a nasty area or poor state that they're not even a consideration for me. 10 years ago these same flats were going for 10k before the property flippers descended on their streets. Now if you look at these streets you see nothing but For Sale/For Rent signs.

3. Empty properties. This is another thing that really bothers me. I keep hearing about a property shortage and yet I walk past absolutely loads of empty properties. This is on top of all the For Rent and For Sale signs. Walking the same streets each day I see many properties that are just empty, not for sale or rent. There's two I pass on the way to the local shop that look to be partly renovated. One has an empty Dr Pepper can that's been sitting on the window sill for two years.

This unnerves me because I can't help but feel something isn't functioning properly when you can have hundreds of properties that are just sitting empty.

As part of my usual over analysis I've been reading through the council publications on housing in Gateshead. I think I read that 18% of the high rise flats are empty because no body wants to live there (large numbers of social needs tenants get placed there instead.) Bizarrely the few high rise flats I've seen for sale are quite expensive. There's just no logic to this.

Gateshead council have been demolishing hundreds of tyneside flats because they claim families just don't want to live in them. The population of Gateshead is dropping as families leave the area for more suitable housing.

I'm tired of not knowing what to do. I want to be able to make a decision and start working towards it. It's like I'm pretty sure the wings have just fallen off the plane but nobody else seems that bothered so I'm left wondering why I'm missing.

So if anyone can offer some insight or advise, I'd really appreciate it.

#2 Durham Lad

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 05:28 PM

Guitars,

I know Bensham pretty well - relatives live there - and I think your gut feeling is spot on. Bensham is awfully overpriced considering it is... well Bensham. you should sit tight for another year or two or three and buy for half the current prices. Bensham will be one of the first places to drop when the sh!t finally hits the fan.
"It doesn't work to leap a twenty-foot chasm in two ten-foot jumps" - American Proverb

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience" - George Bernard Shaw

#3 PhoneyMcRingRing

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:36 AM

To be honest I don't know the area. However a few of my colleges at a previous job started buying there 2006-2007 as they were priced out of other areas. Seemed to have "best of a bad bunch" tag. So possibly wildly overpriced compared to "second best of a bad bunch"?

Phoney
"But now the guy's got to come up with Paulie's money every week. No matter what.
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#4 Quokka

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:41 AM

Good to hear your observations. Sorry about your feet.

I spent my early years in the Bensham area (a long time ago), Not got much idea what is happening on the ground now but have followed the rental market a bit on RM since the area was discussed in the Newcastle thread.

Looking at Rightmove (Shipcote) using PropertyBee the market looks stressed. Both rents and sale prices are being reduced. If the area has a high proportion of rentals then we should see prices fall there faster than in a mostly owner occupied area.

My advice would be to wait. Further falls are inevitable. Don't buy until it is a better deal than renting. Until that happens then buying these properties as an investment makes no sense. I don't think you are over analysing. Knowledge of the market gives you a big advantage. Use PropertyBee and you can watch the price falls in real time.


PS - Where are the flats being demolished? Are they council properties?

#5 Guitars

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:03 AM

PS - Where are the flats being demolished? Are they council properties?


There are around 400 homes spreadout around Gateshead currently being knocked down. The council website has some nice maps on the affected areas:

Neighbourhood planning in Gateshead

There are plans for 1200 more.

Some of the properties were council houses but I think they were mainly privately owned. Some streets have already been part demolished, others are all boarded up (This is in addition to all the other properties that are just sitting empty around Gateshead that aren't slated to be knocked down). The streets where the residents haven't been evicted yet, occasionally have "Save our homes" signs up in the windows.

Most of the tyneside flats need refurbishment but there otherwise wasn't anything wrong with these flats other than not being familiy friendly. The council plan is to replace them with fewer more expensive homes. Although all this seems to have ground to halt for some reason. It's been described as ethnical cleansing of the working class.

#6 Guitars

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:11 AM

To be honest I don't know the area. However a few of my colleges at a previous job started buying there 2006-2007 as they were priced out of other areas. Seemed to have "best of a bad bunch" tag. So possibly wildly overpriced compared to "second best of a bad bunch"?

Phoney


"best of a bad bunch" is a pretty good way to describe it here. It's not a bad area but poor quality housing and there's certainly been an increase in the number of gangs of chavs walking the streets the past few years. I think if you're a young professional and need to be close to Newcastle there isn't much choice.

#7 Guitars

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:50 AM

Looking at Rightmove (Shipcote) using PropertyBee the market looks stressed. Both rents and sale prices are being reduced. If the area has a high proportion of rentals then we should see prices fall there faster than in a mostly owner occupied area.

My advice would be to wait. Further falls are inevitable. Don't buy until it is a better deal than renting. Until that happens then buying these properties as an investment makes no sense. I don't think you are over analysing. Knowledge of the market gives you a big advantage. Use PropertyBee and you can watch the price falls in real time.


Can you explain how the market is stressed? I've been using PropertyBee the past couple months but I've only been using it to watch what changes the estate agents make to the adverts. It's been particularly informative to see what sort of offers have been put in on right move. 57k becomes 50k for example and advertising for anyone to put in a higher offer. But there are also a lot of contradictions. Some flats have the Sold sign up before I've even noticed they were for sale. This is worrying because they must of sold above the normal price bands I check for these types of properties.

The rental market has gone crazy since I moved here. When I first started looking five years ago I checked every main agent website and fish4.co.uk (it was before Rightmove) and there wasn't really much to choose from. Now every street has For Rent signs. There are at least two other large Property Management companies that have moved into the area too.

I've not really seen rents reducing. They jumped during the boom but since then they've been fairly stagnant, the main bottom price point being £400/month regardless of the location or quality of the property. Occasionally I'll see a particular property clearly trying to undercut the competition but it doesn't really start a fire. Although admittedly, along with For Sales, I only check the bottom end of the market that I can afford so if there's been drops higher up I won't notice it.

My theory is that with interest rates so low the landlords are paying so little on the mortgages there's little pressure on them to fill the voids.

#8 Quokka

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:41 PM

Can you explain how the market is stressed?


Lots of reductions at the higher end. Maybe stronger market at lower end will support prices (?)


The rental market has gone crazy since I moved here. When I first started looking five years ago I checked every main agent website and fish4.co.uk (it was before Rightmove) and there wasn't really much to choose from. Now every street has For Rent signs. There are at least two other large Property Management companies that have moved into the area too.


This has happened eveywhere. Those who can't sell are trying to rent.


My theory is that with interest rates so low the landlords are paying so little on the mortgages there's little pressure on them to fill the voids.


But how long will this last?

#9 Guitars

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 07:01 PM

Has anyone else noticed things seem to have ground to a halt in terms of new right move listings? In the usual price bandings I check I was seeing around a dozen new adverts a week. This has dropped to half a dozen over the last few weeks. Some of the 'new' listings are house I've seen before under offer that are suddenly back on the market.

What's going on?

#10 jaynewcastle

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 05:06 AM

Guess its the end of the spring surge in new properties coming onto the market. I had noticed ia similar trend myself in North Tyneside over the last few weeks.

Still waiting for prices to start falling :(

#11 dirge

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:07 AM

On the bright side, Super Pie's in bensham does some pretty good pies.

Lived there for a few years, new builds on bensham bank. God awful quality, very very poor. So all the old propertys have been split into flats and all the new houses are built out of sticks.

#12 Renewed Investor

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 10:15 PM

I'm not a fan of Bensham personally, too many non-english or poor english speaking immigrants there now. Not to mention I had a gun pulled on me about 8 or 9 years ago on Rectory Road, some black kid reckoned I knew some guy who'd stolen money from him.

Low Fell is the best area but it is still overpriced as many people my parents age bought around the peak of the bubble. i know a fair amount of people who are depending on their property maintaining or going up in value in order to retire in some comfort.

The Sherrif hill area has some decen tproperty at more reasonable prices. Problem is some of the streets are home to some nasty scum. I've got friends who live there though and it seems the type of place where if you keep out of peoples business you won't get any bother. Don't go in any of the local pubs though, very rough places. The Three Tuns is the only decent bar, never any trouble and get some great bands in. Last week was the UK Subs. Good pub for pulling girls I might add too.

#13 Snafu

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 12:05 AM

Renewed investor: don't think I've ever seen a black person in bensham :)

Lovely big houses. Shame. I'm looking Whickham way now. No gardens in low feel.it seems.

#14 Mr 0.01%

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:35 PM

Renewed investor: don't think I've ever seen a black person in bensham :)

Lovely big houses. Shame. I'm looking Whickham way now. No gardens in low feel.it seems.


Most of the places I've seen round Bensham are flats - tho I'm looking within a modest budget so perhaps that's why!! I also quite fancied low fell, but it's just too pokey. Also, an ex-girlfriend lives round that way ;). Lovely houses on the way to Low Fell tho.

How much are you guys finding Estate agents are intentionally overpricing their stock, knowing people will offer under the asking price? Had any cheeky offers accepted? Although Land Registry nationally points to rising prices nationally, Newcastle and Gateshead have a slight downwards trend...

#15 Snafu

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 11:53 AM

Most of the places I've seen round Bensham are flats - tho I'm looking within a modest budget so perhaps that's why!! I also quite fancied low fell, but it's just too pokey. Also, an ex-girlfriend lives round that way ;). Lovely houses on the way to Low Fell tho.

How much are you guys finding Estate agents are intentionally overpricing their stock, knowing people will offer under the asking price? Had any cheeky offers accepted? Although Land Registry nationally points to rising prices nationally, Newcastle and Gateshead have a slight downwards trend...

We are looking but haven't moved past the "browsing online". We have a house already - but it's a 2 bedroom semi. Not ideal when you're a family of three and you end up with laundry and kids toys in the living room.

The most depressing bit - it was bought for 150k in July 2007...juuuuust before the crash. The positive would of course be that, well, the next house should be cheaper. But still, nice little shortfall to find considering houses on the same estate of a similar size come up for 125. (Festival park). I do like festival park, but all the rooms are just undersized.

Very quiet no bother estate. I guess that's what you get when you're right next to an industrial estate. Which is also a bit depressing.




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