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The Masked Tulip

Marina Development

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They are trying to turn Swansea Bay into a second Cardiff Bay and there are plans for loads of Cardiff Bay type houses and flats in Swansea's old docks. It is the SA1 development. Personally, myself and numerous friends do not think that they have a chance but...

Today a friend and I went to have a look at what they were planning - some of the building work is already under way. A few weeks ago one EA was quoted in the local rag how people are paid over the odds for some of the already completed flats and were now expecting rents way too high - this is true as the average rental in the docks/marina is about £650 PCM for a studio or one bedroom flat. You can rent entire houses for that a few miles down the road and the rents and for sale prices are actually higher than those now asked for in Cardiff Bay.

Anyhow, we had a long talk with one of the people in the site office and we were told that prices were now "highly negotiable" even though we also got the usual speel about most having already been sold. When pushed further we were told that "prices are now much lower than last year" and people who bought then did so because prices had risen 20 percent over the previous year... but people could not expect to command such prices now.

They have 'townhouses' facing Swansea Bay - a few left - on the market for 270K which, again, are "highly negotiable". The townshouses are freehold but the apparments are leasehold with a whopping £1300 PA maintence charge. The flats are about 190K. We then visited around the corner to an EA's office and they had one of the townhouses for sale in the window for, wait for this, 475K! Talk about taking the proverbial.

My friend and I came away with no doubt that these prices are way over the odds and that there was little chance, in our personal opinions, of Swansea creating the same, and right, mix of business, residential and recreational activities as in Cardiff Bay. Also, the building seems to be going along VERY slowly and I would not be surprised, come an economic downturn, that the work stops completely.

Oh, when we entered the site office we spent 10 minutes listening to a couple being told how prices were rising ever upwards, that most of the property had already been sold so get in there quick and how, wait for this, interest rates were not going to rise but were more likely to fall. I had to bite my tongue as, at that point, I felt I would not get the real inside info if I showed my HPC colours.

Interestingly, on the plans everything looks huge but we looked at one half-completed complex of townhouses and flats and simply could not believe how small everything was. I can see the point of actually living in a flat in Cardiff Bay as there is good work nearby and they have created a good balance of restaurants, bars and sports facilities in and around the Bay but, in Swansea, that does not exist and I doubt it ever will.

I asked how many flats had been purchased by speculators as BTLs and was told that they thought it was very few - none had been sold as blocks to syndicates. For some reason I kept thinking of the Glasgow marina development that we occasionally hear about here on HPC.

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Will be interesting to see if the developments come to anything, if prices start to go downhill then I can imagine there being lots of unfinished blocks of flats around the place. That's not just in Swansea, in Cardiff they're going to start build some big blocks of flats (36 floors!) in the sports village, but the building work won't begin till late 2006 - by which time things could (or be about to) be very different.

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Oddly enough, my friend who went looking around the Swansea development with me today handed me the Cardiff property paper. In it is a big full page advert offering substantial discounts on flats in that sports' village - I think they were willing to pay 1200 or 1300 per month for 12 months as your mortgage plus all the usual fees.

Yes, IMPO that is not a substantial discount in the current climate but... a sign of the times.

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I can see the point of actually living in a flat in Cardiff Bay as there is good work nearby and they have created a good balance of restaurants, bars and sports facilities in and around the Bay but, in Swansea, that does not exist and I doubt it ever will.

You're dead right. Driving into Swansea from Jersey Marine, you suddenly see something like a huge bomb-site and it's the great SA1 development! Why not just rename it 'Hiroshima'?

p

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And it just ain't growing. Theo ne thing you could say about Cardiff Bay over the past 5 years is that it was changing almost weekly - the Swansea development has not changed much in over a year. I doubt it will ever be completed personally.

Some Calculations:

Townhouses: "on the market for" 270K : "highly negotiable".

Maintenance: £1300 PA /.05 ....... 26K :

Equivalent cost ........................ £296K

Needs to Rent for: 270k x 5.5%. £14,850 pa

Plus, to cover Maintenance......... £ 1,300 pa

Total Annual cost...................... £16,150 pa / 12= £1,345 ... /52= £311/week

How feasible is that?

Thanks for that Dr. Bubb - Swansea's average salary is just below 20K I believe. In other words, the rental market for such properties simply does not exist.

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  • 338 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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