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5 hours ago, worried1 said:

The fact that these flats are now out there, in such volume, with all of the ridiculous associated Help to Buy and part ownership schemes is worrying. People in their 20's will grow up thinking that living in a flat is the norm everywhere, not just a compromise that you make if you fancy living in a central London zone for a few years.

In 2017, worried1, flats are still a small percentage of the total housing stock beyond Surbiton.  I've seen houses being bought and split into two become more common though, but flats tend to appear mostly in places where brownfield has been developed.  Greenfield seems to be still houses, albeit at higher density unless for top-end developments.  

The day you describe may well come, but for now new flats appear to be built en mass in the outer commuting belt (say outside M25) only when : near to rail stations, brownfield redevelopment,  town centres.    The market expectation is houses and these will sell (or did until Brexit) to families or couples with reasonable income and savings, of which there are a lot in Surrey/Hampshire.  

As Flopsy said, those Woking flats by the train station appear poorly built/maintained - they are starting to look weathered on the outside.  I suspect the build quality is very poor and that they will become less and less appealing.  I knew someone who left London for a flat in Woking and a commuting lifestyle and within 2 years she moved back to renting in East London.  She found Woking souless and I can see why if you are commuting out of London to live in a dormitory town flat next to a railway station every evening.    I think she was clinging onto the wish to have an urban London social lifestyle and thought a flat in Woking next to the train station would still offer touching distance to that - in Woking you need to give that up and live a more rural lifestyle (gardening, running, fishing, walking, allotmenting rather than restaurants, nitelife, shows etc.) otherwise you wont appreciate the benefits of the area (rural weekend in a freehold house, while still having a London-based job) 

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2 hours ago, Does Commute Abit said:

In 2017, worried1, flats are still a small percentage of the total housing stock beyond Surbiton.  I've seen houses being bought and split into two become more common though, but flats tend to appear mostly in places where brownfield has been developed.  Greenfield seems to be still houses, albeit at higher density unless for top-end developments.  

The day you describe may well come, but for now new flats appear to be built en mass in the outer commuting belt (say outside M25) only when : near to rail stations, brownfield redevelopment,  town centres.    The market expectation is houses and these will sell (or did until Brexit) to families or couples with reasonable income and savings, of which there are a lot in Surrey/Hampshire.  

 

Indeed. I appreciate that it would take a long time to change. As I say, the centre of Surbiton was probably in that exact same position 50 years ago, just a few of the houses converted to flats and the very occasional purpose built block. Over the past few years, almost everything going up is ever-larger blocks of flats. That said, a few houses are starting to go up in the outer reaches now, but I think we are a long way off existing flat conversions going back to houses as happens in more central parts of London.

The concern for me is that all of this building goes on as a reaction to relatively short term factors . At the moment we have plenty of cheap money, greedy developers and lax planners all very eager to respond to a population crisis in the SE. The problem is, what happens when/if that stops - London might become less of an employment magnet post-Brexit, and even if it maintains it's strength the move to flexible/home-working must surely increase at some point. There won't be as much demand for these flats if that happens.

2 hours ago, Does Commute Abit said:

I knew someone who left London for a flat in Woking and a commuting lifestyle and within 2 years she moved back to renting in East London.  She found Woking souless and I can see why if you are commuting out of London to live in a dormitory town flat next to a railway station every evening.    I think she was clinging onto the wish to have an urban London social lifestyle and thought a flat in Woking next to the train station would still offer touching distance to that - in Woking you need to give that up and live a more rural lifestyle (gardening, running, fishing, walking, allotmenting rather than restaurants, nitelife, shows etc.) otherwise you wont appreciate the benefits of the area (rural weekend in a freehold house, while still having a London-based job) 

I suppose it depends on the person - it could be best of both worlds or worst of both worlds. Unfortunately, it sounds like it was the latter for her.

I personally like living a bit further out - cheaper costs, some good bars and restaurants locally, nice walks (albeit river and parks rather than proper countryside) and the commute isn't that bad. I try to socialise in London during the week and stay local on weekends, so as not to use SWR unless absolutely necessary!

I have adopted the Imax at Waterloo as my 'local' cinema because it can actually be quicker to get to/from there than walk to my actual local one, but apart from that I do find the trek back from further into London doesn't make for a very good end to a night out! 

 

 

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