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wimbledon

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About wimbledon

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  1. Here in Wimbledon (NOT the posh bit!), where all real estate prices are ridiculous, a very uninspiring loft-converted 4-bed terraced house like ours costs around £750,000 to buy and £3000/month to rent. We calculated our rental budget at around £2,400/month (interest on £750,000, minus 40% tax), and all the properties we looked at around this level were considerably smaller than our own house. So we gave up - it just didn't seem worth the hassle.
  2. Maybe it is just n London, where there are lots of corporate lets?
  3. Yes, I too wouldn't wish ill on anyone else. We all have to do what seems right at the time. But I feel very strongly - as do most people on this site - that a fall in house prices is a good thing for almost everyone. Falling house prices do not cause repossessions - it's the other way round. Nobody will be out on the street because of a paper fall in the value of their houses - the deciding factor is whether they can afford the mortgage payments. Even your friend with the new mercs will be better off in the long run if house prices fall.
  4. We nearly STR a few months ago - we had a really keen buyer for our house - but in the end couldn't stomach it, and pulled out. The rental properties within our budget (which was equivalent to the interest on the full value of our house, minus tax, as we don't have a mortgage on the house) were on the depressing side, or in an inconvenient location, and there was always the niggling doubt about inflation eroding all that cash in the bank. Also, how long do you intend to rent for? I think that the crash, if it happens (it's still not a dead cert, even though it looks that way at the moment) could mean five years of prices dribbling down. We felt that we could rent for a year or so but not for five. I still wonder, pretty much every day, whether we should put our house on the market again, but I always come to the conclusion that it's too risky, and too stressful. Like you, we have children, and life is hectic enough as it is. On paper, STR is the clever thing to do, but in practice I think it's very difficult. Maybe rental prices are different where you live, but where we live, in London, they are utterly outrageous - I simply can't imagine how people afford them. Still, good luck to you, if you do go through with it.
  5. Are you talking about Brinkley's? They have been offering 0.5% commission for a while - at least since last summer. Trouble is, noone has heard of them and they hardly sell anything. Congratulations on STR-ing. We tried to STR ourselves this December-January but bottled out, mainly because we couldn't find anything decent to rent within our price range. We were intending to put all the cash from the sale of our house (on which we have no mortgage) in the bank and use the interest on this (minus tax of course) for the rent. But all the houses to rent in this price range were much smaller than ours, and pretty depressing. Also, I was worried about inflation eating into the value of our cash if we were to rent for as long as three years - which might be how long it takes. And we have two youngish children and it all seemed like too much hassle in reality - though of course it's a great idea in theory. So we gave up. But we're still wondering whether we should have done it. If we put our house on the market now I'm sure we wouldn't get the price we got in December last year. Our current plan is to wait three years or so then try to sell/buy.
  6. The journey to Waterloo is much quicker from Wimbledon - around 15 minutes. Plus there are trains every few minutes, so you don't have to worry about missing one. Then you also have the option of the Thameslink line (which I think is brilliant), as well as the Northern Line from South Wimbledon or the District Line from Wimbledon, so if there's a problem with BR you can still get home. OK, the trains are crowded, but as the journey is relatively short it's not too bad. Believe me, I've had this discussion with my husband many times. I've been trying to convince him to move to Esher or Weybridge for years because then we could have a decent garden, but he can't bear the thought of the commute to Canary Wharf from there. And, to be honest, I have to agree with him - over the years I have lived in Esher, Weybridge, and Surbiton, and I do think the journey is much less stressful from Wimbledon. The other big plus of Wimbledon versus somewhere like Esher is that you have most of the shops you could possibly want on your doorstep so you don't have to mount a major expedition to Kingston or Guildford to go shopping. You just pop out, on foot, for a few minutes. Much easier!
  7. One thing that those who think "prices will never fall in Esher" seem to forget is that a lot of people move there from places like Wimbledon, because when their kids get older and they want to move from their 4-bed terrace to a slighly bigger house with a slightly bigger garden they realize that Wimbledon prices are ridiculous whereas Esher seems very affordable. However, most typical Wimbledon families I know (people with two primary school kids in a 4-bed terrace who want a slightly bigger house) would still rather stay in Wimbledon because of its convenience. Daddy doesn't really want to add 30-60 minutes onto his commute. So if prices fall a lot in Wimbledon - take a look at www.propertysnake.co.uk for SW19 and you might have a shock - suddenly there's much less reason to move to Esher. Plus we will have less equity to pay for our next purchase in Esher or anywhere else. Another thing I'd like to point out is that an amazing number of people who live here think that "prices will never fall in Wimbledon" either. Well, they have fallen by at least 10% already, and they fell a good 30–40% last time round. I'd also like to argue with the view that people will only sell at a lower price if they absolutely have to. That's not really true. I would be happy to sell my house today at 20% below what the estate agents tell me it is worth if the person I am buying off does the same. If you're moving up the ladder it's in your interest.
  8. I've been watching the market in Wimbledon last April and can give some concrete information about what is really happening, albeit only in a limited price range. 1. House on Gladstone Road, put on market in April 2007 for £1,250,000. Price reduced to £1,150,000, then £1,075,000, then £975,000. It still hasn't sold. 2. House on Pelham Road, put on market around April 2007 for £1.6mn, reduced to £1.5m, then £1.325mn. Sold for £1.25mn. 3. House on Mayfield Road put on market in June 2007 for £1.5mn. Reduced to £1.4mn, then £1.299mn. Accepted offer at £1.187mn, then just before contracts were exchange the buyer negotiated a "hefty reduction" (the estate agent wouldn't tell me the exact figure). 4. House on Vineyard Hill Road, put on market in April/May 2007 for £1.75mn, reduced to £1.595mn, then £1.495mn. Eventually sold for £1.475mn. It clearly isn't true that good family houses in desirable areas hold their value! I don't know whether Wimbledon is leading the house price crash, or whether you only get the full picture if you get pally with estate agents and check on actual sale prices. Does anyone know if the same kind of thing is happening elsewhere in London?
  9. Primelocation.com has at last published its figures for October (on 27 November!), and they do indeed show a 2.6% m-m drop in prices in West/Southwest London (Barnes, East Sheen Putney, Wimbledon, Hammersmith, Chiswick, Richmond), which follow on from monthly falls in September and August too. According to Primelocation.com, prices in "prime London", which seems to mean the nicer postcodes, have now fallen for the past three months. You have to fiddle around a bit on the website to get the October figures, so here is the direct link: www.primelocation.com/priceindex
  10. The situation is pretty much the same in Wimbledon - prices have fallen by around 10% since the summer, and not much is selling at the moment (including our house, despite our 10% price reduction). What I would like to know is why primelocation.com have not published their London market update for October. They said prices fell in both August and September, and I can't help but wonder whether they haven't published the October figures because they are too terrible!
  11. That's interesting. When you say "just" do you mean this month, or a few months ago? I'm only really aware of what's going on for £750,000+ properties. Our house was valued at £600,000 in both December 2003 and December 2004 and the latest EA valuation (last week) put it at £750,000, so it hasn't gone up anything like that much (plus we've spent quite a bit on it).
  12. [quote name='nicko75' date='Nov 9 2007, 12:
  13. Yes, everyone seems to be saying the same thing, in Wimbledon. I recently went to see a mortgage adviser at a local estate agent - he's in a really good position to see what's actually happening - and he said that, even though prices have been reduced across the board, offers are now coming in at around 10% below the asking price. So it does seem as if the crash is already happening in the more overpriced parts of London.
  14. Yes I know, and we might not have the guts to sell-to-rent in the end. (We're very cautious people.) But the arguments for a house price crash look pretty convincing, and the evidence is beginning to stack up.
  15. Back in Wimbledon, a friend of mine had her house valued at £1.25mn in April, and has reduced the price little by little to £975,000, but it still hasn't sold. This is why I can't understand the prediction that the London market will remain strong while the rest of the country will go down. It seems to me that the areas that have been the most outrageously overpriced - and pushed up by outrageous City bonuses - will see the greatest falls. Maybe this won't be true for smaller properties, but it certainly looks as if it is happening already for £1mn plus properties.
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