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Muswell Hillbilly

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  1. It looks like the Gillespie Crescent flat sold for £277K. Let’s hope the new owner has knocked down some plasterboard walls and returned it to its proper layout, although they’ve probably just shoved six students into it instead and are raking in £1,500 per month rent. (The link no longer works, but if I remember rightly, this was one of those flats in which internal walls had been put in to divide large double bedrooms up into two long, narrow ones.) That flat previously sold for £345K in Oct 2007 – ouch!
  2. I thought I’d just resurrect this ancient thread in this moribund forum, with the news that this crappy newbuild flat costs £850,000. I can’t be bothered to work out how many square metres it is, but it looks like under 100, thus probably putting this price close to a pounds-per-square-metre record for Edinburgh. Incidentally, it looks like the converted garage at 1a Cumin Place sold for £387,000 in the end. The funny money in Edinburgh certainly has not dried up.
  3. I lived in Muswell Hill from 1996 to 2006, and witnessed significant changes. When I arrived there, it was a comfortable, friendly district, with well-established residents and many families. It was already pretty expensive, although the flat which I rented there for my first two years was owned by somebody who had bought it for 80K in 1988 and had then been in negative equity when its value fell to 60K. The prices of one-bedroom flats rose from about 65K to 80K during my two years renting there, and I was lucky enough to buy one for 83K in late ’98. With the property bubble, however, the prices of flats like that rose from 80K up to 220–250K by 2006. I remember the local news headlines when the prices of family houses passed the million-pound mark (now they’re more like two million for the larger ones). Consequently the demographic changed: the bankers, television types and yummy mummies moved in, and ‘ordinary’ professional people were pushed out. The hundred-year-old hardware store closed, to be replaced by a Planet Organic; the old art shop closed and became an upmarket chain boutique; oh, and Foxtons moved in, of course. Sunday mornings became marked by aggressive thirty-something women dominating the pavements with their designer pushchairs. I STR’d in 2006, and the flat which I sold for 223K changed hands again recently for 290K. This is for a one-bedroom conversion, with no garden access, with a total internal area of 50 m² when you include the internal landing and stairs. Muswell Hill was built in Edwardian times as a garden suburb for the well-heeled. It underwent a period of decline maybe from after WW2, when big houses were divided into bedsits and it was possible for ordinary serial killers to move in, but since the 1980s boom it has once again been a desirable, expensive area, helped by the high quality of its almost entirely Edwardian architecture. Naturally it attracts Hampstead refuseniks, but is none the worse for it. Apart from being off the Tube map, which some say is a virtue, it has perfectly good transport links. I may miss the Muswell Hill of the late 1990s, when it was still a fairly relaxed, friendly, middle-class neighbourhood, but I certainly do not miss the Muswell Hill of 2006. Which shops have closed, by the way? I can’t tell from the photo in the original post.
  4. Here’s a flat which has been horrendously butchered internally. How on earth do people get planning permission for this kind of thing? 40 (2F1) Gillespie Crescent However, the fact that it supposedly has five ‘bedrooms’ hasn’t washed with the surveyor on this occasion, as the asking price is OO £265,000, or £2,230 per square metre, which is quite reasonable for the area. Meanwhile the abomination on Cumin Place has now had its price cut to £390,000, despite a Home Report valuation of half a million. If you look using Property Bee, it’s good to see the seller having a laugh on 16 July, when they increased the price from £400K to £425K before dropping it to £390K a month later.
  5. I admit I know precious little about Wales, but TMT’s first post on this thread reminds me of the South Welsh character played by Paul Whitehouse in Bellamy’s People on TV a couple of years ago, who used to go on half-jokingly about the English being bastards, but nowhere near as bad as the North Welsh, who were real bastards. As for the link to the £68,000 ‘wee hoose’ in Falkirk, I didn’t realise Falkirk was as cheap as that! It’s a bit grim and grey, but it’s only 25 minutes by train from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and all the trains stop there. I’m an English person living in Scotland, incidentally, and I can’t say I’ve really encountered any anti-English feeling, but then I live in South Edinburgh, where most people seem to have Home Counties accents anyhow.
  6. As the advert doesn’t show the full address, I’ve not been able to work out how much the current owner paid for this flat. I assume it is Glasgow Harbour Terrace, G11 6??. (It seems that the second part of the postcode is different for each block.) There have already been some beefy price drops on this road, e.g. Flat 6/2, 341 Glasgow Harbour Terrace (216K in Aug 2005, down to 160K in Oct 2008), or Flat 1/2 (205K in Jul 2006, down to 115K in Apr 2009). If anyone can find out how much the seller paid, please post your results here!
  7. It’s about time RBS brought out some new banknotes. The other two issuing banks in Scotland, HBOS and Clydesdale, both have nice, new, modern-looking notes. Bank of Scotland banknotes Clydesdale Bank banknotes (the lower ones, World Heritage Series, are the new ones) Meanwhile the RBS notes that have been circulating for the last few years now look tired and old in comparison: Royal Bank of Scotland banknotes But that new one, with a wrinkly old Queen on it? No thanks! Still, it could be worse – they could have put Fred the Shred on it …
  8. More is coming up on this subject on You and Yours on Radio 4, sometime between 12 and 1 p.m. today. Might be worth a listen, or not, as the case may be.
  9. Just catching up with recent sale prices … this one eventually went for £365,000 on 14 March 2012. £3,304 per square metre!
  10. Areas close to the centre in European cities (and Edinburgh is a very European city) are naturally more expensive per square metre than areas on the periphery, so it’s ludicrous to compare Marchmont and Cammo. A more appropriate comparison would be between Marchmont and Greenbank. A typical house there, like 122 Greenbank Crescent, costs in the order of £3,500 per square metre – a lot more than the Marchmont flat! If you prefer to live in Cammo than in Marchmont or Greenbank, then consider yourself lucky, because it’s a much cheaper area. Unfortunately most people would prefer the latter two areas, hence the higher prices – simple suppy and demand, innit!
  11. Also the idiocy of the British home-buying public, in valuing homes by the number of ‘bedrooms’ that they have, plays a large part. If, like the rest of the world, we could start valuing homes by their floor area – even better, actually advertise and price new homes per square metre (or foot if you want to be old-fashioned) – then the incentive on housebuilders to cram as many tiny rooms in as possible would be largely eliminated.
  12. They bought it for a bubbletastic £641,925 in 2007, so in that respect ‘good luck’ indeed. However, at £2,792 per square metre, it’s actually very much around the average asking price for the area. There are two-bedroom flats in nearby roads, around 90 m² in size, with asking prices in the order of £265,000 (£2,944/m²). So don’t think ‘it’s just a flat’, and look beyond the – admittedly eye-watering – asking price. Look instead at the surface area, which is vast. Also note that these are all genuine rooms, with proper windows and ceiling height, none of your loft-conversion rubbish.
  13. Here’s an example of how counting ‘bedrooms’ rather than square metres/feet allows people to be hoodwinked: 132/4 Whitehouse Loan, Bruntsfield – offers around £230,000 It’s a two-bedroom conversion at the top of a very grand Victorian house in a great location. Look at the floor plan, though, and you’ll see it’s only 55.7 m², making the price £4,129 per square metre! Absolutely appalling value for money for the area.
  14. No, Manchester Building Society like to shaft their savers like no other. I had a big chunk of my STR fund in a notice account with them, which had been a market leader at the beginning. I didn’t know that they had been stealthily cutting the interest rate in 0.24% decrements – just below their threshold for informing customers – so the final interest payment was £300 less than I had expected. Because all these little cuts had been within their small-print rules, the Ombudsman found in their favour. The other building societies and banks in which my STR fund was stored at least had the decency to inform me of interest-rate cuts, so that I could make an informed decision to move my money around. Best not to be a borrower or a saver, in my opinion, but definitely not be either with the Manchester Building Society …
  15. I don’t think the Northumberland Street flat is 180 m² in area. Adding up the widths of the three rooms at the bottom of the plan gives 6.63 + 3.07 + 4.50 = 14.2 m. Adding up the lengths of rooms from top to bottom of the plan gives 3.66 + 6.45 = 10.11 m. Multiplying one by the other gives 14.2 x 10.11 = 144 m². Admittedly the bathroom sticks out a wee bit, so let’s say the flat is 150 m² tops. Thus it comes out at about £3000 per square metre, which is not much different from the Scotland Street flat. And some people prefer maindoor flats – they think having a front door directly into your own flat is worth paying a premium – so I can see why the Scotland Street one would have a slightly higher asking price per square metre, even though it’ll be as dingy, dark and damp as anything!
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