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Muswell Hillbilly

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Everything posted by Muswell Hillbilly

  1. This one is a total rip-off too: 119 (1F1) Marchmont Road – OA 285K It’s not a real three-bedroom flat. It’s a two-bedroom flat where someone has squashed a windowless kitchen into the boxroom (the other ‘boxroom’ looks more like a deep cupboard to me). It must have a floor space of 90 m² tops, the same as two-bedroom flats in the area. Furthermore, it is on the first floor just above a shop, on a busy main road. At OA 285K its asking price is close to the top end of Marchmont two-bedders, many of which are on quiet residential roads. Will the ‘bedrooms’ con trick work on potential buyers now? Will somebody looking for a flat (for their student offspring) in Marchmont be fooled into thinking that this one is worth more because it has three ‘bedrooms’? In fact with student flats there is no benefit in cramming a kitchen into the boxroom, because for HMO licensing the living room is always pressed into service as a bedroom and the students have to use the large kitchen/diner as a living room, so this ‘three-bedroom’ trick shouldn’t work at all.
  2. According to the ESPC figures, there were pronounced price rises between Q1 and Q2 across their entire area: 6% in 2009 and 10% in 2010. But I agree that I’m looking at a rather crazy area!
  3. Looks like a semi to me. As for ‘villa’, I think we just have to accept that any wee hoose, so long as it’s a house, not a flat, can be called a ‘villa’ in Scottish EA parlance. Looking at Streetview, many of the houses on that road are detached. One or two might be link-detached, i.e. joined only by their garages. But the picture for this one looks like a semi. But 330 grand for a cardboard box on a soulless estate on the outskirts of Glasgow’s Southside? That’s obscene! I don’t know the area at all, but is there something special about Giffnock that I should know?
  4. No, not in my experience. I started this thread in 2009 when I noticed that ‘stale’ properties were suddenly selling, and ones new on the market were going to closing dates and selling quickly. According to ESPC, from Q1 to Q2 in 2009 the price of Bruntsfield/Marchmont two-bed flats rose by 14%. I don’t recall there such a pronounced bounce last year, but according to ESPC the average price of said flats rose by 12%, to a record high. However, I do remember going to see a large flat in Marchmont (100/1 Spottiswoode Street) which was in need of some updating. It came on in March at OA 285K, and sold for 342K! So I have first-hand experience of a bounce last year too. This year I am seeing no bounce at all, and this is noteworthy for me, being the first time in at least three years without a bounce. So it will be interesting to find out in July what the Q1 to Q2 price rise has been.
  5. I thought I would just resurrect this old thread, so apologies if you arrived here thinking suddenly that the Edinburgh Spring Bounce was here, in 2011. I can honestly say that, in my area (Marchmont, Bruntsfield, Morningside) I am not seeing any evidence of Edinburgh’s famous Spring Bounce this year. Supply is increasing; asking prices are not. Many properties which have been on the market for months are still on the market. That doesn’t mean that property round my way suddenly seems like good value, but at least the usual annual insanity seems to be absent this year – purely anecdotally, of course. Is anybody elsewhere in Edinburgh seeing any evidence of a Bounce this year? Or is the whole Spring Bounce thing delayed, on account of the very late Easter, and properties will be going like hot cakes in June?
  6. New on the market today, for ‘offers over’ 395K: 21 Grange Terrace 123 m² for 359K = £3211/m², so a fair chunk more than the more central flats in Marchmont, and this one is in need of renovation. It does have a garage, though, and is an upper flat (maisonette) rather than in a tenement. The price still looks very optimistic to me.
  7. In the posh bits of south Edinburgh, by far the most common kind of property is the large, two-bedroom tenement flat, about 90 m² in size. At the height of the bubble, these were selling for 300–340K. They fell down to 250K in the ‘temporary bottom’ at the end of 2009. They then rose again, largely due to a strangled supply. Now there are more and more of them coming to the market, but the asking prices are nearly always ‘comfortably’ above 250K, anything between about 250K and 285K. Not a great deal seems to be selling, and supply is slowly increasing. However, the asking prices do not seem to be to be actually increasing – just remaining very static. I am also finding it frustrating, but it seems like the situation isn’t as bad as in Swansea, at least – and this is in ‘prices never go down’ Edinburgh.
  8. Happy birthday to 76 (2F1) Thirlestane Road! One year on the market, and the price has just been cut from 400K (was originally 410K) to 375K. It now has competition, in the form of 112/6 Thirlestane Road, which has come to the market for 390K. According to the schedule it is just under 130 m², making it £3000/m². I thought this was rather steep, but in fact it compares with the typical Marchmont two-bedroom flats, e.g. 31/2 Spottiswoode Road, which is 97 m² for 285K, or £2938/m². From the latest Registers of Scotland updates, it seems that very, very few flats have sold at all in Marchmont over the last month. Meanwhile, supply continues to gradually grow …
  9. Huge thanks to BessOfHardwick for that very long, reasoned and informative post. I totally agree with you about square footage/metrage, and have banged on about it on this forum before. I think one reason why so many people in Britain allow themselves to fall for property bubbles to such a huge extent is that the basic unit of measurement of a home is that well-known SI unit, the ‘bedroom’. If people would insist on knowing the floor area of a home, and how much it costs per square metre or foot, they would be better placed to make more sensible decisions regarding value. In my area, Marchmont/Bruntsfield, many a well-designed two-bedroom flat has been ruined by some greedy developer squashing a kitchen into the boxroom, and it’s easy to understand why they do it, as a ‘three-bedroom’ flat of 90 m² with a small windowless kitchen does tend to command a higher price than a two-bedroom flat of the same size with a large, bright kitchen/diner in its original place. In Scotland, Home Reports always give the area. When looking at flats with unfamiliar layouts, I am inclined always to ask the EA to supply the area, without even asking for the full Home Report. I suggest more people should do the same.
  10. I think in the case of Scotland it is more important to look at the year-on-year figures. In Edinburgh, which is the only part of the market that I know well, it is extremely seasonal. Quarter 4 to quarter 1 is sometimes slightly up, sometimes slightly down, but quarter 1 to quarter 2 in Edinburgh is always massively up. I’m glad to see that the annual change in Edinburgh is –4.1%, but the annual change across the whole of Scotland is only –1.1%. Full Registers of Scotland report
  11. Superb! It will be removed from that location soon, though, because Transport for London are extremely litigious. What used to be my local station, Highgate, is called Estate Agents, which is very, very appropriate, as they outnumber all other shops and services there.
  12. Unfortunately, housepricecrash.co.uk is not known for its inclusiveness or racial tolerance! I’m English and live in Scotland because I love it, and would never use a term like Jock, Taff or Paddy, any more than I would use the ‘N word’ to refer to a black person. Maybe some self-deprecating Scots don’t mind the term ‘Jock’. And why is there no equivalent term for the English? Actually, don’t bother answering – let’s not get too far off topic here!
  13. ‘Offers Over’ are actually not compulsory, even if the property is thus advertised. I saw a flat for ‘Offers Over’ 250K selling for 240K about a year and a half ago, in south Edinburgh. I think it’s rare, though.
  14. While it’s nice to see such an article appearing, I’m afraid Offers Over isn’t completely dead, at least not in the posh districts of Edinburgh. Here are three examples, all two-bedroom (c. 90 m²) tenement flats in Morningside, and all currently being marketed at Offers Over £260,000: • 39/6 Woodburn Terrace • 66/2 Falcon Avenue • 9/5 Falcon Gardens They won’t sell for much over 260K, but I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody with more borrowed money than sense were to pay 270–275K for any of them. In 2007 and 2008, flats like these were typically advertised for Offers Over 225–235K, and typically sold for 300–340K. Certainly we’re in different times now, but Offers Over is still just about alive.
  15. I viewed four two-bedroom tenement flats in Bruntsfield and Morningside today, out of curiosity. Their asking prices are OA 265, two at OO 260 and one at OO 270. The weather was bright and quite warm, and it is very much spring in Edinburgh now, when the market normally surges upwards with tremendous force. However, rather than there being a crowd of people going in and out, there were generally three or four names on the list, and I only met another viewer in one of the four flats. Three of the flats are fairly new on the market, and one, apparently, has four notes of interest and a closing date this Wednesday. The fourth has been on the market, on and off, since the autumn, and the owner is about to change agents. The relative lack of interest in any of these flats would normally suggest to me that prices must come down, but given that I’ve been saying that for three years and yet prices are still stuck at around 260–285K, I’m no longer convinced. I don’t think there is enough of a supply/demand imbalance to force prices up, however, despite it being the Edinburgh spring. Has anyone else bothered viewing any properties? Will I ever bump into a fellow HPCer on a viewing in EH9/10?
  16. As somebody else has resurrected this old thread of mine, I may as well add that the flat I mentioned at the top, which came to the market at FP 265, actually sold for the full 265, and not 250 as I had imagined. Clearly some people like nothing more than paying an extra five grand to the government! The three-bedder which went OO 340, OO 340, then OO 295 sold for 307. Asking prices for the occasional three-bedroom flats which come up in the area are now back to 340, e.g. 44 Spottiswoode Street (OA 345).
  17. Just a brief occasional update from my local search – Marchmont, Bruntsfield, Morningside, Merchiston, 2+ bedrooms, > 150K: The market remains constipated. At the end of 2010 there were just under 120 properties in my ESPC search; now there are 145, so an increase of 20%, but very few new properties come up in my search each week, and very few disappear. There is a lot of dross, and not a lot of decent tenement flats on good roads for sale. My monthly report from ourproperty.co.uk lists very, very few sales in the local area from the last month. One which went through is 7 (3F2) Spottiswoode Road, a standard two-bedroom flat in excellent condition, which had been on the market at OA 300K from the end of July, and which finally sold for 285K on 2 Feb 2011. At peak it would have got 330–340K, but I’m still disappointed to see a flat like that being worth as much as 285K. Meanwhile many flats seem to get withdrawn from the market, because nobody seems to need to sell. Presumably people wanting to trade up or relocate for work etc. are just staying put, hence what I call the ‘constipated’ market. I viewed one property last Sunday, and there were some other people viewing it (it is spring, after all) but not a huge rush. Last autumn when I viewed flats I was the only person there. Maybe I’ll go and see another one or two this Sunday, out of curiosity. There is very little change – it has been like this since the beginning of this year – hence my relative silence round here of late.
  18. For those of us who are lucky enough to have six-figure deposits, whether as a result of STRing (as in my case) or not, the maths may work out quite differently. I am aiming to pay about the same for a mortgage per month as I currently pay for my rent, but to adjust the duration of the mortgage accordingly. Bear in mind that when paying a mortgage over a shorter term, increased interest rates have a much smaller impact. To buy a property for 300k, I would need to borrow around 110k – actually 115k, due to the 250k stamp duty kicking in. 115k at 5% over 22 years costs £719/month. Total repayment = 115k + 75k total interest = 190k To buy the same property after a 20% crash for 240k, I would need to borrow around 50k. 50k at 8% over 8 years costs £707/month. Total repayment = 50k + 18k total interest = 68k. Therefore waiting for a 20% crash, even if mortgage rates go up from 5% to 8%, would enable me to pay off the mortgage 14 years earlier and to save £122,000. Even if I have to wait another two years for this, while paying rent at £725/month, the mortage will only be paid off 12 years earlier rather than 14, and the saving is reduced by about 17k, but meanwhile my savings will (very slightly) grow. It is still a huge saving over the cost of buying the same property now.
  19. I have to say, though, I agree with them about stamp duty. If you earn over £37,400 per year, you don’t suddenly pay 40% income tax on your entire earnings, so why should it be the case that when buying a home for £250,000 you pay 3% stamp duty on the entire amount? It places an artificial barrier at a certain point of the market. The same, presumably, goes for the increased rates above £500,000 and a million. The rates should be revised in such a way as to maintain the overall tax take from stamp duty, but so that each band only applies to the purchase price over and above the threshold, not to the whole amount. I find it odd that nobody in the media or in politics has ever, to my knowledge, questioned this particular point. Also the CML are right about the housing market being ‘stuck in a rut’. Here in South Edinburgh the word I use is ‘constipated’: there is very little coming to the market (no forced sales), and what there is for sale tends to stay for sale for a very long time (excessive asking prices).
  20. I’m surprised nobody has posted this yet: Rise in £1million houses signals revival in market This piece of dreadful churnalism is actually the front-page headline in today’s Herald! Apparently all those Russian oligarchs who have hitherto been keeping prices up in Kensington and Chelsea are now buying up property in Scotland, because it offers so much better value.
  21. Ever since a certain article appeared in the Guardian in 2007, which is an extract from a book (which I have not read), I have been convinced that the UK economy relies on the fact that: We count the money and we do the ********
  22. … because the British are too dim-witted to value property by the square metre or foot, in contrast to all of the rest of Europe and I think – correct me if I’m wrong – North America. And I agree with your rather depressing view of the state of the market. ‘Dysfunctional’ sums it up nicely. However, here in Marchmont/Bruntsfield we’re enjoying a very slight spring bounce in the number of flats up for sale at the moment. Numbers have been extremely sluggish this year, but last week and this week a few more properties have been coming to the market, although it remains to be seen whether the overall number listed will increase in a sustained way.
  23. I always use Karl Jeacle’s Mortgage Calculator, which has all kinds of useful options.
  24. Okay, I take it all back. That one sold for exactly £450,000 on 11 January 2011. Those two, on the other hand, are very much still on the market. Both their asking prices have been cut by just £10,000.
  25. Same here – that’s why I moved to Scotland! England may look empty, when you travel across the countryside by road or rail and see loads of farm land, but by European standards it’s actually pretty densely populated. According to Wikipedia (so it must be true!) England has 395 people per square kilometre, putting it only slightly below the Netherlands. Countries by population density In-ger-land
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