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MuTron1

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  1. Eddington is actually a rare example of development done right, though. There are some units for sales (at what appears to be market rate for a new build in that area) but a lot of it kept in university ownership to rent out to their staff at fair rates (I think it's set at a 3rd of your income if you're eligible, rather than a specificied amount) with a big emphasis on sustainability, innovation and build standard, rather than building to a low budget to maximise profits. The University went over budget, and is looking at it as a long term investment, hence doing things like using the cooling system from the data centre housed there to heat the community buildings, building a school, community arts space and underground bin network, etc. That they're charging the going rate for a new build in West Cambridge, similarly priced to the Trumpington development, but at a much higher standard.
  2. Mortgage of £250k, deposit of £40k-£50k gets you £290k-£300k, about the going rate for a large 2 bed/small 3 bed house in Arbury/Kings Hedges/Abbey, all of which are perfectly fine areas. It's not exactly cheap for what you get, but It's not quite true that they can't afford to buy in Cambridge, just that they can't afford to buy in the bit they want. "First time buyers on average wage can't afford to buy a house in leafy, desirable NW Cambridge" isn't exactly news.
  3. Being fair, they are looking at a relatively expensive bit of Cambridge. If you’re a first time buyer on an average wage, of course you’re not going to be able to afford anything in West Cambridge, but they could probably afford something in Arbury, Kings Hedges, Chesterton or Abbey if they could leave their snobbery behind
  4. You don't have to sell or go for equity release to realise gains from HPI, though, depending on your situation I live in an area of ridiculous HPI in recent years, and bought 3 years ago. When I remortgaged last September, the mortgage provider revalued our house due to HPI, and we went from 10% equity to 35%, with a decent drop in interest rate due to the lower LTV. We now overpay by £350 a month just by paying the same monthly payment we always have, and by the time our 2 year fix is up we'll have shaved a year of the time it takes to pay off the mortgage, and probably gone up to over 40% equity, lowering our interest rate band down again. Obviously you can't rely on interest rates being as low as they currently are, and as always with mortgage rates, there's a certain amount of hedging in how long you fix for/whether you go for a tracker when it comes to interest rates and moving down the LTV bands, but the fact is that our house going up in value will save us £8k over 2 years in interest payments. I'll also carry on saving money in the long run, theoretically until my standard repayment would have taken me down to 60% LTV if HPI was flat. There's the argument that I would have saved more money than that if I'd have just paid £100k less for my house in the first place, but this is where we are and there's not really much use in gnashing your teeth over it. There is also the fact that the level of HPI around here means that, 3 years later, I wouldn't be able to afford my house now. On the one hand I'll get to pay my mortgage off 6-7 years earlier than planned, on the other, it's increasingly difficult to afford to buy. But although I'm benefitting from that, I'm not contributing to the problem, either.
  5. EPC says 114 square meters, so a reasonable size for a 3 bed. The price is in the location, however, as it's close to the station, town centre, Addenbrookes, the Biomedical Campus and the offices around the botanical gardens end of Hills Road I do love the wood cladding in the kitchen, though.
  6. The 10-12% average price drop isn't really the whole story, though. Lower quartile prices are still rising, average price per square meter is rising and time to sell is dropping again. This would all suggest the drop is to do with the properties on the higher end skewing the average. The fact that the lower quartile is still rising in price is much more significant in terms of affordability
  7. It's difficult to say or compare with 2007-2008. In the last crash they fell by 10%, but were back at the 2007 peak by 2010. What was a sustained correction in some parts of the country was just a temporary blip here in Cambridge only hindsight will tell us what the current drop in prices will be
  8. From the same anecdotal peer group who have all bought in the past 5 years, it's been dual incomes in the £20k-£35k range, 10% deposit, £1k a month mortgage payments at the 4%ish rates you get at 90% LTV, dropping down to the £800s after a couple of years when the LTV has dropped a bit, which compares favourably to equivalent rental prices. It is what it is
  9. I'd say a good 40-50% of the staff that the University employs are support staff, either administrators on £20-35k or things like bedders/waitstaff/porters etc, on £9ish an hour. Hardly zero reality bubble types
  10. They're not in the best of areas (although Arbury and Cherry Hinton are rapidly gentrifying, with Kings Hedges and Abbey a little further behind in that respect) or much to look at from the outside, but would you expect starter homes for first time buyers to be so? From anecdotal evidence within a group of about 20 friends in their 30s, being within 20 minutes walk/10 minutes cycle from the city centre is far bigger a priority than more space than is needed or something that looks nice from the outside They're expensive for what they are, but it's something of a myth that all property in Cambridge is out of the reach of anyone not on astronomical salaries, as these will be within the means of the middle income professional couples in their 20s and 30s that are the most likely audience for them.
  11. Depends on what you class as decent. These are the kinds of things your average FTB is buying in Cambridge, all perfectly reasonable starter homes. No, you're not going to get a nice Victorian townhouse in the centre for that, but there's plenty of fine flats or 50s-70s ex council terraces in Arbury, Kings Hedges, Cherry Hinton and Abbey for that kind of money Flats: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-53092117.html http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-58125190.html Houses http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-57205720.html http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-64514939.html
  12. Average house price is around £410k, not £500k. In any case, I know a few software developers. They tend to be relatively young, so not everyone's bothered about owning a place. The ones that are are buying at the bottom end of the market, where you can get a 2 bed flat within the city for around £250k, or a 2-3 bed house for £300k. On a dual £35k salary, this is doable.
  13. Not necessarily. Most of my peer group has bought in and around Cambridge over the past few years, myself included, as first time buyers, and they've all made the same space/location/price compromises everyone else does. Some have compromised some space in order to live around the Mill Road area, most have moved out to cheaper areas of the city like Arbury, where prices are slightly more down to earth. The assumption for us all is that it's been a home to live in, and everyone I know views the insane recent HPI with mixed feelings; Being able to drop from 90% LTV to 65% in 2 years means that most of us will be able to overpay and finish off our mortgages a good 7 years quicker than planned, which is somewhat lucky, but everyone's aware that it's not a good thing that it's increasingly difficult to buy within the city. I couldn't afford the buy my own house anymore, and I only got it 2 years ago. We all understand that this is a problem, and most people I know have friends who have had to move out of the city into the cheaper surrounding villages because they couldn't afford Cambridge.
  14. Everyone I know who's lived here through their 20s has spent some time in a crap HMO somewhere off Mill Road. It seems it's something of a rite of passage, much like it is in places like London
  15. There's also 4 trains an hour to London within 5 minutes cycle in that area, 2 of which an hour are non stop and get to Kings Cross in 50 minutes. Alongside the fact that it's near the station, the Romsey area is also quite fashionable (an academic friend who got a job at the university refused to look for a house in any other areas) and something of a hotspot for young professionals and therefore there's a decent amount of BTL HMOs. It may not look much, but there is something of a premium for living in the Romsey area.
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