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In Sickness And In Health...

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The problem: many many houses in this country have been split into flats, owing to people watching property development shows and hoping to sell them on for a fast buck. Of course this leaves us with lots of properties that are cheap enough for the masses to afford, but are too small for people actually to live in.

The vague memory: in the 1970s or 80s sitcom with Alf Garnett, In Sickness and in Health, I seem to remember him marrying the lady in the flat upstairs as a ruse to then be able to sell the flats as a house and hence make more money. (I don't know if I've remembered this correctly...)

The question: is it possible, from a historical perspective, that we could get to a time when it would suit people to re-conjoined their mini flats and market them as a house again? (thus solving the problem of all properties being too small for purpose?) Could demand for larger places encourage a house to be worth more than two flats?

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Only once the market gets so devastated that you can't sell the crappy little flat for £15-20k

Too much demand from speculators snapping up investment properties. They should all sod off in 2-3 years time though with their dreams in tatters ;)

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Possibly. This boom has resulted in the country being awash with far more one- and two-bedroomed flats than there are households that want to live in them.

Once prices have bottomed out, said households are hardly going to pay more than half the price of a house for half a house, if a whole house is easily affordable (and available). So conversion owners might find it's the most profitable way to sell.

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Not so bad when huge Victorian terraces designed for extended families and servants got split up, and was preferable to them being turned into HIMO's.

However converting normal semi's is ridiculous. I'm surprised the planners consented. I drove down a street in Romford the other day and a lot of the semi's had been converted and have a ludicrous extremely narrow double front door arrangement. Obese people need not apply!

Edited by HostPaul TAFKA Rover2000

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I saw a pair of large semis converted to 8 flats that are in an auction with a guide price of about 300k recently, and another with 2 semis converted to four flats on with a GP of 175k.

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Parts of London that have recently become a magnet for families have seen this trend for some years. Marylebone, for instance. Houses are worth more psf than part houses. People buy up flats and put houses back together.

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I saw a pair of large semis converted to 8 flats that are in an auction with a guide price of about 300k recently, and another with 2 semis converted to four flats on with a GP of 175k.

where is this? assuming the guide to be realistic at 300k for the two large semis/8 flats, would they achieve 150k or more individually as a large semi?

similar q for the other semis, worth 90k each?

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you see this all the time in london areas like cannonbury sqaure, de buevoir etc.

in the 70s they were all bedsit lands, then people started to convert them all back again, romour has it roger moore was the first to do this in cannonbury sq and everyone thought he was mad at the time.

when we are working on these places the services gas, water etc run all over the house showing they were once all flats.

it can be a nightmare.

In the eighties I converted a large victorian back from thee "flats" into a big house again (though I rented out rooms on a shared house base).

I'd bought it as a single house though and it was as a kind of mortgage condition to "de flat" the house.

The quality of many flat conversions in the seventies was appalling (including this one - crude hardboard partitions etc) and yes water pipes and coin slot gas meters everywhere!

I don't know whats happened to that house now. At a guess I'd say its probably been converted back into three proper flats.

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I think this will happen quite a lot going forward. In my area of outer London, I looked at two maisonettes that had a peak value of about £350k each. Converting them into a house would have been worth about £700k, so not worth it once the cost was taken into account. Now the flats are perhaps £250k and the whole house £550k, so getting better. If the current price trend continues it will soon be worth converting them.

A larger Victorian semi that I looked at was converted into five flats worth £250k at peak. House value was perhaps £900k.

Flats now at £175k and house about £750k so still some way to go.

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Thanks for all the replies on this topic so far. I am comforted slightly by the anecdotals listed above.

I hate the fact that there are so few decent-sized properties about.

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Thanks for all the replies on this topic so far. I am comforted slightly by the anecdotals listed above.

I hate the fact that there are so few decent-sized properties about.

I seem to remember a thread that suggested that councils are very anti this because it reduces the council tax revenue stream.

p-o-p

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The problem: many many houses in this country have been split into flats, owing to people watching property development shows and hoping to sell them on for a fast buck. Of course this leaves us with lots of properties that are cheap enough for the masses to afford, but are too small for people actually to live in.

The vague memory: in the 1970s or 80s sitcom with Alf Garnett, In Sickness and in Health, I seem to remember him marrying the lady in the flat upstairs as a ruse to then be able to sell the flats as a house and hence make more money. (I don't know if I've remembered this correctly...)

The question: is it possible, from a historical perspective, that we could get to a time when it would suit people to re-conjoined their mini flats and market them as a house again? (thus solving the problem of all properties being too small for purpose?) Could demand for larger places encourage a house to be worth more than two flats?

Yes, it is very possible, especially as the same person usually owns the whole block and rents them out.

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Thanks for all the replies on this topic so far. I am comforted slightly by the anecdotals listed above.

I hate the fact that there are so few decent-sized properties about.

Maybe if this happens we can go back to having separate kitchens, not "open plan living rooms" with a kitchenette stuffed into the corner.

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where is this? assuming the guide to be realistic at 300k for the two large semis/8 flats, would they achieve 150k or more individually as a large semi?

similar q for the other semis, worth 90k each?

Two areas of Birmingham. A quick look on rightmove indicates that the asking price for each of the large semis would be of the order of 220k-250k, and for each of the small semis about 150k-180k based on similar looking properties in the same areas (Hall Green and Erdington resp.). No idea what the selling prices are for those area as I am mainly looking at other parts of Birmingham.

Edit - the auction is tomorrow so I guess we will know if the prices are realistic soon enough.

Edited by apr400

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I saw a pair of large semis converted to 8 flats that are in an auction with a guide price of about 300k recently, and another with 2 semis converted to four flats on with a GP of 175k.
Two areas of Birmingham. A quick look on rightmove indicates that the asking price for each of the large semis would be of the order of 220k-250k, and for each of the small semis about 150k-180k based on similar looking properties in the same areas (Hall Green and Erdington resp.). No idea what the selling prices are for those area as I am mainly looking at other parts of Birmingham.

Edit - the auction is tomorrow so I guess we will know if the prices are realistic soon enough.

Well the smaller pair with a GP of 175k went for 246k

and the larger pair with a GP of 300k, increased to 350k the day before the auction, went for 465k

:o:o:o

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During the early seventies: oil crisis you couldn't give away large properties as no body could afford to heat them. As energy got cheaper and cheaper relatively we moved to larger properties with more open plan living.

The trend towards larger housing with open plan living will only continue if we have continued cheap energy. I for one think the small flats maybe quite popular in a few yaers time.

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Facinating. I hadn't thought of it (probably because I don't need more than a flat), but this was another of the illusions of scarcity created by the housing boom. Flats were increasing at a greater rate than houses since the problem was at the bottom of the ladder and nobody could get a morgage the size of a house. I saw conversion flats that had originally been bought for 60K (for a 3 flat split) when the Houses would have been about 120K selling at the top of the market for 300K when houses would have been £500K. But where did all the people go that needed that house? Into the 50,000 surplus houses that needed to be built a year because we don't have enough housing. its all part of the con and I expect within 5 years that parts of London, particularly the 'trendy' suburbs of the boom like Hackney and Peckham, will have degenerated to their pre-housing boom conditions... and even maybe have some squats!

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During the early seventies: oil crisis you couldn't give away large properties as no body could afford to heat them. As energy got cheaper and cheaper relatively we moved to larger properties with more open plan living.

The trend towards larger housing with open plan living will only continue if we have continued cheap energy. I for one think the small flats maybe quite popular in a few yaers time.

In the future I think we will see more of the larger properties housing second and third generation families, an a amalgamation of resources and support. ;)

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Facinating. I hadn't thought of it (probably because I don't need more than a flat), but this was another of the illusions of scarcity created by the housing boom. Flats were increasing at a greater rate than houses since the problem was at the bottom of the ladder and nobody could get a morgage the size of a house. I saw conversion flats that had originally been bought for 60K (for a 3 flat split) when the Houses would have been about 120K selling at the top of the market for 300K when houses would have been £500K. But where did all the people go that needed that house? Into the 50,000 surplus houses that needed to be built a year because we don't have enough housing. its all part of the con and I expect within 5 years that parts of London, particularly the 'trendy' suburbs of the boom like Hackney and Peckham, will have degenerated to their pre-housing boom conditions... and even maybe have some squats!

Got a nice squat a road from me right now. Decent squatters who do a bit of fixing up too.

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I was looking at properties on ourproperty in the mid-late 90s, and think it would have been cheaper to completely bulldoze some sink estates and build a decent whole neighbourhood new, rather than buy up empty land and build.

Dont know what demolition costs are like though.

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During the early seventies: oil crisis you couldn't give away large properties as no body could afford to heat them. As energy got cheaper and cheaper relatively we moved to larger properties with more open plan living.

The trend towards larger housing with open plan living will only continue if we have continued cheap energy. I for one think the small flats maybe quite popular in a few yaers time.

Yes indeed. The first house I ever bought had been 'modernised' in the 1970's. Part of the modernisation was to knock-down the separating wall between the living room and dining room. It was bitterly cold, draughty and very difficult to heat effectively. We solved the problem temporarily by putting-up a large curtain - but eventually re-instated the missing wall.

I watched the tosh on TV the other night where George whatshisface set about knocking-down walls between kitchen and dining room, destroying a bedroom and poking the parents up in the loft with no bathroom. I wonder how they'll heat their home in future. All heat from the ground floor will now rise 50-60 feet to the roof space - there's nothing stopping it. Also bear in mind these people have taken on an additional £100k in debt and energy prices will shortly become much higher than now.

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