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#1 redwing

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 09:04 PM

As our new builds are sticking thread has been hived off to some distant corner, I thought I'd start a new Cambridge thread for you all in the place you'd probably look for it.


Oh, and why can I no longer find all the local stuff in one forum? If there's one forum that's got so large it has become unmanageable, it's not this one.

#2 msgin

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 09:21 PM

Good idea redwing :).

#3 TheBlueCat

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 12:03 PM

Thanks for the link. 2,300 homes of which 60% houses/ 40% flats. Is it me, or does there seem to have been a vast increase in house building in and around Cambridge in the last 5 years? I can't remember anything on this scale since Bar Hill and Kings Hedges in the 60s/70s.

Definitely, there was almost nothing built in the preceding 5 years either. Clay Farm and Arbury Park are the biggest new developments in Cambridge City itself for a very long time too.

#4 redwing

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 04:03 PM

House prices create a tale of two cities

From the Cambridge Evening News 28/12/08

CAMBRIDGE is now the sixth most expensive city in the UK, with average house prices breaking the 300,000 barrier for the first time.

A survey by Nationwide showed average house prices stood at a 306,134 at the end of 2007 - a nine per cent rise of last year's figure of 281,227.

It means the average cost of a home is now a staggering ELEVEN times the average national wage of 27,146 - making it virtually impossible for thousands of first-time buyers to get a foot on the housing ladder.

Only Belfast, Oxford, London, Brighton and St Albans were a more costly place to buy than Cambridge - with the Northern Irish capital seeing the fastest house price rises of 200 a day.

While rocketing prices are good news for some city residents, there are fears that rampant house inflation is damaging Cambridge, turning it into a society of the haves and have-nots.

Shop manager Emily Leslie (24), who rents a house with friends in Victoria Park, Cambridge, was dismayed to hear prices had continued to soar.

She said: "It's quite disheartening because I was starting to think about buying a home, but it's just too expensive.

"The only way I could afford to buy somewhere is by clubbing together with friends. My housemates and I talked about it, but the financial burden was still too heavy for somewhere in central Cambridge.

"It is definitely driving people away from Cambridge. They might come back from London once they've made some money, but is it a good thing for the city to lose so many young people?

"It seems that all people in their 20s and 30s in Cambridge are renting, which just means you are throwing your money away. But what else can you do?"

Coun John Hipkin, former Mayor of Cambridge, also believes the price rises are harming the region.
He said: "House prices are far too high.

"All the people that a successful economy needs, such as teachers, nurses and other key-workers, cannot afford to live in the city and are forced to move increasingly further out into places like the new Northstowe town.

"This is economically unsustainable as the city will struggle to cope with them pouring into work in the city each day.

"We are seriously behind the very modest target of 12,500 new homes by 2021 and significantly behind the Government's desired total of 19,500.

"We need to get a move on with our major housing projects, such as the Niab site, off Huntingdon Road, and other big developments in South Cambs."

The 68 a day rise throughout 2007 meant average house prices increased by almost 25,000 - with many people earning more from their homes than from their jobs.

It follows a rise of 99 a day last year, which saw average house prices rise from 243,915 to 280,079 in 2006.

But Martin Walshe, residential director at Cambridge estate agents Cheffins, said: "These reports can often be misleading because the market is very fragmented.

"Certain parts of the market went up by large amounts, while others saw very little change.

"Homes in Newnham costing between 500,000 and 1 million were largely unaffected by interest rate rises because the sales were done in cash, without mortgage. These prime spots continued to rise sharply.

"But the middle sector between 200,000 and 500,000 saw a marked downturn after the introduction of Home Information Packs and the interest rises in the middle of the year. These big differences can distort the real picture - not everyone will experience such rises.

"We've had a surprisingly successful December and it seems confidence is creeping back in the market for 2008.

"With forecasts of further interest rate cuts, I think we could have another strong year. However, it will be good if prices remain stable for a while."



#5 Janelle

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 06:49 PM

Great idea to have a Cambridge thread. I doubt any of the bourgeois home owners or local council in Cambridge are worried in the slightest about a potential dwindling of the young local population in the city however. Cambridge have a fresh influx of students every year, many with wealthy parents ready to invest in the property market, grabbing the type of property normally attractive to first time buyers, so there's probably less chance of a market crash here in my view.

I'm originally from Durham, which follows a similar, if slightly less fierce model to Cambridge, a relatively small city centre with a high proportion of students. The locals found themselves pushed out to the fringes of the city, just like Cambridge, however Durham does not suffer from the 'South Cambridgeshire' effect where city types transform into country lovers and push up house prices further, so even moving to the fringes of town is problematic down here. That's unless you want to risk life and limb commuting on the A14 every day during peak rush hour or worse still, live in Hertfordshire (Royston for example!).

My husband works on the Science Park near Milton and as we'll be parents this year, had contemplated moving closer to his work to reduce the commute, but even rental prices are extortionate if you want anything other than a 1 bed flat...

#6 TheBlueCat

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:34 AM

Cambridge have a fresh influx of students every year, many with wealthy parents ready to invest in the property market, grabbing the type of property normally attractive to first time buyers, so there's probably less chance of a market crash here in my view.

Don't be so sure about that, Cambridge went way down in the last crash. I'm inclined to think that the parents of wealthy students amplify the effect in both directions. Something else to consider is that there's now lots of specialist student accommodation in Cambridge that didn't used to exist - and there's going to be loads more in the CB1 development too.

#7 redwing

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 08:49 PM

Don't be so sure about that, Cambridge went way down in the last crash. I'm inclined to think that the parents of wealthy students amplify the effect in both directions. Something else to consider is that there's now lots of specialist student accommodation in Cambridge that didn't used to exist - and there's going to be loads more in the CB1 development too.


I have to agree. I watched a house in Mawson Road (CB1) through 2006/2007. It was empty the whole academic year. It had been advertised as a student shared house.

Students at the big university are almost all housed in hall, or Uni-owned properties. ARU is catching up with its own student halls (which I have the feeling are privatised) leaving less demand from students for the residential neighbourhoods.

And, as students face increasing levels of debt to get their BA(hons) from the a former Arts and Technology College, I get the impression that they are tending to go to their local uni and stay living with their parents.

And being an expensive town to live in, I would guess that ARU is going to struggle to get students from further afield.

The local free sheet dropped through my door late last week. It had an outer wrapper - A full 4 page advert from ARU trying to persuade us that it would be a really neat idea to enrol as nursing students there. A bit desparate looking, don't you think?

#8 TheBlueCat

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 09:17 PM

A bit desparate looking, don't you think?

Yes, definitely, they borrowed big time to build all that new stuff down East Road, maybe it's catching up with them? Separately, and very childishly, do you think there's an Anglia Ruskin School of Eduction?

#9 redwing

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:20 PM

Yes, definitely, they borrowed big time to build all that new stuff down East Road, maybe it's catching up with them? Separately, and very childishly, do you think there's an Anglia Ruskin School of Eduction?

Yes there is. I got my PGCE there. My employer at the time paid for it. And I no longer use it.

Frankly, I'd been teaching already for 5 years and I learnt nothing useful during my year at CCAT/AHEC/APU/ARU. It's still on my CV though.

#10 ScaredEitherWay

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 03:20 AM

In about 1977/78 I knew a couple who rented a house in York Street. They were about 19-22 years of age.

It was a 2-up, 2-down affair, walking along from the Newmarket Road end, it was probably one of the first 20 on the left, close to what used to then be the service entrance to the Beehive Store.

Beyond the 2-down, there was a tiny, tiny kitchen which had been added on. I only visited once. There was a tin bath on the living room wall. There was no bathroom :)

At the time they moved out, their landlord offered the house to them to buy. I can't remember how much, but it was 6-8,000. They declined. I remember thinking at the time I'd have bought it at that price!

To put that in persepctive, within a year or so, in my first job as a PA I was earning 3,000 (although I was the person earning the most from the others in my secretarial college class). A good Legal Secretary would expect to get 2,500/year. But remember, this was back in the days when we were properly qualified PA/Secretaries, not just people who can roughly cobble together a letter of sorts if put in front of Word!

This posting had no point other than for me to stroll down memory lane.

Thank you.

#11 Bug16

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 11:41 AM

Just a brief annecdote for you. I was on the bus on Saturday and a little old dear (about 75) was chatting to the bus driver. She was saying how great it was that house prices were "rapidly falling" in Cambridge as she was hoping to move into the city. She mentioned that she hoped she wouldn't have to drop the price of her property too much but it would all be relative anyway.

I was just amazed to hear a little old dear talking about that.
Mind the oranges Marlon!

#12 JustinC

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 09:28 PM

Im not trying to make this a political issue...but I thought this was scary/amusing.

http://www.cambridge...housingquiz.pdf

IMHO Labour dont seem to be very well placed to be pointing the finger of blame at other people when it comes to housing issues, whether its supposed to be local government or not.

Edited by JustinC, 07 January 2008 - 09:28 PM.


#13 TheBlueCat

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 09:53 PM

Im not trying to make this a political issue...

I don't see why not, I mean, it really _should_ be a political issue given that it's primarily political actions that have caused the problem (lack of targeting asset price inflation in the BoE rules, planning restrictions and probably a load of other stuff I've forgotten). Agreed Labour don't have a leg to stand on though - not that any of the other parties are much better in this point though.

#14 Kurt Barlow

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 10:04 PM

I don't see why not, I mean, it really _should_ be a political issue given that it's primarily political actions that have caused the problem (lack of targeting asset price inflation in the BoE rules, planning restrictions and probably a load of other stuff I've forgotten). Agreed Labour don't have a leg to stand on though - not that any of the other parties are much better in this point though.


What a bunch of A$$holes - Hipkin was being Ironic - basically saying housing had become so expensive that 300K was the affordable end of the market.

to$$ers - mid u the Lib dems are not much better.

#15 payback period

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:57 PM

In about 1977/78 I knew a couple who rented a house in York Street. They were about 19-22 years of age.

It was a 2-up, 2-down affair, walking along from the Newmarket Road end, it was probably one of the first 20 on the left, close to what used to then be the service entrance to the Beehive Store.

Beyond the 2-down, there was a tiny, tiny kitchen which had been added on. I only visited once. There was a tin bath on the living room wall. There was no bathroom :)

At the time they moved out, their landlord offered the house to them to buy. I can't remember how much, but it was 6-8,000. They declined. I remember thinking at the time I'd have bought it at that price!

To put that in persepctive, within a year or so, in my first job as a PA I was earning 3,000 (although I was the person earning the most from the others in my secretarial college class). A good Legal Secretary would expect to get 2,500/year. But remember, this was back in the days when we were properly qualified PA/Secretaries, not just people who can roughly cobble together a letter of sorts if put in front of Word!

This posting had no point other than for me to stroll down memory lane.

Thank you.


No need to apologise ScaredEitherWay. I've spent the last 10 years living round York Street in rentals so found that very interesting. Here's a memory of mine. Back in 1998 a 2 bed maisonette in Sleaford St came on the market for 98k and we'd have loved to have bought it but it was >3x our salaries (15k each, we were early 20s) and we had no deposit or mortgage offer. It sold in about a week. That was before prices went *really* crazy.




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