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Muswell Hillbilly

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Everything posted by Muswell Hillbilly

  1. Maybe Strutt & Parker are becoming the experts in marketing hideous conversions of elegant tenement flats. Look at the floorplan of this six-bedroom monstrosity. One big room has been butchered by having a small windowless kitchen squashed into it, while another big rectangular room has been chopped in two with a weird-shaped wall. Also there is no way it is 189 m² – that would make it ‘only’ £2,295/m² – but I can’t be bothered to work out what its actual area is. Clearly its only target market is HMO landlords, but I doubt the numbers would add up, even if you could find takers for ‘bedrooms’ 2, 3, 5 and 6. Shame on our city council for granting planning permission for this abomination.
  2. The ESPC web site is really just a portal too, as it is the individual ESPC member companies who sell property. Very few ESPC agents are on Rightmove too, so the two portals are almost mutually exclusive. A handful of agents in Edinburgh fall outwith the ESPC, but do participate in Rightmove. Mostly these are the ‘upmarket’ ones like Strutt and Parker, and Savills, but also our old friends D J Alexander appear on Rightmove but are not members of the ESPC. I don’t think I have noticed any ESPC members dropping out and coming up on Rightmove instead, though, so I’m not aware of any market-share changes from my own observations. One thing that puzzles me when I look on ourproperty.co.uk at sale prices is the sales of properties in my area but which I never even knew were for sale, as they did not appear on either the ESPC web site or on Rightmove. I can only speculate that there are some transactions which take place outwith the open market.
  3. Twigs-in-a-vase Central: 2 Thirlestane Road, OO 345K – click on Particulars towards the bottom of the page That’s £3,022 per square metre, which seems very steep, although in general the asking prices in the area are not that much lower. Two shower rooms, but not a bath in the whole place. There also seems to be a dishwasher immediately below the hob – never seen that arrangement before!
  4. If there is an award for thread titles which, at first sight, appear to be gibberish but which, upon looking at the thread, make perfect sense, then evictee, you have just won it!
  5. That shithole has been on the market since April 2010!
  6. Not the bloody Edinburgh/London price comparison again! As somebody who has lived in both cities, it always strikes me that bubble sale prices in Edinburgh were insane, but rents were not. In London, bubble sale prices were insane, but the rents were extremely high too. I’m out of touch with London rents now, but a Marchmont or Comely Bank two-bedroom tenement flat probably rents for around 800 pcm now (or 700 pcm in 2007), or sells for 250K. At the height of the bubble they were selling for well in excess of 300K. After Selling To Rent in one district of London in 2006, we rented a scuzzy 65 m² conversion flat in an oddly fashionable but fairly mediocre area (East Dulwich) and it cost us £900 pcm. The asking prices for two-bed rentals in SE22 are now mostly £1100 upwards (although our asking rental back in 2006 was £975, so maybe rents now are open to negotiation too). The asking prices of such flats for sale now is round about 250K, so about the same as the two-bedroom tenement flats in nice districts of Edinburgh. Also note that the Edinburgh flats have a sensible layout and are more like 90 m² in size. I used to take the disconnect between sale and rental prices in Edinburgh to mean that the sale prices had much further to fall, in comparison with London where the rents are much higher too. In fact the bits of Edinburgh which I watch have fallen a lot from the dizzy heights of the bubble: flats which were selling for 330K now go for 250K, a fall of 24%, or quite a bit more if you take inflation since 2007/08 into account (although there hasn’t been wage inflation, so that doesn’t really help). I don’t know how far London property has fallen since the peak of the bubble, but I suspect it is a lot less than 24%. All the flat-haters on here, who dream about having a wee hoose, bear in mind that they didn’t really build flats in English cities, just houses, and the only people who can afford whole houses in London now are the banksters. If you rent in Edinburgh, you have a well-designed, purpose-built flat with the use of a shared garden, whereas if you rent in London, all you get is a little flat that has been hacked out of part of an old house – all staircases in weird places, funny-shaped rooms, no garden access etc.
  7. The problem with near-zero interest rates and no forced sales is that when sellers’ price expectations are lowered, they simply stay put and don’t put their homes on the market.
  8. I doubt whether there is anything as sophisticated as a ‘collective seller belief’! However, it does seem that when prices are reported as rising, people put their homes on the market, but when prices are reported as falling, they don’t. At the end of 2009 there was virtually nothing in my local search – literally not even one regular two-bedroom tenement flat in Marchmont or Bruntsfield – and the sale prices of those which subsequently appeared did indeed rise. Currently there are quite a lot of flats matching my search criteria, but numbers are falling, and may again fall to zero by the end of 2011. I just worry that, in the absence of a real trigger for people selling, we are in a cycle of prices rise—supply increases—prices fall—supply decreases. Rinse and repeat, as they say.
  9. Falling supply in Edinburgh Supply is falling quite drastically in my local search on ESPC. Normally in September I would expect a lot of properties to come to the market. This September, hardly anything is coming to the market, while other properties are being either sold or withdrawn. The last time this happened, in 2009, we ended up with hardly anything on the market, and prices consequentially went up again. Is anyone else seeing this in their local area? What might be causing it?
  10. I don’t think that’s true on the Lothian Buses in Edinburgh. People with period tickets (‘Ridacards’) touch their cards on the reader by the driver and wait for it to go ‘beep’. They don’t get issued with a paper ticket. On First Buses, however, pensioners with a free travel pass do get issued with a ticket when they show their passes. (Non-Edinburgh folk, First Bus routes are mostly the longer ones going to/from East, West and Midlothian. Within the City of Edinburgh Lothian Buses have a virtual monopoly.) One thing that I find very mildly annoying is that the electronic readers in the Lothian buses seem quite slow: the passenger puts his/her card on the reader, and it can then be a second or more before it goes ‘beep’. The Oyster readers in London have no such delay.
  11. Pole, you’re a hard man to please! You speak elsewhere of your disdain for tenement flats, yet it turns out you hate modern housing in Edinburgh too. So presumably you only like traditional, stone-built houses? If so, you’d best be a trader in an investment bank, because you’ll need to be in order to afford a traditional house in Edinburgh! I agree entirely about Quartermile though. What a horrible, mean, soulless, and outrageously overpriced development it is. If anybody is able to find out the actual address of the Quartermile flats which are up for resale at present, we could find out from the Registers of Scotland how much their original owners paid for them from new. I suspect the asking prices are ludicrously high because the previous buyers paid stupid sums for them off plan.
  12. Excellent points. Looking at the sad little floorplan of that flat, assuming that it is vaguely to scale, the width of the whole thing must be about 5.5 m tops, giving a total size of 4.5 × 5.5 ≈ 25 m². At £60,000, this is £2,400 per square metre. Meanwhile Marchmont flats of 90 m² seem to be worth about £265,000 at the moment, or £2,900 per square metre. The East Craigs studio is therefore way overpriced on this measure!
  13. A great article – thanks for posting. Of course the valuers are getting it wrong. From what I can see, Home Report valuations are absolutely all over the place. Also, once a home has been on the market for six months, as others have mentioned on this forum, surely its Home Report valuation is no longer relevant in the current market.
  14. What better way is there to spend a rainy summer Sunday afternoon than to go on a couple of open viewings? One viewing which I went to was busier than I had seen for a long time, which just goes to show how there is demand for properties which are priced sensibly relative to the competition. To my mind, a 120 m², three-bedroom flat in Marchmont which is in need of a new kitchen and a lick of paint should be priced around 250K in the current market. One such flat, 16 (2F1) Warrender Park Crescent, is indeed priced at 250K (Offers Over, but that doesn’t mean much these days). As a result, a few people had been in to see it, and I fully expect it to sell quite quickly. By contrast, 27/6 Lauderdale Street has an asking price of 330K. Similar-sized flats in better condition have sold for less this year, and several similar-sized flats in similar condition have been standing on the market for months already. I was not the only person to view it, as has often been the case recently, but was only the fourth to sign the list since Thursday. The conclusion is that, even in ‘prime’ Edinburgh, the way to sell property now is to price it lower than the competition.
  15. I’ve just been looking through the latest Registers of Scotland sale prices for my search area, and they paint a weird picture. Very few properties have been selling, but of those that have, they have mostly gone for amazingly high prices. The following are all bog-standard two-bedroom tenement flats of roughly between 80 and 100 square metres: • 5 (2F1, I think) Arden Street, Marchmont – on market at FP £315,000 (previously OA £325,000) since September 2010, sold for £293,726 on 2 June • 40 (3F2) Warrender Park Terrace, Marchmont – on market at OA £300,000 since 21 April, sold for £305,000 on 6 June • 66/2 Falcon Avenue, Morningside – on market at OO £260,000 from 26 March, sold for £288,700 on 8 June • 73/2 Falcon Road, Morningside – on market at OO £260,000 from 23 March, sold for £307,100 on 9 June! Meanwhile plenty of other flats on the same and similar roads remain on the market, at lower prices – I have viewed some of them and they are perfectly good – but they remain unsold. So what would possess somebody to offer £307K for a 100 m² flat in Morningside that is on the market for £260,000? Did the buyer time-travel from 2007? And why are there so few of these time-travelling buyers?
  16. I like the headline of the EN article: ‘House sales go through the floor’. It may have been the first house-related pun that came to the sub’s mind, but it puts across a good message. The Tory MSP quoted in the article clearly doesn’t have a clue: There is no shortage of property for sale at the moment – the owners of the 160+ in my regular ESPC search must all have paid for home reports – but there is a lack of buyers! Clearly McLethie would rather go back to the old days of potential buyers all paying for their own surveys.
  17. Year-on-year is up, by 0.4%. The report can be found on this page: Registers of Scotland quarterly market statistics
  18. I don’t think there is any quick way of finding out. You need to follow some properties which are of interest to you, notice when they eventually disappear from the market, and then look to see whether they appear on ourproperty.co.uk or one of the other web sites which shows sale prices recorded by the Registers of Scotland. It’s a slow process, and takes several months! My observations in Edinburgh (in Marchmont/Bruntsfield/Morningside – roughly equivalent to Hillhead/Hyndland) are that people are definitely not paying 10–20% over Offers Overs prices. In general, if a property is priced with Offers Over, if it sells, people are paying the exact asking price, or about £5,000 either side of it. Note that sometimes they sell for less than the Offers Over price. The same applies where the asking price is ‘Offers Around’. Where the asking price is Fixed Price, the eventual sale price tends to be a little lower. These figures, in Edinburgh, are usually published by the ESPC, i.e. the percentage of properties selling for less than the Fixed Price. I suggest you start doing the same kind of analysis yourself in Glasgow, but you do need to be patient!
  19. Speak for yourself, in England and Wales. In Scotland, as in mainland Europe, people in cities have always lived in flats – purpose-built, well-designed flats, in which everybody has access to a shared garden. Despite being English myself, I don’t know why the English (and Welsh?) only ever built houses and not flats.
  20. Fortunately in Scotland Home Reports are still compulsory, and there doesn’t seem to be any clamour to abolish them, as there was with Home Information Packs in England and Wales. The Home Report should contain the floor area of the property, in square metres. Unfortunately, EAs tend not to publish it in the property information which goes on the ESPC web site or in the schedule. I suggest asking the EA for the area of any property in which you are interested. Tell them they’ll find it in the Home Report!
  21. You could always take your Waitrose bags along to Aldi/Lidl and use them there – rather like sitting on a train with the latest Dan Brown concealed inside a James Joyce book (or a porno magazine wrapped inside the Financial Times) …
  22. Channel 5 television? You do know it is wholly owned by Richard Desmond, owner of the Daily Express, don’t you? I think we can guess what they’ll have to say about property!
  23. I also noticed that, and can only attribute it to the programme being live. Most of what Paul Lewis said was pretty sensible, so I can only imagine that ‘falling prices … make that a more expensive choice’ was a slip-up. Although, of course, if you did buy your first home now, and prices fell for the next few years, you may well lose your deposit and a lot more besides, so in that regard falling prices could be considered as making buying more expensive, at least in the long run.
  24. I thought Jonathan Davis (or FP/Financial Planner, as we old-timers on here know him) started to sound a bit nutty towards the end, but the presenter gave him plenty of time to speak, and the important thing is that he had the last word on that programme, and the last word was (forgive my précis of it) ‘if you buy a house now, you’re going to hell!’
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