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Finchley, North London


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I just saw another flat pretty much identical to the one I rent come up for sale.

It has an asking price of £225k.

Interesting, since others that have been on the market for months now are £220k (having been cut from £235k or so) and also that it makes a rental yield of under 4.5% based on my rent (for the furnished version, obviously).

I e-mailed the agent to find out more... then checked nethouseprices - it was sold last June for £207k.

So, either someone is hoping to "flip it" for £18k profit (less any discount, mortgage costs and purchasing/selling costs - it doesn't seem to be rented out) or it is a BTL gone wrong with the seller already looking to get out.

It seems they need a BTL willing to take a very poor yield or a FTB able to cough the £225k.

I'll watch with interest but somehow I suspect it will sit there with the seller increasingly desperate.

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I live in a houseshare in Finchley Central.

In past years, we've never had any problem finding new tenants whenever anyone's moved out (the rent is bloody cheap at £210 pcm). However, we've got a room spare at the moment and we've had hardly any interest. Possible evidence of a glut of rental property in N3?

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It seems they need a BTL willing to take a very poor yield or a FTB able to cough the £225k.

I'll watch with interest but somehow I suspect it will sit there with the seller increasingly desperate.

I'm nextdoor to you in Southgate. Rents for 3 bed semi's like the one I rent don't even cover half the cost of a repayment mortgage. My landlord is lucky, as he bought the house 15 years ago. The same is true of the house nextdoor to me, which has just been rented out as the owner has gone overseas for a few years; again, the rental he gets only covers the mortgage as he bought 20 years ago.

BTL around London is a non-starter. And those who've jumped in in the last few years are now starting to get a reality check. Painful and costly indeed. I plan to keep renting for a long, long time to come...

Nomadd

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I live in a houseshare in Finchley Central.

In past years, we've never had any problem finding new tenants whenever anyone's moved out (the rent is bloody cheap at £210 pcm).  However, we've got a room spare at the moment and we've had hardly any interest.  Possible evidence of a glut of rental property in N3?

Holy crap. Anyone had a look at the Gumtree listings lately? 8 whole pages today (Monday) alone for double-rooms North of the river. Last time I was using Gumtree, it was probably 3-4 pages a day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Right,

So, two weeks later the same place is on offer at £215k - with £10k discretely chipped off the initial £225k price tag (and no mention of a "reduction" or anything so crude).

The buyer bought last June for £207k (plus the usual buying costs etc) and now has it offered at £215k?

Perhaps they have a better masterplan than I do for profiting from Finchley property prices.

Or perhaps they got one of TTRTR's "gifted deposits" and only actually paid £150k?

:lol:

Fair play to the seller though, it is now about £5k cheaper than other similar properties and perhaps actually one of the better ones (in terms of size, layout etc) in the street.

I'd like to think this will now put pressure on the people who haven't sold their place at £220k (having reduced from £235k) to rethink the £215/210k level. Time will tell.

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  • 1 month later...

Interesting times.

It seems this place is now sold/sale agreed/SSTC. Can't wait to see whether it goes through and at what price.

Anyway, the similar places that were £220k (down from £235k last summer) before this particular one was listed at £225k (and swiftly cut to £215k) now seem to be at a £210k asking price.

Although a new instruction for one has just been put on at... £225k.

Presumably a new triumph for estate agent BS "yeah, there's a few on the market at £210k, they've been on the market since early last year though... I'd go for £225k easy on this one".

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  • 1 month later...

So, nearly six weeks later... Prince Charles is married, the election is over... still no details (on nethouseprices etc) of this "sold" property but the one that was on the market for £210k (down from £235k last summer) is STILL on the market.

And its price is now £199,950.

So that's £35k down since last summer (not to mention that it hasn't fuggin sold since I first saw it nearly a year ago) and a 15% cut in the asking price. And of course the average discount is 6% or so today compared with 4% last summer.

Applying a 6% discount to the current asking price would take you to £188k (and would STILL only give you a yield not much over 5% based on my rent).

Given I turned down my place at £195k in January 2002 and decided to rent it rather than buy it I think I'm around break-even now and might need to re-think my London-loser status.

Still, I'm sure things will get better over the summer.

For me that is, not my landlord.

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So, nearly six weeks later... Prince Charles is married, the election is over... still no details (on nethouseprices etc) of this "sold" property but the one that was on the market for £210k (down from £235k last summer) is STILL on the market.

And its price is now £199,950.

So that's £35k down since last summer (not to mention that it hasn't fuggin sold since I first saw it nearly a year ago) and a 15% cut in the asking price. And of course the average discount is 6% or so today compared with 4% last summer.

Applying a 6% discount to the current asking price would take you to £188k (and would STILL only give you a yield not much over 5% based on my rent).

Given I turned down my place at £195k in January 2002 and decided to rent it rather than buy it I think I'm around break-even now and might need to re-think my London-loser status.

Still, I'm sure things will get better over the summer.

For me that is, not my landlord.

This is wonderful news!!! :D

Out of interest, where in Finchley is it?

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I'd rather not say exactly... but it is not too far from the offices of one Jeremy Leaf, chartered surveyor, estate agent and Rics spokesman.

Incidentally, I'm sure I read something recently that quoted Leaf suggesting that perhaps rents weren't going to be rising from current levels.

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I'd rather not say exactly... but it is not too far from the offices of one Jeremy Leaf, chartered surveyor, estate agent and Rics spokesman.

Incidentally, I'm sure I read something recently that quoted Leaf suggesting that perhaps rents weren't going to be rising from current levels.

Jeremy Leaf has offices in North and East Finchley, so you're not giving much away there ;)

From what I've observed, rents haven't changed significantly in the area for many years now. On the other hand, house prices almost tripled between 1996 and 2002, but have been fairly stagnant for the last 2-3 years.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, it is more than four months now since I started this thread.

The Sold (STC) property still seems to be "sale agreed", according to findaproperty (last asking price £215k) and still no sign of it on nethouseprices.

The place that was £235k last summer is still on offer at £199,950.

Now a new one has come up for sale... at £225k.

Oh and another new one (the same one with a different agent?) at... £240k.

:lol:

I fell off my chair laughing.

So, give or take (slightly different layouts, second floor version first floor etc), the same place is on offer for anything from asking prices of £200k to £240k. I'm sure it is pure coincidence that the new ones are at inflated prices (nothing to do with seller over-confidence/denial and/or EA bulls.hit).

Based on my rent and a decent yield above base rates to compensate for the hassle/risks of being a landlord and I reckon you convert the 2 to a 1 and you're about right.

But I guess this seller/these sellers have been holding out for the post-election rally to get under way and they can prepare for the rush that is coming this summer. B)

Give me strength!

Edited by London-loser
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  • 4 weeks later...

Another month and still no sign that this sale (from late March) has actually gone through. All the other places still up for sale it seems.

However, on my latest search of nethouseprices.com I found the flat directly above mine (same lay-out - I've been up there) apparently sold for £192k in February 2004.

Considering I turned down my place at £195k in January 2002 (at a time when people were getting the asking price, if not a little more) that doesn't look like a great return on the investment (the rent represents about a 5% yield... the same as you get on cash without the hassle of being a landlord or the risk of being highly geared into such falls).

Only a small (insignificant) fall perhaps... but then denial is only just starting to give way to reality.

Edited by London-loser
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Of course you have to realise that initial asking prices are intentionally set high for one particular ea to get a "sole agent" contract from the vendor.

A while later when the deal is done the ea may attempt to reduce it, several times infact untill a more reasonable price is marketed.

So asking prices do not at all equal market value.

Estate agents never trust 'em!!!

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Of course you have to realise that initial asking prices are intentionally set high for one particular ea to get a "sole agent" contract from the vendor.

A while later when the deal is done the ea may attempt to reduce it, several times infact untill a more reasonable price is marketed.

So asking prices do not at all equal market value.

Estate agents never trust 'em!!!

I'd certainly never trust 'em... including the one who told me just over two years ago that flats like mine would NEVER fall in price (the asking price was then about £227.5k with an average 4% or so discount compared with the £192k sale price nine months later of the flat above me).

Realistically, my landlord might have got £215-220k then.

Today? Maybe, optimistically, £200k?

Perhaps more from a random idiot?

I agree about the initial asking prices etc.

The latest one to come on to the market has an asking price of £240k!

Even allowing for EA BS (to get the sole agency deal etc) and slight variations in quality etc that's a pretty healthy mark up on what was ACTUALLY achieved just five months ago (25% on top).

I can only assume it will languish with the EA convincing the seller "it'll be OK"... then "you might need to drop it £10k"... then "you might need to drop another £10k" etc...

Edited by London-loser
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  • 4 weeks later...

OK, six months after starting this thread there is some concrete news.

A property has appeared on nethouseprices - the first reported sale of this type of property (two bed, two bath) this year in the three streets I monitor very closely (I live in one and the other two are pretty much identical - new build etc).

This property apparently sold for £210k in June 2005.

The last one sold in June 2004 for £207k.

So that tells me there was roughly a 1% gain - I'm surprised at that but the problem is one house sale doesn't say that much about the market as a whole (except perhaps it ain't moving... but that's no secret). Is this another idiot suckered in or proof that things are "stagnating"?

I can't quite tell if the one that sold is the one that originally came to the market with a £225k asking price, then cut to £215k then apparently sold (it eventually disappeared from findaproperty etc). It is not EXACTLY the same address as the EA gave me but close enough (possibly an EA typo etc?).

If it is that one 0 I think it is - that is a 6%+ discount on the original asking price and just 2% on the second asking price.

As for the others?

The £240k one is now reduced to £230k (no surprise), the £220k ones seem to have gone back up to £225k :blink: and the £200k one has disappeared altogether (taken off the market after a year by fed-up seller?).

Still three or so essentially identical places up for sale in a market that seems to move one a year. Now, will buyers up their offers or sellers reduce their prices?

I know where my bet is and I'll keep this thread updated.

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  • 1 month later...

Update:

Property priced at £230k has "SOLD".

Property priced at £225k is "UNDER OFFER".

Another one priced at £220k, not under offer or sold it seems.

According to nethouseprices:

No property sold in my street this year (or at least none recorded yet) despite plenty up for sale all year.

Next street along one sale all year, I believe a two bed (one bath) for £185k (asking prices currently £195k).

Third street - one sale (I believe two bed, two bath) for £210k (current asking prices above). If rented this would give a rental yield below 5% (ignoring furnishing costs, acquisition costs etc).

That's two sales recorded so far this year in three streets with plenty on offer for sale.

I'll just have to wait and see what the SOLD and UNDER OFFER places fetch.

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  • 1 month later...

OK,

So now the first sales this year for my street has appeared on Nethouseprices - three in June (and none all year otherwise?), one studio, one one-bedder and one two bed/two bath I believe.

It would seem there is still some life in the old dog - the two bed/two bath sold for £216k (presumably the £230k one in the last post that has sold - if so, that is about a 6% discount). The last sold in another (essentially identical) street for £210k.

If I've tracked these correctly, this property came on to the market sometime around early June (so apparently sold almost immediately?). It was originally priced at £240k, dropped to £230k and then apparently sold for £216k.

Two have sold in the next street this year (no comparable properties) and only one in the third street (the £210k one above).

The other two are still there (£225k "under offer" and £220k "for sale").

Whether this is evidence of a healthy market or not I'm not quite sure.

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Whether this is evidence of a healthy market or not I'm not quite sure.

What it says to me is that the market is drifting very slowly downwards, and has yet to find its equilibrium level. Until it does, the volume of transactions will remain low.

An analogy: If the price of a Mars bar was put up to £3 (instead of the present 40p), a few rich people would be prepared to buy at that price. However sales volumes would be low, and with demand being relatively elastic, a lower price would bring higher volumes and higher profits for the seller, so the market price would shift downwards.

For what it's worth, I spoke to a local EA last weekend who said things have picked up recently. One never knows how true this really is of course.

Edited by doogie
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Don't know about Finchley but I have been monitoring pricing in High Barnet.

April 2005 - 3 bed semi sold in Byng Road at £330,000. I attach a link for another idential house in the same road (probably a worse position) just put on the market at £430,000 - 30% increase in 6 months!

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-946...pa_n=2&tr_t=buy

It makes you want to buy a gun........

No point in doing the EA though - must have a head of solid bone!

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  • 1 month later...

Time for my monthly update.

Eight properties in total sold (recorded on Nethouseprices anyway) so far this year from three streets (175-ish properties).

Still PLENTY on offer (eight I think, although I haven't tried hard to see how many are on findaproperty.co.uk with multiple agents).

:lol:

I tend to keep a very close eye on two-bed/two-bath properties (since this is what I rent and turned down the opportunity to buy) but I've just noticed a studio on offer with an asking price of £150k!!

They used to be on offer at £120k asking price... no wonder Rightmove etc say asking prices are up. Pure fantasy but hey the asking prices LOOK healthy.

Two two/bed/two baths available. One at £220k and the other under offer at £225k.

No change for a few months it seems.

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