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worried1

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  1. It looks as though the same house sold for £780k back in 2013 and that is the highest yet for that type of house. The ones that have sold for more are much bigger/nicer Victorian semis at the Surbiton end of the road. They still suffer with the same location problem though.
  2. Apologies for the depressing update, but I was shocked at this one. We've long been used to 30s semis on the Surbiton river roads and certain roads in north Kingston, but it now appears that Lingfield Avenue is trying to move into that bracket: https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-68455983.html This is on a busy road (and bus route) between Surbiton and Kingston without being particularly convenient for either. There are pretty much zero local facilities apart from a Co-op at the end of the road, so this is living with the downsides of suburbia without getting many of the convenience benefits. It's 1,500sqft, but is still advertised as a 5 bedroom house. The floorplan admits that one of these 'bedrooms' is an office and two of the others are below 10' long/wide. Money has been spent, but this certainly won't be to everybody's taste £1.1m must be one of the highest asking prices I've seen for what you get here.
  3. The prices are more to do with the individual parts of the area than the area as a whole. There are parts of Croydon that are better than many parts of Kingston, but they'll be priced to match. In Kingston, if you want to be in the parts that are attracting London money (near station, town centre, river, parks etc) it will cost you a lot of money. Move out to the back end of Berrylands, Tolworth, New Malden etc. and it will be much cheaper. That's why we are seeing bog standard semis at up to £1.5m in some roads and very similar houses at less than £500k just a mile or so away. The more expensive areas are definitely well overpriced, but this is driven by money coming down from even more overpriced central areas in London.
  4. A lot of people will see the train problems as a blip and it won't affect their decision to move. Look at all of the stuff we heard about the Southern franchise a few years ago, with people actually considering moving out of areas because the trains had been so bad for so long. You don't hear anything about that now, it's all SWR. In reality the problems for SWR are much more serious because of the extreme overcrowding that will continue to get worse even after they replace the current failing franchisee, but still some people will assume it will be sorted out, and they'll just look at the 15 minute train journey imagining they'll be in London as quickly as they were when they were living in zone 2. It's the same with all of the other public services. Kingston is changing from a low density suburb into a high-rise centre like Croydon and it just isn't possible to service that many residents with the same number of roads, schools and health facilities that they had in the low density suburb. Again, people often don't think about that until they have made the move.
  5. This is the 'house at all costs' syndrome that prevails in Kingston and surrounds, especially since they have thrown up so many new build flats. Most people moving to the area prefer to live in houses rather than flats, and that is quite natural especially considering a lot are moving out of London to make that change. In this case, most people would actually be better off with a flat. This is on a really major road that hums with traffic all the time. A lot of the time, there will be standing traffic jams in both directions right outside the front window. That might be ok if you got some advantages in return, but you don't. It is on an industrial estate full for car dealerships and self-storage sheds, it's a long walk to Surbiton or Thames Ditton station, a really long walk to Kingston centre and no reasonable shops or facilities at all. It's also only 710 sqft. With £350k to spend, I'd buy a flat, probably bigger with less work required on a better road with access to amenities. As you say, this has been bought to turn a quick buck, and I'm sure there will be people waiting to give them their profit.
  6. That's horrific. I wonder if they'd get their £300k back on it now? That would be quite some achievement, buying near that start of the biggest property boom in history and still making a loss!
  7. I think it is fair enough to have a little chuckle - at the council for approving this mess and the original buyers for getting involved. Even the developers won't have done as well here as they would do now, as I'd assume that this block predates the whole HTB fraud. I'm sure they still made a fortune, though.
  8. That's what I can't work out. Mortgage rates are stupidly low and a 1.5% you could borrow £1m for £1,250 interest each month, but: 1. Don't you have to pay back an element of capital now? 2. Aren't multiples still a max of 5x joint income, often less?
  9. Obviously some people think so, but I can't see why anyone would at those prices. At the prices for 'normal' flats, it would be more down to personal preference. I'd rather buy a £350k 2-bed flat in a good part of Surbiton than spend the equivalent on a house further down the line in Surrey, but I can understand why others wouldn't.
  10. Not everyone works in London, but I'd expect the vast majority of people who are buying these flats to do so, possibly even two jobs per flat. There are very few decent jobs within Kingston itself, and you can't fund a £500k mortgage/HTB debt working in retail or pubs. It's all part of the rip-off. They are marketing Kingston as an ideal place to move to if you want to commute, but it isn't. The train service was poor to start with, previous over-development has compounded the problem and the current over-development will make it impossible to commute. You're right to say that people do other journeys as well as the daily commute of course, but I don't think that these flats cater well for that either. Most will prevent occupiers from owning cars because of no OSP or access to permit parking, the buses are over-crowded. Off-peak trains are probably ok at the moment, but for how long? I just think that basing the transport impact on buses is at best disingenuous when they know that the real impact will be on the trains. The difference is that people often have the choice whether or not they make leisure journeys, but they don't have any choice about when they commute.
  11. HTB should be fully paid back, but will that happen? We all know it is a thinly-veiled bung to developers, so I wouldn't be surprised to see it as the next mis-selling/bail-out scandal. It's funny you should mention buses. One of the developers was challenged on the fact that their plans weren't sustainable due to overcrowded transport, and they produced some spurious analysis to show that there is plenty of capacity on the buses. Firstly, it would seem totally wrong because they all seem over-crowded to me and secondly its irrelevant anyway as no-one buying these flats is commuting anywhere by bus anyway!
  12. I think that the car park behind Multiyork, the building that had Multiyork in it and the old Tesco/Volts building have all been auctioned off as one development site. The Eden Walk shopping centre is supposed to be coming down and replaced with tower blocks and there are other 70s buildings all along that stretch that they are trying to redevelop. That whole part of town has been deliberately allowed to rot by the council, presumably because they feel that makes it easier to get the excessive developments through as anything is better than what is there. That's thousands of flats on top of the ones on the PO site, the ones in the Bingo Hall and the Canbury Car Park if that gets approved. I found the trains from Surbiton better during the strike than they are normally. They have been awful during January and I doubt they'll improve much once SWR lose their licence. Kingston station always seems busy as well and that stands that stands to reason - thousands of people buying new flats won't be funding those mortgages working in the local economy. How thousands more fit on four trains an hour, I don't know! Some of these developments have already been turned over to social housing. Royal Quarter seems to have a greater proportion of obvious social housing tenants every time I go through there. That's no bad thing as we need more social housing and that is as good a location as any, but it is annoying that the developer will have walked away with a much larger profit than they should have done at taxpayers expense. I think it is often the buyers of the £570k flats that are deluded. They are 'only' paying £340k in their eyes with the government picking up the rest. The problem for the developers is that they have got too greedy. If 1 bed flats are £570k, then the 2-3 bed units that make up the majority of the development will be over £600k and therefore will not qualify for HTB. How will they fool people into buying those?
  13. Indeed, but Kingston council have been exceptionally developer friendly. It would be interesting to see if stats back this up, but I can't think of many other places that have had as many units approved as Kingston. Perhaps Croydon and Nine Elms I suppose.
  14. It's a complete mess. All of the sites you mentioned have planned development, but the big one that everyone is fighting at the moment is on the car park behind the station, opposite the bingo hall. They have submitted plans for a 25 storey tower block there, which is the tallest yet. HTB is the problem of course. Developers are trying to get as many flats built as possible before it is withdrawn or scaled back. The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to stop it. It is just an ongoing bail-out for property developers and could end up being the biggest ever. Meanwhile it doesn't help anyone else, especially in places like Kingston where the council have made the conscious decision to change from a medium density commuter suburb to a high density mess WITHOUT bothering to pay for any infrastructure to make it work.
  15. This development is a bit different to everything else going on in Kingston at the moment. https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-84948812.html The history here is that a lot of detached Victorian villas on two adjacent roads were bought up in the 1960s, joined together and turned into a large, low-end hotel. When the hotel ceased to become viable, a developer bought the whole lot and tore it down. It's a shame that they could not have converted the original detached houses back into their original state, but this seems a whole lot less greedy than most of the developments going on at the moment. The houses facing Beaufort Road have been rebuilt in a similar style to the originals, but they are now terraced and smaller. I assume that this has happened on the other road as well, and this has been funded by flats built in the middle. These houses must have had really long/narrow gardens to begin with, but the new ones have got postage stamps. The developer paid £13m for the site by the look of it, so should still make a good profit, even though the houses won't qualify for HTB. £840k for a 1,400 sqft terraced house is still completely crazy of course, but I wonder if these will hold value any better because actual houses are in relatively short supply compared to flats. This is far from the most sought-after area of Kingston, but it might be in the future. All of the smaller infill developments seem to be sympathetic houses rather than high rise flats and it is quite a quiet area but you could still walk to both Kingston and Surbiton town centres in 15 minutes. It might have helped a bit if the University had moved to the other side of the main road...
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