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All-night Queues To Buy Half-price London Flats

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All-night queues to buy half-price London flats

It seems like the property deal of the age: 167 new flats in a prime location on sale for half their original value.

Hundreds queued overnight hoping to snap up one-bedroom apartments with a "spectacular skyline view" for just £164,995 - down from their original price of £377,900 - and two-bed flats for £230,000, reduced from £474,600.

It was the first time a sell-off of this size had taken place since the last recession. Galliard Homes, which built the block near Canary Wharf in London's Docklands, was forced to cut prices after the credit crunch saw an investment chain collapse. Property firm Trinity Capital put a deposit on the tower in 2007 but failed to complete the purchase after nearly all the individuals and investment consortiums, which it sold flats to at a premium, defaulted, forfeiting their 10% deposits.

The excitement generated by the sale was so keen that Mark Kolesnikow, a 24-year-old business analyst from Northwood, and his brother, Alex, a boxer, started queuing at 4am on Thursday to guarantee their place first in the queue. "I've spent the last two days out here on the street, studying the plans, working out which flat to get," said Mark. Behind the Kolesnikows, who are both first-time buyers, the queue stretched out, growing quickly. At 9am, there were 150 people waiting. An hour later, there were 300, with more joining every few minutes.

Not everyone was as long-suffering as the Kolesnikows. Dr Ujjal Sarkar, a GP, paid a friend £200 to queue overnight on his behalf. Sarkar took over at 6.30am yesterday morning. "Is that a bad thing to have done?" he laughed. "I'm sure I'm not the only one."

After the doors opened at 10.30am, buyers were allocated a member of the sales team to take them around the tower. When they had made their decision, buyers were taken to see in-house solicitors and independent financial advisers. They then joined a final queue to put down their non-refundable £1,000 deposit.

First through the doors, the Kolesnikows started their viewing calmly. As more people crowded into the tower, however, tension rose. The airless, narrow corridors were soon congested with huddles of buyers making tense calculations in low voices. Others crammed into the lobbies, waiting impatiently for the lifts that were soon overloaded. Before long, the Kolesnikows were too anxious to waste time waiting. Instead they ran up and down the fire escape, from the ninth floor to the 13th, then to the 16th, back to the seventh. "This is so stressful," muttered Mark, standing on the balcony of yet another identical flat.

Back in the corridor a salesman leading another flushed, anxious couple stopped to talk to the Kolesnikows' agent. "I've sold six properties so far this morning," he announced in a stage whisper.

"It's hard to stay calm," said Mark. On this floor a one-bed flat costs £237,000, down, according to the notice pinned on the door, from £343,000 in September 2007. Mark hovered. His father, Andrew, was anxious. "This is you running very high over your original budget," he said.

"I can't bear it," said Mark. "I was first in the queue and am going to walk away without anything."

50% off bulls! How's that grab you?

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Hundreds queued overnight hoping to snap up one-bedroom apartments with a "spectacular skyline view" for just £164,995 - down from their original price of £377,900 - and two-bed flats for £230,000, reduced from £474,600.

"It's hard to stay calm," said Mark. On this floor a one-bed flat costs £237,000, down, according to the notice pinned on the door, from £343,000 in September 2007. Mark hovered. His father, Andrew, was anxious. "This is you running very high over your original budget," he said.

Sounds like a fake auction to me.

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Just been looking at their website. Yuck!

They are tiny flats in a tower block in the east end of London. Haven't we learnt a lesson about the desirability of tower blocks in the east end of London once before?

May they enjoy their "bargains", for they are welcome to them. I don't envy them.

Edited by mikeymadman

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Oh, it's definitely a media stunt, but never the less, having headlines of 50% off in the MSM will start the ball rolling in the right direction.

That's true.

It's all about anchoring expectations...

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Just been looking at their website. Yuck!

They are tiny flats in a tower block in the east end of London. Haven't we learnt a lesson about the desirability of tower blocks in the east end of London once before?

May they enjoy their "bargains", for they are welcome to them. I don't envy them.

Yeah, they're near my work - I go past these from time to time. Minging.

You'd probably have to pay me to live there.

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They are tiny flats in a tower block in the east end of London. Haven't we learnt a lesson about the desirability of tower blocks in the east end of London once before?

Ronan_Point1_ready.jpg

You surely can't be suggesting that they're not built very well?

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Funny how Mark Kolesnikow was first in line but didn't buy anything.....

what about second and third. Bet they were paid to start a queue so that others, being sheep would be happy to join. Starting a queue is impossible if theres no one in front of you. QED

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Ronan_Point1_ready.jpg

You surely can't be suggesting that they're not built very well?

they say that was a gas explosion.... but the conspiracy theory is that it was an ira bomb but they hushed it up as they didnt want to cause panic and get people worried about planes flying into them or anything

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solicitors and independent financial advisers. They then joined a final queue to put down their non-refundable £1,000 deposit.

haha they dont give you time to think quick quick sign up.

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wasnt this the "bankers forced sale" thing from a fortnight ago?

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I don't have the advert to hand,

but I seem to remember that it was totally misleading.

Classic misleading sales claim trick to fool the gullible, arithmetically-unaware punter.

Something like...

"2-bed apartments valued at UP TO 430K

now reduced to prices from 260K!!!"

OK, so actually tiny 2-bed flats @ 320K all the way up to penthousey-slightly-less-tiny 2-bed flats @430K

reduced to 260K and 360K respectively.

So not even 50% at all. More like 20-30%, which considering the astronomical overvaluation in the first instance

means you are still being ripped off.

Point is they are still massively overvalued in an area which must have the largeset number of slave-box completions

in London in the last two years, and still loads in the pipeline for this year and next.

I feel sorry for any honest folk who are being misled and risk financial ruin

by continued media misreporting of the property bubble collapse.

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I don't have the advert to hand,

but I seem to remember that it was totally misleading.

Classic misleading sales claim trick to fool the gullible, arithmetically-unaware punter.

Something like...

"2-bed apartments valued at UP TO 430K

now reduced to prices from 260K!!!"

OK, so actually tiny 2-bed flats @ 320K all the way up to penthousey-slightly-less-tiny 2-bed flats @430K

reduced to 260K and 360K respectively.

So not even 50% at all. More like 20-30%, which considering the astronomical overvaluation in the first instance

means you are still being ripped off.

Point is they are still massively overvalued in an area which must have the largeset number of slave-box completions

in London in the last two years, and still loads in the pipeline for this year and next.

I feel sorry for any honest folk who are being misled and risk financial ruin

by continued media misreporting of the property bubble collapse.

honest folk could get off their asses and visit the place, see that the square footage would be illegal to keep goats in and make their own minds up.

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honest folk could get off their asses and visit the place, see that the square footage would be illegal to keep goats in and make their own minds up.

Which is roughly what happened to our hero Mark Kolesnikow, I reckon,

though the article didn't actually ask this rather obvious and most pertinent question.

He'd chosen his apartment from the plans, raced up there with his own special EA guide

only to find out, surprise, it was one of the 360K ones, not the 260K ones,

at which point he realised he'd been had, luckily didn't give in to the EA-creaeted fake frenzy,

did the bedroom/goat arithmetic and refused to hand over his deposit on the spot.

Well done, Mark.

Sort of.

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Which is roughly what happened to our hero Mark Kolesnikow, I reckon,

though the article didn't actually ask this rather obvious and most pertinent question.

He'd chosen his apartment from the plans, raced up there with his own special EA guide

only to find out, surprise, it was one of the 360K ones, not the 260K ones,

at which point he realised he'd been had, luckily didn't give in to the EA-creaeted fake frenzy,

did the bedroom/goat arithmetic and refused to hand over his deposit on the spot.

Well done, Mark.

Sort of.

I've been hearing the ad for these on LBC. Some people are really stupid, an advert saying 50% off put out by a "developer" for heaven sake. Grotty 1 bed flats for £167k in Tower Hamletts.

Seriously you can buy a 3 bed for similar money. "50% off, buy now and face an instant loss"

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sa...00%26index%3D20

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sa...00%26index%3D20

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sa...00%26index%3D40

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sa...00%26index%3D60

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If you are not weighed down with snobbery,

then sunny Limehouse has decent 2-bed ex-council flats, 78 square metres over 2 floors

on the canal between Mile End and Limehouse,

or just off Narrow Street, well under 200K.

Zone 2. 10/15 min walk to C Wharf.

Much better value.

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All-night queues to buy half-price London flats

50% off bulls! How's that grab you?

Im sure I know this development: The original prices were similar (maybe about 20% more) to these so called 'half price flats'. None of the Docklands places have been selling for the last 2 years.

This is just sales tactics - put a sticker on an item of clothing that says 'half price' and people will think they have a bargain. It's quite legal to lie about the 'original price' and this tactic is used in marketing a lot.

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The funniest thing about all this is that these flats overlook Billingsgate.

With the right combination of wind direction and strength on catch day - it's enough to turn you as grey as the building's cladding.

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I drove past yesterday morning and there was a healthy queue outside. I can't believe that they didn't simply take a look around, realised that those flats are still overpriced for the area and went back home. Poplar is not the worst part of London, but it certainly is not worth a premium.

I would be really interested to know why someone would queue up all night for such property. The block seemed pretty unremarkable to me.

Maybe it's just me that is missing the point, but at those prices I would not give them a second look.

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