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Pezerinno

How Do Residential Streets Become (Un)Desirable?

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Sounds like a silly question but how do certain streets become nice and others not? I live in a very densely populated city full of terrace houses where you can literally have adjacent streets that are substantially more desirable with prices to match (sometimes almost twice as expensive for the same size house). How exactly does this happen and can you spot a pattern whereby you could predict the which streets will improve?

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Quality of neighbours I would think? An unstable situation, like standing a pencil on its tip - once it starts going one way, it will go further that way.

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Lack of community cohesion.

People who have no interest in keeping the place nice.

People who see it merely as a temporary stop.

High levels of poorly maintained propery can lead to a rapid turnover of tenants and this can spiral.

Empty houses.

Poorly maintained properties bringing the look of the place down.

Chavscum ASBO ferals.

Lack of facilities nearby - Lack of outside investment from either local businesses in maintaining local shops, local councils for maintaining facilities, council for rehousing any one there.

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Used to be the "skips and Starbucks"factor that indicated where the upwardly mobile young couples were moving to. Being near to a desirable but now unaffordable area helps; being just that bit closer to irredeemably social housing (tower blocks especially) tends to put the early adopters off. 10 minutes walk to a tube station in London; 10 minutes drive to a railstation (plus adequate parking when you get there) in commuter belt. Catchment area of good school.

Just being an extra street or so futher away can make a lot of difference. Other factors known mostly to locals, like that nice local park being full of cider swigging 17 year olds after dark... the list is endless.

Edited by cartimandua51

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Used to be the "skips and Starbucks"factor that indicated where the upwardly mobile young couples were moving to.

So the reverse is boarded up shops, shops closing

and houses remaining full of the cr*p people normally consider only fit for skips.

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Obviously the social policy of paying numpties to produce more numpties is a factor when it comes to anti social behavior.

But, there are other factors which make some areas more pleasant to live in than others, even though they may have identical houses.

Watch all 9 parts of this lecture, for more detail.

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Here though there are identical streets - terraces built to the same standard at the same time but now carry substantially different prices. I'm literally talking 50 yards away. I can understand certain people making it nicer but unless lots of people buy the street in a group I don't see how it happens really.

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Sounds like a silly question but how do certain streets become nice and others not? I live in a very densely populated city full of terrace houses where you can literally have adjacent streets that are substantially more desirable with prices to match (sometimes almost twice as expensive for the same size house). How exactly does this happen and can you spot a pattern whereby you could predict the which streets will improve?

Levels of traffic noise. One street maybe a rat run, the other not.

Percentage of properties that look cared for/scruffy. Just one very scruffy house with rubbish outside can put people off.

Proximity to very scruffy areas.

Trees can make a huge difference. V similar rows of period houses, one with trees planted on the pavement, one without. Have particularly noticed this lately in SW London.

Another thing I've noticed, same area (mostly period maisonettes) , inner layout of very similar-looking properties can vary a lot.

Much the same floor area, but one layout a lot better thought out, lighter/more spacious than the other.

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Sounds like a silly question but how do certain streets become nice and others not? I live in a very densely populated city full of terrace houses where you can literally have adjacent streets that are substantially more desirable with prices to match (sometimes almost twice as expensive for the same size house). How exactly does this happen and can you spot a pattern whereby you could predict the which streets will improve?

When a Daily Whail feature writer moves in then it is bound to be a up and coming area.

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Another thing I've noticed, same area (mostly period maisonettes) , inner layout of very similar-looking properties can vary a lot.

Much the same floor area, but one layout a lot better thought out, lighter/more spacious than the other.

I've noticed some very similar looking terraced housing, depending on the internal layout, can be around 10m2 different in floor space which makes the difference between a study and second bedroom with enough space for a single bed (without a loft conversion).

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All these council estates built in the 50s/60s looked Idyllic when they were new. Not sure if they were, but thats how they looked. Occasionaly you see a nice council estate still, mostly populated by elderly people who probably moved in when it was built. Most council estates are dumps now. Not sure how that happened.

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Things I am looking out for as i am going to be buying at the bottom end are non estates as I have lived on a council estate and never will again .The problem with estates is they are built with load of rat runs usually quite a bit of green space playground,s park benches which do not sound bad but to they are as they are places where a lot of youth who have been brought up by idiot parents o a parent in many cases congregate to cause trouble .As for normal streets with terraces houses they are no so bad .yes you have to watch out for you immediate neighbour but you can usually get an idea by how they keep their house .I like to make sure there is not much space or any point in yobs gathering outside my place so normally a corner house would be a no no for me .so to be honest so long my street is safe to walk down and there is no where for idiots to gather outside my house then I will be more than happy behind my closed door .

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Bit of greenery?

School catchments?

[Jack tells Lady Bracknell his address in London]

Lady Bracknell: The unfashionable side. I thought there was something.

[she reaches for the bell, but reconsiders and pulls back]

Lady Bracknell: However, that could easily be altered.

Jack: Do you mean the fashion, or the side?

Lady Bracknell: Well, both, if necessary, I presume!

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When a Daily Whail feature writer moves in then it is bound to be a up and coming area.

This is one thing so many people forget. Just as an area can go one way - it can easily reverse and go the complete opposite.

Areas of London that were previously hell holes, and are now full of starbucks and mega expensive houses - can and will do the exact opposite. Just a question of when, not if. Same goes for anywhere in the UK. IMO anyway.

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Obviously the social policy of paying numpties to produce more numpties is a factor when it comes to anti social behavior.

But, there are other factors which make some areas more pleasant to live in than others, even though they may have identical houses.

Watch all 9 parts of this lecture, for more detail.

Thanks that was interesting.

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Bit of greenery?

School catchments?

School catchments are a biggy; the cost of private education has to be taken into consideration if the local comprehensive has 'issues'.

Postal addresses can also make a big difference. I know someone who grew up on a road that crossed the Birmingham / Solihull boundary. Identical houses differed in price by 10s of thousands depending on which side of the line they were (this isn't just snobbery, postcodes can affect things that cost real money, such as house and car insurance).

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All these council estates built in the 50s/60s looked Idyllic when they were new. Not sure if they were, but thats how they looked. Occasionaly you see a nice council estate still, mostly populated by elderly people who probably moved in when it was built. Most council estates are dumps now. Not sure how that happened.

Probably because the sons and daughters of the original occupants were no longer able to get council housing. There was always someone more deserving than them, usually from outside the community and with more social problems, which has undermined cohesion.

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Probably because the sons and daughters of the original occupants were no longer able to get council housing. There was always someone more deserving than them, usually from outside the community and with more social problems, which has undermined cohesion.

Somewhere along the line council housing became 'social housing'. Whatever you subsidise you get more of.

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Litter. How much is on the ground and how many collectors have to be employed cleaning up. Cop once told me that he can tell how much street crime there was in an area just from the litter. I have to admit that I now understand is point of view. So you want to fight crime, just pickup the next abandoned can/fast food packet you see in your area.

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Lack of community cohesion.

People who have no interest in keeping the place nice.

People who see it merely as a temporary stop.

Agreed, I know people in Radcliffe who said the place was nice 10-15 years ago, as you used to get people who live there long term and thus kept the place OK and watched out for each other.

Large numbers of factories (which still operated as recently as 1999) were knocked down and turned into low income low aspirational type properties. And in those 10 years the area has gone down hill.

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Obviously the social policy of paying numpties to produce more numpties is a factor when it comes to anti social behavior.

But, there are other factors which make some areas more pleasant to live in than others, even though they may have identical houses.

Watch all 9 parts of this lecture, for more detail.

Thanks for posting this it was really interesting. I live in the kind of area that Andres Duany would describe as multi-planned, that is, different income groups and types of housing/businesses mixed in with each other - from about over £500K to council tower blocks. One of the reasons some streets are seen as more desirable can be that they are in closer proximity to a posher pocket which might not be so obvious to non locals. A house on the periphery of a good area will cost more than one slightly further down the street which might also be next to a busier road. Estate agents will also market houses in the border area as belonging to the good area and the price increases - it's then seen as more desirable and the cycle continues.

The posher areas will have a history and reputation of long term residents, wealth, (plenty of doctors/lawyers etc.), nice gardens, tree lined streets etc., so will be known as trouble free and desirable to live next to. Areas with high BTL's can be a bit more unkempt as tenants/landlords don't bother about the place and locals can get to know the places with high turnover and avoid those streets (or part of a street). The lines can be drawn quite subtly between different areas that don't look much different on the outside. As another poster pointed out there can be big differences in size inside. One tree lined street in my area attracts less traffic and is seen as quieter and more attractive - the rooms are much bigger inside and therefore the price is a good £20K+ higher than houses on an adjacent street - even if they look similar on the outside and are right next to each other.

Being close to council housing is not a problem if the tenants are okay but it just takes a few bad families to move in and a once desirable street (and surrounding streets which are affected) becomes less so. People start moving out and the unaware move in - but eventually the street loses its good reputation. One end of the street may still be popular because it's far enough away from the trouble and next to something desirable - lively cafe/shopping/night life area. It works the other way as well and watching where cafes and pubs are springing up can be a good indicator of a traditionally more downmarket area that is attracting interest (i.e. if house prices are just too high in the good/popular areas people will move a little bit further along, businesses will get cheaper rates etc and the ball starts rolling). It can take a while though and nothing is certain.

Having watched the video I think some of the appeal will be subconscious, i.e. a slightly more lively atmosphere, better light, possibly more attractive gardens. There are some streets (or part of a street) which I just don't like as much and I've never known why but now I think I am registering gaps,slightly uglier buildings, less cared for gardens, less light or people without realising it.

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This is one thing so many people forget. Just as an area can go one way - it can easily reverse and go the complete opposite.

Areas of London that were previously hell holes, and are now full of starbucks and mega expensive houses - can and will do the exact opposite. Just a question of when, not if. Same goes for anywhere in the UK. IMO anyway.

There are many areas that are fighting against expensive coffee shops setting up shop. ;)

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Obviously the social policy of paying numpties to produce more numpties is a factor when it comes to anti social behavior.

But, there are other factors which make some areas more pleasant to live in than others, even though they may have identical houses.

Watch all 9 parts of this lecture, for more detail.

Many thanks. Great film.

This is a fascinating subject. My street of around 100 family houses recently acquired a small Co-op at one end. The upside is an in-store bakery with good newly baked breads, cakes, croissants three times a day. Nice staff. Cashback at till, and you can pay utility bills there - boon for elderly residents. Downside?. They sell sandwiches and snack items, so litter has very markedly increased since the store opened. They tell me they sell 800 doughnuts a day to schoolkids alone. Their carpark has litter bins and is cleaned and swept, but litter is dropped between 50-100 metres away on roads which lead away.

100 houses in a quiet street. But just one now is multi-let. To EU guys working shifts at local food processor. Downside? They are all single (at least in UK), and drink all weekend. Thus street drinking and arguments, with police being called.

Another family house is now for sale near me.

I just hope 'investors' are not viewing it to let out.

Edited by juvenal

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  • 284 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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