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Muswell Hillbilly

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Everything posted by Muswell Hillbilly

  1. Thanks – that works a treat! But what a horrible, amateurish web site … and why is information about HMOs only available in such an obtuse way, I wonder? I would have thought there would be demand to make it a bit more open.
  2. Thank you for that. I have registered, but have not managed to find the ‘related info’ tab. Which menu option do we have to choose in the first place? I tried the Statutory Notice Search and chose an address, but I didn’t see a ‘related info’ tab. What am I doing wrong?
  3. I don’t think the information is available on line, unfortunately, but the city council definitely hold the information, and I assume they will divulge it publically if asked. You would probably need to contact the HMO Licensing section of the council. If you do this, please let us know how you get on!
  4. I think wurdoomed is talking about Georgian buildings, where the Classical design rules dictate that the ceiling height and/or window size does indeed get smaller the higher up you go in the building. Also in London and other English cities top-floor attic conversions tend to have relatively low ceilings. Victorian and Edwardian tenements in Edinburgh and Glasgow are another matter, of course. They are wonderfully egalitarian, with the flats having the same height and same window size on all floors. Wurdoomed, you should get out of the New Town and come out to the newer suburbs! It’s all relative – if you’re a city-centre dweller, then Marchmont or Comely Bank would count as new suburbs, I suppose …
  5. ‘Under offer’ can cover a multitude of sins, I suppose. Perhaps the owners are more open to much lower offers. Maybe someone is getting the flat for 350K. We shan’t find out until the sale prices appear in about four months’ time. I’d be surprised if that flat went for close to 400K at the moment, despite having Merchiston snob value. There are now two other flats for sale in the same tenement, as 27 (1F1) has also come up, OA 360K, and then there are cheaper and/or larger flats for sale in very nice tenements in both Morningside and Marchmont. We’ll have to remember to check the sale prices and report back to this thread next year!
  6. Replying to myself again here! 6 (3F2) Bruntsfield Gardens has just appeared in my search as a ‘new’ property, presumably because its original six-month listing with the ESPC has expired. Does that mean the owners will have had to pay for a fresh Home Report? Now it is on for OA 280, so the price is gradually coming down to a sensible level: 6 (3F2) Bruntsfield Gardens, false 3-bedder, OA 280K Meanwhile the other flat I mentioned two months ago was reduced last week to OO 295K: 13 (3F2) Spottiswoode Road, real 3-bedder, OO 295K
  7. Hi Mel, You need to access the ESPC web site using Firefox (www.getfirefox.net) and you need to install the Property Bee tool for Firefox (www.property-bee.com). I also watch Merchiston Crescent, though it’s somewhat beyond my price range. It’s the one tenement in Merchiston, a district consisting otherwise of large villas, and is highly popular. In fact I have the schedules for the currently on-sale flats archived. 9 (2F1) has been on the market since 24 August, and 9 (2F2) since 2 September. 3 (1F1) was also on the market in early September, at OA (offers around) 370 then FP (fixed price) 390. It has gone from ESPC now, though, so presumably either sold or withdrawn. There have been very few flats for sale in Merchiston Crescent in the last year or so. The last one I saw, 51 (3F2), was advertised for OA 360 in late July, and it sprouted a ‘sold’ sign very quickly. The sold price is not yet available on ourproperty.co.uk, however. Edit: I see fflump was quicker on the keyboard than me this morning!
  8. Don’t count bedrooms; count square metres! The Chelsea 2-bedder is £7,400/m²; the one for 385K in SW10 is £8,690/m²; and the 2-bedder on Kings Road is £8,800/m². The most expensive Marchmont flat I saw today, 52/5 Arden Street, has an asking price of ‘offers over’ £3,200/m². Also it’s not on a busy main road like some of those London ones; a more appropriate comparison might be with Bruntsfield Place or Morningside Road. So personally I’m afraid I disagree about Edinburgh being almost as expensive as London.
  9. I’m sure you’re right – I hope you’re right – but the prices have been so high for so long that it gets hard for some of us to imagine it being any other way. Marchmont tenement flats are in Council Tax Band E, and are never going to be cheap – they’ll never be first-time-buyer properties – but for them to cost 10–12 times the average Edinburgh wage does seem rather daft when you look at it objectively. They did fall to 250K in the ‘temporary bottom’ of the market at the end of 2008, but then the government spent our taxes rigging the market, supply dropped, and the prices went back up again. This time, other than more ‘printy printy’ to inflate prices all round, I don’t see what the current government can do, so when I say the prices will probably fall to 250K, I suppose I mean they’ll reach 250K and then continue falling.
  10. A bit sad replying to myself here, but I’ve just been to view three more Marchmont flats. In at least two of them I was the only person to view them all afternoon (and this was towards the end of the 2–4 pm slot); in the third one it was the owner showing me around, so I felt bad asking! Two of them have been on the market for seven weeks, and one of them for just under six weeks. They are clearly not selling, and there is negligible interest from prospective purchasers, at the current asking prices. One of them was a student HMO now standing empty. Another was one of those student flats bought by the parents, but the student has now graduated and moved away. In both cases the owners have not let the flats out again for the start of the academic year, so I would imagine that they must be pretty keen to sell them. Only the third flat was owner-occupied, by a couple with a baby, so I suppose they could stay there for longer while they wait for the prices to ‘recover’. I can’t imagine the other two being suddenly withdrawn from the market, though. And since there is no interest whatsoever after six or seven weeks, sooner or later those prices will have to drop. The prices in question are 340K (it’s not worth noting ‘offers over’ or ‘offers around’, as those terms mean nothing now) for a huge 4-bed flat in poor condition, 285K for a marginally smaller than average two-bed flat in good condition (which was bought four years ago for 283K), and 315K for a slightly larger than average two-bed flat in lovely condition. I can imagine the first one coming down to 300K and the second one falling to 250K; the third one may well be withdrawn from sale. I have them in my spreadsheet and shall be keeping a very close eye on them!
  11. Have I miscalculated, or is that flat really only 21.6 m² (232.5 sq. ft)? I must admit I’ve not counted the entrance hall or stairs. If so, that price works out as £6,015/m², or £559/sq. ft. Even the most overpriced flat in Marchmont at the moment (maindoor flats excluded) works out at only a little over half that. So, Radge, I think your contender for Comedy Property might end up being the winner!
  12. Surely that should be house prices dipped 3.6%, eased 3.6%, or softened 3.6%? Surely not actually fell?
  13. There are a few more price reductions appearing, and changes to Fixed Price. Some are more serious than others. Most impressive is the sudden drop of nearly 10% in this genuine three-bedder in Marchmont: • 13 (3F2) Spottiswoode Road, OO 295K That makes the asking prices of some of the two-bedders and kitchen-in-boxroom false three-bedders look way out of kilter, e.g.: • 5 (1F1) Arden Street, false 3-bed flat, FP 290K • 49/1 Spottiswoode Road, 2-bed flat, OO 290K, on market since May • 7 (3F2) Spottiswoode Road, 2-bed flat, OA 300K, on market since 30 July I would guess that the genuine three-bedder for OO 295K will now sell pretty quickly, for a sum in the order of 300K, but it would great if it stayed on the market and forced some of the other prices down.
  14. It’s the other end of Britain from you, but I’ve seen exactly the same here in south Edinburgh: a massive increase in supply from the record lows at the end of last year, but a slight drop-off over the last couple of weeks. Around 2007–08 my regular search generally returned around 120 properties. At the end of 2009 this fell to under 50. During the course of 2010 it gradually rose almost to 200, but is now down to around 185.
  15. I lived within a hundred metres or so of Dennis Nilsen’s Muswell Hill flat, albeit 15–20 years after his trial. I assume his exact flat still existed – certainly no house in Cranley Gardens had been demolished (à la Fred West) – and even small flats commanded very high prices while I was there. So I don’t think the grisly past had any effect at all on the prime North London property in that area!
  16. It’s amusing to see the slant that the Glasgow-centric paper the Herald has on this: Glasgow up in financial league table
  17. I went to view three properties in Marchmont today, for some Sunday afternoon entertainment. I had the place to myself in all three: there were no other viewers whatsoever. I don’t think I have ever seen viewings as quiet as this before. One flat had been on the market for seven weeks, one for four weeks, and one for two weeks. There clearly is very little interest on the part of prospective purchasers, at what is normally a fairly busy time of the year. While supply in my local area seems to be no longer increasing, it looks like it will take a long time for the existing flats on the market to sell. This is reminiscent of autumn of 2008, when prices were falling, property was languishing on the market, and the typical sale price for a two-bedroom Marchmont flat fell to £250,000. I wonder what will happen this year: the government’s Spending Review thingy is due in a month’s time, maybe some of the much-talked-about Cuts will finally begin to take place, and people will not feel sufficiently financially secure to be buying overpriced flats. But the ongoing low interest rates (I know they’re considerably more than 0.5%, but even so) and the lack of many forced sellers may continue to keep the market ticking over with very low volumes. We shall see …
  18. Yes, I noticed that too. The number of properties in my regular local search, however, has actually been declining for the last two weeks. Normally a lot of properties come to market in September, but this year around Marchmont, Bruntsfield and Morningside there were a lot in August, and the supply seems to have dried up now, which is worrying. Has anyone else noticed anything similar in their local searches, or is supply continuing to increase for you?
  19. As far as I can tell, from the few properties in my area which have sold and whose sale prices have appeared on nethouseprices etc., Offers Around is essentially the pricing system which is in place in England and Wales. It means that offers would normally come in a bit (or a lot) below the asking price. However, if demand is very high, offers will have to be above the asking price, just as people offer over the asking price in England and Wales (or it goes to sealed bids) during boom/bubble times. Furthermore, although the Offers Around price is based on the Home Report valuation, I would take those valuations with a large pinch of salt, as I have seen several which are way over the top.
  20. City waives £700k Quartermile fees in affordable housing deal BOSSES behind one of the Capital's biggest up-market housing developments are set to strike a deal with city planners amid fears the housing slump could see work grind to a halt at the site. Full story from the Edinburgh Evening News
  21. Couldn’t send a bit of fear along to Marchmont, could you? There’s a load of flats sitting around on the market, but still at silly prices. Some of them have now been sitting on the market at those prices for several months. In most cases the asking prices have yet to be cut.
  22. Unfortunately news organisations, BBC included, don’t have the resources nowadays for reporters to be able to go out and gather any real news. Regurgitating press releases is cheap and fills the pages. The book Flat Earth News by Nick Davies attempts to explain the changes that have occurred in journalism over the last thirty years or so, including the rise and rise of ‘churnalism’. It’s worth a read if you’re interested in that sort of thing.
  23. That’s a crappy non-story in the local rag today. ‘Offers under’ is, in effect, what ‘Fixed price’ has always been, and is the same as the pricing system in England and Wales, i.e. you set an asking price, and the potential buyers put in offers which are up to that price but, in a ‘normal’ market, not above it. ‘Offers under’ does sound nice and desperate, but since they’re trying to sell a one-bedroom flat in Willowbrae for £159K, then I’m not surpised they’re desperate! Offers Under £159,000
  24. There may have been advance-purchase tickets, but in general the turn-up-and-go tickets, the Savers and SuperSavers – previously called White Savers and Blue Savers – were priced reasonably enough for turning up and buying a ticket to be perfectly affordable. Admittedly I had a Young Person’s Railcard at the time, which gave me a third off such tickets. This was around 1988–1990. I don’t remember the fares, other than that a return from Coventry to London, with a railcard, was only about £7.50! I think other fares, of a London–Manchester kind of distance, were well under twenty quid with a railcard. It was always more expensive to travel on a Friday, and then Saturdays in July and August also became more expensive sometime around 1988 or ’89, i.e. they became ‘white’ days rather than ‘blue’ days. I only started buying advance-purchase tickets after privatisation in 1994. It was not necessary prior to that.
  25. Not quite – it’s a false three-bedder, with a windowless kitchen in the middle where a boxroom would normally be. It’s also just above a bank (soon to be Santander) on the main road. But it’s a start!
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