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Frizzers

Balham And Fulham

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I, like so many readers of this site, remain convinced that the world is about to end, or, at least, that we are on the verge of a major housing and economic crash. I think the crash will be worldwide. And I think that some areas will be worse hit than others.

I don't think parts of London will be as badly hit as other parts of the country, for example - partly because there is so much money here already (look at this year's City bonuses that are about to be paid BTW) and partly because there are so many people moving here that there is a basic supply-and-demand situation. But I do think the market is also grossly overvalued. (A close friend, for example, is a partner in a top City accountant's. In another time, a man of such a position would have had a lovely house in Kensington or St John's Wood or somewhere. Now, with a family to support, he's scraping a place in Acton. I'm not knocking Acton. I like it. But it's not a place you would expect top City accountants to reside).

It doesn't surprise me that prices are falling in Canary Wharf, say. Because, aside from those who work there and would enjoy the convenience, I can't see why anyone would want to live there.

But Balham on the other hand, like it or not, is booming. Really booming. Houses getting the asking price, selling quickly. My nextdoor neighbour, who is brutally frank, has a Saturday job with one of the agents on the high road, showing properties. She says it is properly buzzing. She has no vested interest in the agency - she couldn't give a monkey's. She's just reporting what's happening. I tell her all the arguments you hear on this site. But she won't have it. Why is it buzzing, then? I say. Quite simply, she explains, because people want to live there.

Another friend, whose house in Fulham has just sold at the full asking of £750,000, is a conveyancer for some posh solicitors. He too reckons there is a mini-boom on in London. He reports that the agents are saying to him that there is a lot of stuff not selling because it ain't that special, but there is a dearth of quality stuff (at the level it's offered). When it comes on the market though, it's going straight away.

So there we are. What conclusions, if any, can we, the doom-mongers, draw from the above?

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I, like so many readers of this site, remain convinced that the world is about to end, or, at least, that we are on the verge of a major housing and economic crash. I think the crash will be worldwide. And I think that some areas will be worse hit than others.

I don't think parts of London will be as badly hit as other parts of the country, for example - partly because there is so much money here already (look at this year's City bonuses that are about to be paid BTW) and partly because there are so many people moving here that there is a basic supply-and-demand situation. But I do think the market is also grossly overvalued. (A close friend, for example, is a partner in a top City accountant's. In another time, a man of such a position would have had a lovely house in Kensington or St John's Wood or somewhere. Now, with a family to support, he's scraping a place in Acton. I'm not knocking Acton. I like it. But it's not a place you would expect top City accountants to reside).

It doesn't surprise me that prices are falling in Canary Wharf, say. Because, aside from those who work there and would enjoy the convenience, I can't see why anyone would want to live there.

But Balham on the other hand, like it or not, is booming. Really booming. Houses getting the asking price, selling quickly. My nextdoor neighbour, who is brutally frank, has a Saturday job with one of the agents on the high road, showing properties. She says it is properly buzzing. She has no vested interest in the agency - she couldn't give a monkey's. She's just reporting what's happening. I tell her all the arguments you hear on this site. But she won't have it. Why is it buzzing, then? I say. Quite simply, she explains, because people want to live there.

Another friend, whose house in Fulham has just sold at the full asking of £750,000, is a conveyancer for some posh solicitors. He too reckons there is a mini-boom on in London. He reports that the agents are saying to him that there is a lot of stuff not selling because it ain't that special, but there is a dearth of quality stuff (at the level it's offered). When it comes on the market though, it's going straight away.

So there we are. What conclusions, if any, can we, the doom-mongers, draw from the above?

i conclude that you are talking a load of ********.

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Take a look at the Fulham thread for recent SW6 and Hammersmith and Fulham data:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...showtopic=11815

Also from http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...15638&hl=fulham

London’s property prices lead the country but which area of London is the leading indicator for London as a whole. Could it be SW6 (Fulham)?

Rightmove’s August 2004 survey, http://www.rightmove.co.uk/pdf/p/hpi/House...6August2004.pdf, had Hammersmith and Fulham down 9.9% on the month. Other bellwether areas; K&C, Merton (Wimbledon), and Wandsworth recorded lesser but still substantial monthly falls.

Following the plunge Rightmove recorded H&F average asking prices in their August 04 report at £410,072. A year later the August ‘05 report shows them increasing by 0.7% , which combined with other upwards moves took them back to £420,885. So, presumably due to a loss of confidence driven by interest rate rises, there was an ‘instant’ tumble in asking prices a year ago, but some firming since.

Land Reg figures broadly support Rightmove; average terraced house prices were slightly up Q205 on Q105 but down on Q304 figures. ( Flats got back to their Q304 figure.) Hometrack recorded 0% move for July 05 and minus 0.1% for August 05.

This week londonpropertywatch.co.uk showed 335 2 bed properties for sale in SW6 on Monday, 336 on Tuesday, 332 on Wednesday and 334 today. Average asking prices moved in the range £376,000 - £379,000. This week at least Fulhamites don’t seem to be slashing their asking prices or adding to supply day by day.

Could it be that in Fulham the market has already done its job? Perhaps prices now fully reflect the effects of recent interest rate movements, bombings, and inflation expectations. And if IR’s don’t move for a while then, seasonality aside, the Fulham plateau might be established elsewhere. Will there soon be plateaus, 7.5% below highs, elsewhere in the country? Plateaus populated by nervous homeowners, struggling but not desperate BTL’ers and equally-nervous HPC’ers all waiting for the next big economic event."

To bring it right up to date average asking prices in H&F do seem to have crept up over the last couple of weeks according to the averages londonproperty watch publish daily. (Of course as they are raw averages of asking prices usual health warning apply). Hometrack may of course show a different view when their report comes out.

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I don't think Milkshock is talking absolute balls. Housing in the Nappy triangle in particular is indeed hugely in demand (partly as the primary schools are very good). "Booming" is however not an accurate description (in view of the number of sales still being down massively on a year ago).

Anecdotal evidence would also suggest that many sales also only really go through at reduced prices. I've posted elsewhere about the 2 conversion flats above and below mine in SW12. One was on the market for 9 months or so at £290k and eventually sold for £250k (to a BTL). The other was on the market for £299k (for about 6 months) and sold recently ... I'm waiting to see what the final sale price finally came out at (but I suspect it will also end up around the £250k mark).

Just because sales are still consistent compared with e.g. Canary Wharf it doesn't mean that there won't be a "correction". Unless flats continue to sell, all the would-be young families seeking to trade up to a house are screwed. "Trading up" is only possible when you've got a mug willing to pay over the odds for a flat (whether BTL or FTB). FTB's are priced out of this area and yields for BTL are too low (based on the rent for the flat upstairs from me, the BTL 'investor' is probably just about breaking even each year). Not that lack of yield will put off all...

Anyway, prices and volumes are still falling (although perhaps less obvioulsy than in other areas). Sentiment in this neck of the woods is certainly still bouyant and the gentrification effect can't be ignored. At the end of the day, Clapham and surrounds have benefitted from an (re)-invasion of middle-class suburbanites priced out of other affluent areas. That'll probably mean prices don't fall as much as in other parts of the country.... but fall they will!

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Looking at Balham SW12 on Findaproperty suggests that asking prices on flats have not moved in the last 2 years. A friend of mine bought a flat in a bad state in nearby Tooting Bec at the back end of 02 for 185 - an identical flat in the same block is on the market now for 195. Nethouseprices suggests that the highest price achieved in the block was at the end of last year at 190. Hardly a booming market, then.

At the end of the day Balham is in Zone 3, and will sell accordingly- its no closer to central london than anywhere else, claptrap about priced out yuppies and schools aside.

Edited by Milkshock

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Spose that's my point prices are holding steady now - after a big drop in Aug 04 and then clawing back some of the loss - they have reached a plateau below the peak.

So what's going to move them?

nothing, the only way is down. who knows when that will be, but certainly no upward movement anywhere on the horizon. it doesnt help when ea's like frizzers spout misinformation, however.

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nothing, the only way is down. who knows when that will be, but certainly no upward movement anywhere on the horizon. it doesnt help when ea's like frizzers spout misinformation, however.

Oh dear Milkshock,

I am not an estate agent. Goodness knows where you got that. I'm not spouting misinformation. I am merely reporting local news.

And when you say, 'it does not help', it sounds like you actively, and rather bitterly too, want a major crash in Balham and Fulham, if not elsewhere too. Perhaps you're a spreadbetter who's got money on a crash.

None of your or my spouting changes the current situation that I know in the Balham and Fulham areas, which is: a friend has just got full asking of 750K on a terraced house in Fulham near Wandsworth Bridge. While another friend reports Balham to be buzzing.

I thank you.

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Oh dear Milkshock,

I am not an estate agent. Goodness knows where you got that. I'm not spouting misinformation. I am merely reporting local news.

And when you say, 'it does not help', it sounds like you actively, and rather bitterly too, want a major crash in Balham and Fulham, if not elsewhere too. Perhaps you're a spreadbetter who's got money on a crash.

None of your or my spouting changes the current situation that I know in the Balham and Fulham areas, which is: a friend has just got full asking of 750K on a terraced house in Fulham near Wandsworth Bridge. While another friend reports Balham to be buzzing.

I thank you.

if you want the truth about a particular area, it does not help to talk up the market which is obviously as dull as ditchwater, according to official land reg. figures.

your yuppie mates can actively report whatever they like, balham is not booming and sale prices prove that fact.

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I cant see alot of downside in housing in the nicer parts of central London. I dont know if this includes Balham (never been there, and it looks a long way down the N line) but it would include Fulham. Prices have been flattish for three years or more. If prices didnt fall during all the lay offs in the city during 02-03, what will make them fall now? I'm not saying that I expect to see prices go up, but I cannot see what will cause a crash.

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I cant see alot of downside in housing in the nicer parts of central London. I dont know if this includes Balham (never been there, and it looks a long way down the N line) but it would include Fulham. Prices have been flattish for three years or more. If prices didnt fall during all the lay offs in the city during 02-03, what will make them fall now? I'm not saying that I expect to see prices go up, but I cannot see what will cause a crash.

i understand what you are saying, but the original VI/Ea claimed that the market was actively booming, which is clearly not the case at all. i never mentioned anything about a crash.

btw balham can in no sense be described as central london.

Edited by Milkshock

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The word boom may have been an exaggeration. But to say Balham is buzzing, I don't think is. There is definite interest and excitement about property in the area.

I think Three Little Pigs' assessment may be on the nail. What happens in the UK market as a whole, tends to happen in London first and then ripple out. It would appear that Balham and Fulham, which is also not central London, may have had their correction a year or so ago. That correction might not have been as severe and long-lasting as elsewhere because they are popular, desirable areas. With prices not having moved much over the last three years, in real terms they might now look relatively affordable to some of the people who would want to live there - my yuppie mates, as Milkshock so courteously put it.

Fulham, in particular, attracts city-types, who have been having a good time of it lately. They're cash rich. And one of the first places that cash is going to get spent is on the house.

That said, I live in Earlsfield and I don't 'feel' rich. There is something about the housing market in the UK that reminds me of the dotcom bubble bursting. People said dotcom shares were overvalued and had to crash, yet they carried on rising. And when they eventually did crash, the fall was that much more severe. I see echoes of that here. Have places like Fulham and Balham had their storm? Or are 30% drops going to strike even these popular, wealthy spots?

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But Balham on the other hand, like it or not, is booming. Really booming. Houses getting the asking price, selling quickly. Another friend, whose house in Fulham has just sold at the full asking of £750,000, is a conveyancer for some posh solicitors. He too reckons there is a mini-boom on in London. He reports that the agents are saying to him that there is a lot of stuff not selling because it ain't that special, but there is a dearth of quality stuff (at the level it's offered). When it comes on the market though, it's going straight away.

So there we are. What conclusions, if any, can we, the doom-mongers, draw from the above?

My road is considered highly desirable but prices have stagnated for the last 1.5-2 years and are now starting to fall. My neighbour has been trying to sell (SW12) her 5 bedroom house for 10 months now, with no luck and I can tell you it is quality stuff, if overpriced for 2005 (740k reduced from 770k). On the other hand, my sister achieved peak price for her flat recently (SW17) but I think she just got lucky and so does she.

At the end of the day Balham is in Zone 3, and will sell accordingly- its no closer to central london than anywhere else, claptrap about priced out yuppies and schools aside.

Agreed.

if you want the truth about a particular area, it does not help to talk up the market which is obviously as dull as ditchwater, according to official land reg. figures. Your yuppie mates can actively report whatever they like, balham is not booming and sale prices prove that fact.

Agreed but I would not phrase it soooooo rudely

I cant see alot of downside in housing in the nicer parts of central London. I dont know if this includes Balham (never been there, and it looks a long way down the N line) but it would include Fulham. Prices have been flattish for three years or more. If prices didnt fall during all the lay offs in the city during 02-03, what will make them fall now? I'm not saying that I expect to see prices go up, but I cannot see what will cause a crash.

I think we've been here before. Neither Balham or Fulham are immune to price falls. For heaven's sake, 3 bedroom houses on my road sold for 170kish in 1997-98, they now go for 460k. They will fall simply because they are overpriced. My mother, visiting from the (bubble hit Florida) had a real laugh today when I showed her a 3 bedroom terraced house for sale on my road for 485k. Her response, "1/2 million dollars (she meant pounds) for that?!! I wouldn't even pay 300k dollars (American accent) for that little doll's house. My god it's sooooooo tiny!!! Errrr.....Where's the drive?" These comments should bring us all back down to earth, but probably won't.

The word boom may have been an exaggeration. But to say Balham is buzzing, I don't think is. There is definite interest and excitement about property in the area.

It would appear that Balham and Fulham, which is also not central London, may have had their correction a year or so ago. That correction might not have been as severe and long-lasting as elsewhere because they are popular, desirable areas. With prices not having moved much over the last three years, in real terms they might now look relatively affordable to some of the people who would want to live there - my yuppie mates, as Milkshock so courteously put it.

Have places like Fulham and Balham had their storm? Or are 30% drops going to strike even these popular, wealthy spots?

I have been following the Wandsworth market which includes SW11 (TTRTR territory) SW12, SW16, SW17, and SW18, for years now. Balham has not had it's correction, the fun has only just begun (well fun for me) and I expect falls to be more than 30%, albeit not overnight.

Edited by Buffer Bear

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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