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Period Leasehold Houses in Manchester


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Why are so many old/period houses in Manchester leasehold?

Examples: 

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-63640677.html

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=58114866&sale=9985285&country=england

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=13958242&sale=5677492&country=england

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=62269938&sale=10246486&country=england

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=38228409&sale=55012839&country=england

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=63742588&sale=8970502&country=england

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=61105485&sale=9985213&country=england

and many, many others...

The problem is I usually don't know if the house is free/leasehold until I enquire. 

I'm not from Manchester originally and old Victorian/Edwardian houses being leasehold is a completely alien concept to me. People i've asked at work say not to worry as they're basically freehold on a very long lease. I would never purchase a leasehold property, basically freehold or otherwise, so my question is:

  • How is this even possible and, seemingly, accepted as normal? 
  • Who are the freeholders? My first thought was the council but they would surely sell the freehold at the same time under right-to-buy. 
  • Why would anyone buy an old leasehold house? It seems to be the worst of both worlds: potential refurb/upkeep costs and no help-to-buy bung, especially as they don't seem to be any cheaper than equivalent freehold properties.
  • Any strategies or tips to eliminate leasehold houses in RM search by excluding certain areas / build type / era that would would never be leasehold? The spread of lease/freehold seems to be completely random, with examples of both cheap Victorian terraces and big detached houses being leasehold.  

Obviously this excludes new build Persimmon boxes (I know they're always leasehold) but i've never outside of Manchester seen a house built before the 1950's being leasehold.

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There are many areas/roads that are commonly leasehold in Manchester, but it's not always the case.

My house in South Manchester is a late Victorian semi and has always been Freehold. My old house in North Manchester was year 2000 built (Redrow) and the whole estate is freehold houses. 

My parent's road is Edwardian and all are Leasehold, as far as I know though the ground rents are very low, but you do hear stories about the owners changing hands and ground rents going up, but I'm not sure about the law on this.

It is probably common due to the way land was owned in Victorian times, in late the Victorian period there was a building boom, lots of speculative builders, farmland would be split into lots and sold off for housebuilding in a way that facilitated a freeholder/leaseholder setup - most of these houses would of been rented too, owner occupiers weren't common back then.

Come the 1930's another building boom, same again with the leasehold arrangement.

Try searching for mapping - If the land registry has sales data with the freehold/leasehold status, surely it wouldn't be that difficult for someone to populate a map with it?

Older Victorian property (or Georgian) is less likely to be leasehold.

Just did a quick search on a long road near me that has a good mix of Victorian/Edwardian/1930's/1950's upwards, expecting it to be mainly leasehold, but was surprised to find that it's all freehold except for the flats - so here's one to start your search - Stretford Road, M41

I think the typical house buying masses pretty much ignore the leasehold issue, as they either don't know what it is, or worry about it later in the purchase process, and of course Mumnet will tell them its all ok, buy buy buy!!  Conveyancers should advise buyers on the status of the freehold, risks, conditions etc but I believe this is not always done, especially with the packaging of new build help to buy houses.

On a side note, the Rightmove examples you posted that were located in ' Eccles, Manchester ' are not actually in Manchester - Eccles is in the City of Salford - a mistake that really winds up some Salfordians I know!  But it is probably estate agent spin as they no doubt think it will be worth more if located in Manchester :rolleyes:

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎07‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 20:28, sammersmith said:

Why are so many old/period houses in Manchester leasehold?

Examples: 

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-63640677.html

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=58114866&sale=9985285&country=england

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=13958242&sale=5677492&country=england

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=62269938&sale=10246486&country=england

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=38228409&sale=55012839&country=england

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=63742588&sale=8970502&country=england

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detailMatching.html?prop=61105485&sale=9985213&country=england

and many, many others...

The problem is I usually don't know if the house is free/leasehold until I enquire. 

I'm not from Manchester originally and old Victorian/Edwardian houses being leasehold is a completely alien concept to me. People i've asked at work say not to worry as they're basically freehold on a very long lease. I would never purchase a leasehold property, basically freehold or otherwise, so my question is:

  • How is this even possible and, seemingly, accepted as normal? 
  • Who are the freeholders? My first thought was the council but they would surely sell the freehold at the same time under right-to-buy. 
  • Why would anyone buy an old leasehold house? It seems to be the worst of both worlds: potential refurb/upkeep costs and no help-to-buy bung, especially as they don't seem to be any cheaper than equivalent freehold properties.
  • Any strategies or tips to eliminate leasehold houses in RM search by excluding certain areas / build type / era that would would never be leasehold? The spread of lease/freehold seems to be completely random, with examples of both cheap Victorian terraces and big detached houses being leasehold.  

Obviously this excludes new build Persimmon boxes (I know they're always leasehold) but i've never outside of Manchester seen a house built before the 1950's being leasehold.

It's not typically something to care about. I believe that many older properties were built using ecclesiastical funds and the lease terms prevented them from being used for business or illicit purposes. I'm buying one now and the vendor paid £600 a few years back to buy the freehold - so not much in the scheme of things.

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