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macca23

Balham/ Clapham

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I kiboshed the Kingston forum by making an ironical observation about a garage conversion, but prices there are not so bad when compared to that. One million for a shell of a pokey worker's cottage (88 sqm) in South Clapham - That's bonkers, isn't it ? Please tell me why the area is hot, and what elevates it in price over so many other neighbourhoods that have similar housing stock and not greatly disadvantaged in terms of transport connections to main employment centres of the Capital. In my ignorance I believed the area was dotted with sink estates (ditto Islington, Hoxton, etc) and that you ran a fair chance of being mugged or experiencing some other unpleasant occurrence. It seems that it must in fact be some Utopia where people are desperate to move to.

Sorry if I am repeating but is it exceptionally desirable is buying here - ticks the boxes to raise a family ( tough that will be in a Shoebox size property) or is it more about return on investment?

It is just how fashionable the area is in relation to others and the infrastructure that builds up around it. Other areas like Penge and Brockley are now where Clapham was 10-15 years ago with insane growth levels. The high streets there are awful, but it won't take long before the coffee shops and nice pubs start to move in, further perpetuating the rises. As you say, the large pockets of sink estates will remain, just as they have in the other recently gentrified areas. People don't seem to care about that and would rather pump more money in to stay there than move to a safe and boring area further out.

Places like Kingston are just too far out to be (fully) affected by this type of thing. The prices have rocketed there too, but not be the same extent and they will always remain unfashionable to the people who want to be in the type of areas were are talking about here. If you go back 20 years, Kingston was probably more expensive than most of these areas, now it is much cheaper.

I can get back from my office in the City to Surbiton in 30 minutes in the evening (5 mins tube, 15 mins train, 5 mins changing, 5 mins walking) which must be within 5 minutes of what it would take me to get back to any of these areas. The ticket costs more, but nowhere near enough to bridge the house price gap, so travel convenience isn't the reason, it is all down to fashionable vs unfashionable areas in my opinion.

If you are prepared to go to a half hour train journey out of London, the house prices are half of Kingston and the crime levels are lower still.

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I can get back from my office in the City to Surbiton in 30 minutes in the evening (5 mins tube, 15 mins train, 5 mins changing, 5 mins walking) which must be within 5 minutes of what it would take me to get back to any of these areas. The ticket costs more, but nowhere near enough to bridge the house price gap, so travel convenience isn't the reason, it is all down to fashionable vs unfashionable areas in my opinion.

Made much the same decision myself. Zone 6+ , and under 30 mins to London Bridge. Night bus stop at the top of the road. In fact probably an easier commute than many places in inner London for where I want to go. Afforded myself a fairly spacious house on a big plot with room to expand without being right up to the boundary. It is a G band property (significantly lower in value than C/D band further in and there isn't the HPI growth potential but it is a nicer place to live than Holloway or Finsbury Park, or I imagine Brixton, Clapham. Plenty of nice places for me to chill out walking my dog, quiet but I can drink up town, schools are good, and it is around a 10 minute drive to a sizeable retail centre. People can sneer all they like, but I prefer suburbia to edgy inner city.

I just don't understand - and it is an international phenomena is why moving into town is so in vogue? Were our grandparents who scrambled to get out of places like Fulham to find bliss in Worcester Park, Surbiton etc mad or is it the current generation who are flocking to buy cramped flats in these previously vacated areas who are mad?

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I just don't understand - and it is an international phenomena is why moving into town is so in vogue? Were our grandparents who scrambled to get out of places like Fulham to find bliss in Worcester Park, Surbiton etc mad or is it the current generation who are flocking to buy cramped flats in these previously vacated areas who are mad?

I don't think either are mad, but it is quite an amazing rate of change. My parents generation (now 60s) clamoured to get even further out by moving to areas like Guildford and Tunbridge Wells and I remember growing up in the 80s with that type of area being far more sought after and expensive than most of non-central London. Even places like Surbiton were a bit too close to town for them, and certainly moving into any type of attached-Victorian house was very much not the thing to do.

I think that everyone finds their perfect compromise, but it does amaze me just how much people now are prepared to pay to be 'in town' in relation to the value they actually get out of it.

Surbiton is a good compromise for me because I like the option of not having to drive anywhere at all - the station is 5 minute walk away for work and evening entertainment in London, Kingston is not much further for shopping etc and there are a few good pubs and restaurants locally for when I can't be bothered to go into town. In reality, I could probably have similar by living in the correct part of a lot of towns in the suburbs/commuter belt, but I don't think I am being too ripped badly off here for what I get.

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I kiboshed the Kingston forum by making an ironical observation about a garage conversion, but prices there are not so bad when compared to that. One million for a shell of a pokey worker's cottage (88 sqm) in South Clapham - That's bonkers, isn't it ? Please tell me why the area is hot, and what elevates it in price over so many other neighbourhoods that have similar housing stock and not greatly disadvantaged in terms of transport connections to main employment centres of the Capital. In my ignorance I believed the area was dotted with sink estates (ditto Islington, Hoxton, etc) and that you ran a fair chance of being mugged or experiencing some other unpleasant occurrence. It seems that it must in fact be some Utopia where people are desperate to move to.

Sorry if I am repeating but is it exceptionally desirable is buying here - ticks the boxes to raise a family ( tough that will be in a Shoebox size property) or is it more about return on investment?

Its an interesting point about Wandsworth's popularity, I don't know why it would be so expensive. Obviously you've got the half price council tax as a draw. The schools are normal, not exceptional. Still, it is probably less expensive than Islington or Hackney, where the schools are poor.

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It is just how fashionable the area is in relation to others and the infrastructure that builds up around it. Other areas like Penge and Brockley are now where Clapham was 10-15 years ago with insane growth levels. The high streets there are awful, but it won't take long before the coffee shops and nice pubs start to move in, further perpetuating the rises. As you say, the large pockets of sink estates will remain, just as they have in the other recently gentrified areas. People don't seem to care about that and would rather pump more money in to stay there than move to a safe and boring area further out.

Places like Kingston are just too far out to be (fully) affected by this type of thing. The prices have rocketed there too, but not be the same extent and they will always remain unfashionable to the people who want to be in the type of areas were are talking about here. If you go back 20 years, Kingston was probably more expensive than most of these areas, now it is much cheaper.

I can get back from my office in the City to Surbiton in 30 minutes in the evening (5 mins tube, 15 mins train, 5 mins changing, 5 mins walking) which must be within 5 minutes of what it would take me to get back to any of these areas. The ticket costs more, but nowhere near enough to bridge the house price gap, so travel convenience isn't the reason, it is all down to fashionable vs unfashionable areas in my opinion.

If you are prepared to go to a half hour train journey out of London, the house prices are half of Kingston and the crime levels are lower still.

whats the difference in travel costs? none?

I kiboshed the Kingston forum by making an ironical observation about a garage conversion, but prices there are not so bad when compared to that. One million for a shell of a pokey worker's cottage (88 sqm) in South Clapham - That's bonkers, isn't it ? Please tell me why the area is hot, and what elevates it in price over so many other neighbourhoods that have similar housing stock and not greatly disadvantaged in terms of transport connections to main employment centres of the Capital. In my ignorance I believed the area was dotted with sink estates (ditto Islington, Hoxton, etc) and that you ran a fair chance of being mugged or experiencing some other unpleasant occurrence. It seems that it must in fact be some Utopia where people are desperate to move to.

Sorry if I am repeating but is it exceptionally desirable is buying here - ticks the boxes to raise a family ( tough that will be in a Shoebox size property) or is it more about return on investment?

Going back to Wandsworth's popularity, anecdotally, a colleague of mine who rents in Earlsfield, Wandsworth mentioned that a house across the road in neighbouring Merton was valued at 15% less for no other reason that it being in Merton and not Wandsworth. So is that the council tax effect driving prices higher? It appears to be.

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I think that everyone finds their perfect compromise, but it does amaze me just how much people now are prepared to pay to be 'in town' in relation to the value they actually get out of it.

And how much they're prepared to overlook to be in a so called be in a postcode beloved the 'Evening Standard' chattering class. What I see in a lot of these places that are going stratospheric is a superficial gentrification with the odd posh coffee shop, bistro pub and Pilates at the Church Hall etc, but scratch at that veneer and it scruffy over crowded inner London that is revealed. I still think the problems with the areas identified in the past are still what they were when people migrated out of them - that basically is that they're overcrowded areas.

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I think that everyone finds their perfect compromise, but it does amaze me just how much people now are prepared to pay to be 'in town' in relation to the value they actually get out of it.

And how much they're prepared to overlook to be in a so called be in a postcode beloved the 'Evening Standard' chattering class. What I see in a lot of these places that are going stratospheric is a superficial gentrification with the odd posh coffee shop, bistro pub and Pilates at the Church Hall etc, but scratch at that veneer and it scruffy over crowded inner London that is revealed. I still think the problems with the areas identified in the past are still what they were when people migrated out of them - that basically is that they're overcrowded areas.

is it a pure supply and demand issue, obviously the further out you get, the greater number of houses who are the same distance to the centre?

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whats the difference in travel costs? none?

Going back to Wandsworth's popularity, anecdotally, a colleague of mine who rents in Earlsfield, Wandsworth mentioned that a house across the road in neighbouring Merton was valued at 15% less for no other reason that it being in Merton and not Wandsworth. So is that the council tax effect driving prices higher? It appears to be.

You could be right but given that the Lib Dems (and presumably Labour once they catch on) are now talking of using a new council tax system to replace a straight property tax, ramping Wandsworth property prices looks like a dumb move. Good luck to all involved.

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I think that everyone finds their perfect compromise, but it does amaze me just how much people now are prepared to pay to be 'in town' in relation to the value they actually get out of it.

And how much they're prepared to overlook to be in a so called be in a postcode beloved the 'Evening Standard' chattering class. What I see in a lot of these places that are going stratospheric is a superficial gentrification with the odd posh coffee shop, bistro pub and Pilates at the Church Hall etc, but scratch at that veneer and it scruffy over crowded inner London that is revealed. I still think the problems with the areas identified in the past are still what they were when people migrated out of them - that basically is that they're overcrowded areas.

+1

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is it a pure supply and demand issue, obviously the further out you get, the greater number of houses who are the same distance to the centre?

i'd guess a combination of some or all of:

[a] just tastes/fashions changing, herd mentalities & whatnot;

a rise in the number of households where both parents work longish hours - if you're talking in terms of nursery dropoffs & stuff, the wheels can start to fall off even with extra 15 minutes' commute... and nursery opening hours even in places like St Albans tend to be shorter than in zone 2 or 3;

[c] possibly a [smallish] rise in the number of people reliant on private cars for travel to & from work in the city... it's the norm now for reasonably bigshot bankers now to take a taxi to & from work & in law, banking, etc, even fairly junior staff who pull really late ones are similarly reliant on taxis.

[d] it's relatively small beer when we're talking about a grand per squ foot in tooting bec or whatever but rail season ticket increases have been above inflation for quite a long time now.

Edited by the flying pig

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whats the difference in travel costs? none?

What between zone 6 and zone 3? Maybe £500 a year, so even with two travellers it is pretty irrelevant compared to the savings.

If you move somewhere like Guildford the travel costs are truly frightening, but still probably less than the saving in house price made by living there.

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Going back to Wandsworth's popularity, anecdotally, a colleague of mine who rents in Earlsfield, Wandsworth mentioned that a house across the road in neighbouring Merton was valued at 15% less for no other reason that it being in Merton and not Wandsworth. So is that the council tax effect driving prices higher? It appears to be.

Is the postcode different? If not then is must be down to the council tax, but that is surely a false economy in the mind of someone even halfway sane?

The difference on a band F property is about £1k a year. If that attracts a discount of £120k (£800k house in Wandsworth, £680k in Merton), then the Wandsworth buyer will pay an extra £3.6k interest on their 3% mortgage to attract a £1k discount on council tax.

I wonder how they'd feel if the council decided to bump rates up to more similar to surrounding boroughs and interest rates go up to 5%. They'd be paying £6k a year for no benefit at all.

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I think that everyone finds their perfect compromise, but it does amaze me just how much people now are prepared to pay to be 'in town' in relation to the value they actually get out of it.

And how much they're prepared to overlook to be in a so called be in a postcode beloved the 'Evening Standard' chattering class. What I see in a lot of these places that are going stratospheric is a superficial gentrification with the odd posh coffee shop, bistro pub and Pilates at the Church Hall etc, but scratch at that veneer and it scruffy over crowded inner London that is revealed. I still think the problems with the areas identified in the past are still what they were when people migrated out of them - that basically is that they're overcrowded areas.

A lot of it is probably about the promise of future returns. A lot of the people buying here are probably young so never really saw the areas before the prices started to rocket. They are probably too frightened to move out to an area where HPI has been half as much because they will lose too much 'profit' by doing so.

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A lot of it is probably about the promise of future returns. A lot of the people buying here are probably young so never really saw the areas before the prices started to rocket. They are probably too frightened to move out to an area where HPI has been half as much because they will lose too much 'profit' by doing so.

Yeah you have to buy a London home because London property only ever goes up in value.

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a rise in the number of households where both parents work longish hours - if you're talking in terms of nursery dropoffs & stuff, the wheels can start to fall off even with extra 15 minutes' commute... and nursery opening hours even in places like St Albans tend to be shorter than in zone 2 or 3;

.

What a depressing thought, how long do the opening hours need to be? Surely packing tots off for 9 odd hours a day is basically child abuse?

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What between zone 6 and zone 3? Maybe £500 a year, so even with two travellers it is pretty irrelevant compared to the savings.

If you move somewhere like Guildford the travel costs are truly frightening, but still probably less than the saving in house price made by living there.

Guildford ain't cheap, try Essex or Kent, but a Guildford - Z1-6 season is £4,104. A Z1-2 season is £1,256.

That's a difference of £2,848.

At 4%, that works out about £71,200 worth of (interest-only!) mortgage.

Or double it for two incomes and it's £142,400.

Which is quite a lot of money.

But then an overpriced 3-bed period 1226 sqft terrace/semi in Guildford is £550k

http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/31948869

But in Clapham you'd pay more than double

http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/32633376

Travel costs aren't even a blip on that.

Absolutely insane. At the respective 2006 prices (£530k for the Clapham one and maybe £450k?? in Guildford), both are equally overpriced and if you want to buy then Clapahm is a valid choice, but at £1.25m no sane or rational person could choose Clapham.

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Guildford ain't cheap, try Essex or Kent, but a Guildford - Z1-6 season is £4,104. A Z1-2 season is £1,256.

That's a difference of £2,848.

At 4%, that works out about £71,200 worth of (interest-only!) mortgage.

Or double it for two incomes and it's £142,400.

Which is quite a lot of money.

But then an overpriced 3-bed period 1226 sqft terrace/semi in Guildford is £550k

http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/31948869

But in Clapham you'd pay more than double

http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/32633376

Travel costs aren't even a blip on that.

Absolutely insane. At the respective 2006 prices (£530k for the Clapham one and maybe £450k?? in Guildford), both are equally overpriced and if you want to buy then Clapahm is a valid choice, but at £1.25m no sane or rational person could choose Clapham.

Also, using some pretty loose maths, half the price (for a 15% bigger property) means only 1 parent needs to work, so materially better quality of life for the household.

Don't forget as well that if you go for the Guildford one then you get a good 13 years education for your sprogs whereas in Clapham you need to go private if you want them to have a decent education. Start capping school fees at 4% and then the maths really doesn't fly. (However, we should probably help "Tarquin & Izzy" out and stress test your 4% cap rate to 7% in light of MMR though! ;) )

It looks like the last hurrah of this housing bubble will be the catch up trade from desirable suburbia, it's already happening/happened in Kingston/Surbiton area. But the likes of Guildford, Sevenoaks, St Albans and all the smaller places in between will inevitably squeeze a bit higher, when there is officially no-where left to live that is commutable distance to London the south east will buckle under it's own weight.

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Guildford ain't cheap, try Essex or Kent, but a Guildford - Z1-6 season is £4,104. A Z1-2 season is £1,256.

That's a difference of £2,848.

At 4%, that works out about £71,200 worth of (interest-only!) mortgage.

Or double it for two incomes and it's £142,400.

Which is quite a lot of money.

But then an overpriced 3-bed period 1226 sqft terrace/semi in Guildford is £550k

http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/31948869

But in Clapham you'd pay more than double

http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/32633376

Travel costs aren't even a blip on that.

Absolutely insane. At the respective 2006 prices (£530k for the Clapham one and maybe £450k?? in Guildford), both are equally overpriced and if you want to buy then Clapahm is a valid choice, but at £1.25m no sane or rational person could choose Clapham.

there's only so much logic that you can apply to a bubble, i'm afraid.

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Also, using some pretty loose maths, half the price (for a 15% bigger property) means only 1 parent needs to work, so materially better quality of life for the household.

Don't forget as well that if you go for the Guildford one then you get a good 13 years education for your sprogs whereas in Clapham you need to go private if you want them to have a decent education. Start capping school fees at 4% and then the maths really doesn't fly. (However, we should probably help "Tarquin & Izzy" out and stress test your 4% cap rate to 7% in light of MMR though! ;) )

It looks like the last hurrah of this housing bubble will be the catch up trade from desirable suburbia, it's already happening/happened in Kingston/Surbiton area. But the likes of Guildford, Sevenoaks, St Albans and all the smaller places in between will inevitably squeeze a bit higher, when there is officially no-where left to live that is commutable distance to London the south east will buckle under it's own weight.

Well you might still go private in Guildford, about 1/3 of Surrey does, and another advantage is that there is a lot of choice of private schools in Surrey. There are quite a lot of new, untested private schools being setup in London perhaps lacking facilities or land, basically because demand far exceeds supply, so even if you go private in Clapham then you might end up with something fairly ropey, whereas in Guildford you'll have a choice of good private schools if that's what you want.

Obviously if you bump the interest rate up, the commuting cost becomes even less significant.

I think you are right that the Clapham family will definitely have two incomes, whereas the Guildford might have one-and-a-half incomes (e.g., one working parent and another part-time), or one.

I guess if you are living in the Clapham place, your likely to see your excessive working hours as a part of your lifestyle, rather than something that funds it.

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Around £800 per sq.ft. seems about par for the course for the area these days.

Two flats on my road came on the market recently for about that sort of price and they're both now Sold STC after a few weeks.

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