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About rattusrattus

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  1. Where is Central Park, it's been mentioned by a few people here but I've never found it on the internet, much less real life
  2. Newbuild homes may be pokier than many of the older ones but the suburbs of the last two decades are usually much less dense. Houses tend to be set back from the road, estates have convoluted street plans that waste space, and featureless grassy spaces are ten a penny while functional amenities like parks or playing fields are uncommon. Density can be a good thing, if we go after the american dream of super low density we would all be a fifteen minute drive away from getting a pint of milk- though NI planning policy seems to be going in this direction. Remember if density was such a bad thing Kensington, Edinburgh new town and the majority of London's middle class houses would be considered slums.
  3. In the long term the NIHE wants to demolish most, probably all of it's tower blocks. If you were to buy one of these flats and wanted to sell it in four years time, I suspect by then the likely fate of these blocks would be more common knowledge so who would buy the property off you? Bear in mind that 50% of those flats in those two blocks are privately owned so there could potentially be quite a few for sale over the next few years, most high rise flats in other estates are still owned by the Housing Executive but here there's been a lot of privatisation. I'm not sure what the timeline for eventual demolition is as that's not decided but it could be well after four years, so you may be waiting a long while for the housing executive to compulsorily purchase it from you, and who knows what price they will give you. I would guess that these two blocks wouldn't be the last of the 32 to go, reasoning that they would be the ones recently tarted up like the white new lodge towers of Braniel & Ardcarn reclads. One of the key reasons why the tower blocks are set for the wrecking ball is that they have many vacancies so are hard to justify economically. Another thing to consider is that these flats will have an annual service charge for the maintenance of the lifts and the like- in private developments these are around £1200 but being state run I expect these will be cheaper. I suggest you read the NIHE tower block strategy document from 2015 for more info on the long term plan for these areas.
  4. And a single aspect flat at that, something which no one has accepted in a house for the last century.
  5. Funny I noticed the opposite in London. They couldn't be bothered to take flattering photos. Whether the camera was out of focus or not, the house is still definitely going to sell for a fortune.
  6. Ah right. What was the argument of the judicial review anyway?
  7. BelfastVL, as far as I know BMAP was adopted three years ago. Though the document is probably out of date by now, it didn't seem to put the brakes on the several hundred new houses and several square miles of development in Lisburn, for example.
  8. I live five miles from that house and even I got a brochure this week, and I don't think that estate agent has my address so they must be sending it randomly to thousands of people. Very bizzarre.
  9. I suppose there was a fair bit of that as well. I know there was some kind of mini-recession (don't ask me I know nothing about economics) in the '70's that meant first time buyers could pay their mortgages off quicker. I just struggle to see how people in that stage of their life now are so quick to take out mega mortgages when they could buy something more humble. Incidentally I'm looking at buying in the Upper Ormeau. I estimate there are around 1000-2000 dwellings in the area, and there may be only fifty properties for sale right now. This strikes me as quite low, so it got me to thinking is there a typical percentage of Belfast houses that 'should' be on sale in a given month? Obviously there's no right or wrong answer to this, just an observation that I thought the market would be more busy, regardless of whether the sales are at high or low value.
  10. It begs the question though, if things are regularly selling above the asking price, why isn't the asking price higher. This is estate agents we're talking about!
  11. I think what is surprising is not so much the fact that young people are willing to go over the asking price, but that they are bidding on these sort of houses at all. By that I mean, anecdotally I know of a few people in their thirties who are buying big houses over 150k, which to me are far above what you'd expect for first time buyers. Like you said, there are a surprising amount of people who are blase about taking on such a huge debt. They seem to be determined to buy a home that is similar to the one their middle class parents currently live in. But their parents would have had higher wages, probably bought in a 70's downturn, and it might have been their second or third house purchase. It's almost like they want instant gratification- their first house purchase has to have two big gardens (regardless of whether they'll use them much), a spacious driveway, bedrooms that it will take at least five years of childrearing to fill. They don't see the attraction of saving 50k on a mortgage if it involves the hardship of having to live in a terrace house with on street parking- which at some point in time their affluent parents may very well have done, but these thirty-somethings may be too young to remember that.
  12. Hardly, the housing stock at the Cregagh end is just as classy as the Raven end. The difference is cultural. There are plenty of solidly middle class streets on the Cregagh road, but to a certain extent the residents are allergic to Catholics- this is a common feature of affluent East Belfast and it's not far off the mark to say that if you really placed a high value on living in a normal (by mainland UK standards) non-sectarian area... you would probably want to buy in Ormeau or similar areas in South Belfast. And I suspect that fact alone adds at least 20 grand to the asking price.
  13. Slightly offtopic: I haven't been in the Annadale flats myself but I've been in a block in North Belfast with the same design. They were excellent quality flats. Dual aspect, spacious bedrooms, great living room and okay stairwell- ie. much better than the majority of private sector blocks. Though after 60 odd years the flat roofs are letting in rain- long term the Housing Executive will add pitch roofs to them
  14. 1. Think of it like this. There's four bars within 500 yards of each other and not one of them has the hooligan element that you would expect in ANY other residential area of Belfast. You don't have to be a big pub goer to know that that speaks volumes. I wouldn't be surprised if people have been killed in some of the bars in say the Woodstock/ Cregagh, despite it having a similar housing stock to the Ormeau. 2. It's mixed. There are very few meaningfully mixed areas in this city. Would you really want to be a Catholic raising children in East Belfast when virtually no one is middle class enough to shelter their children from sectarianism. Cherryvalley is sandwiched between Tullycarnet and the Braniel after all. And if you're even a little bit bohemian or perhaps an immigrant you would prpbably be more accepted here than in say the Belmont Road or the posh part of Andytown. 3. It is not (yet) a student ghetto. It's not like there are loads of areas of decent terrace housing that aren't either run down, plagued with asbo residents or students. Granted most Northern Irish house hunters hate terraces but if they don't (or aren't from Northern Ireland) the Sunnyside side of the road is good. Also the streets on the East side of the Ormeau south of the park are absolutely massive and are arguably in the top five of Belfast's housing stock (assuming youre not ideologically opposed to properties that don't have driveways) 4. The shops are good by Belfast standards, not much better than Woodstock Cregagh but there's still a fair few of them. Virtually anywhere nominally middle class in Belfast has next to no shops and you're forced to live a car dependent lifestyle. The Lisburn Road is one of the few exceptions. Which leads me neatly onto point five. 5. It's not the Lisburn Road! So it's more affordable. Arguably less traffic too. 6. Lagan College is one of the best secondary schools in the city. 7. Ormeau park and the Lagan are accessible by foot, whereas much of BT9 & BT10 is a bit of a stretch from Shaws Bridge. Plus there is the walking distance to Queens and the like, albeit it is too far to walk all the way to the City Hall.
  15. I think what we need is more involvement from residents in the running of the management company. There's only one active director here, out of 31 residents. Caveat Emptor- True, but that's a sad indictment of the British legal system if shoddy workmanship is not punishable under law. Of course it's possible that someone's having a bubble bath with their 200k quote for a new wall. Streetview suggests the current one is ordinary wooden fencing, although admittedly this may be why it fell down. 3. Some hypothetical factors that might effect resident involvement. Some residents might be long term habituees who intend to live there for the next few decades, other might be short term letters passing through. Some people will own their home, others may be renting from a private landlord, some may even be renting from the Housing Executive. Might be hard to unite the residents under a common purpose if they all have different tenures and perceive themselves as having different interests vis a vis how the block is looked after and how much they are willing to pay for said upkeep.
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