Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Sign in to follow this  
RentingForever

De-conversions

Recommended Posts

As the HPI years have rolled on we've seen more and more houses converted into flats, of ever smaller size - even to the point where it's seen as normal to have your kitchen in your living room! :o Meanwhile, new-build flats and houses have got smaller.

Will we start to see a reverse trend in an HPC? "De-converting" flats in Victorian terraces back to full houses? Larger new builds after the crash?

Or are we destined to stay a nation of pokey little boxes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am entirely convinced we will see property shows on tv where someone buys a three apartment block at auction and converts it into a 4 bedroom house, the real clever part of the show will be how they knock down the 'extension' which was added in 2003-2007 and formed the third appartment to reveal.......

...... a garden!!!!!

3 stinking little grotty appartments that no one will bid on at 40k each, converted into a large 4 bedroom detached house with a garden and off road parking at 200k.

40k profit for the clever developer...... easy money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One big problem would probably be getting the council to consent to the loss of three band C (say) flats in return for one band E (say) house.

But if demand for conversion flats falls off a cliff, while demand for houses doesn't, then I suppose we could see this. I can't see how it would happen, though, given the supposed shortage of housing units in this country. I think new-build flats is where demand will collapse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One big problem would probably be getting the council to consent to the loss of three band C (say) flats in return for one band E (say) house.

But if demand for conversion flats falls off a cliff, while demand for houses doesn't, then I suppose we could see this. I can't see how it would happen, though, given the supposed shortage of housing units in this country. I think new-build flats is where demand will collapse.

This seems to be a sneaking problem that hasn't been highlighted; Councils have woken up to the income potential of small units. Bournemouth & Camden for a start have been trying to force through Band A valuations on bedsits in HMOs, even though there are some shared cooking and bathroom facilities. Apparently the Valuation Office guidelines merely say that it shouldn't be done if "the only alteration to the original house is locks on the individual doors" - so even just having an ensuite shower/WC would make the room a Band A property, raising the rent by perhaps £15 - 20 a week.

Edited by cartimandua51

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As the HPI years have rolled on we've seen more and more houses converted into flats, of ever smaller size - even to the point where it's seen as normal to have your kitchen in your living room! :o Meanwhile, new-build flats and houses have got smaller.

Will we start to see a reverse trend in an HPC? "De-converting" flats in Victorian terraces back to full houses? Larger new builds after the crash?

Or are we destined to stay a nation of pokey little boxes?

I certainly saw a lot of instances after the last crash in the 1990's of houses of bedsits being converted back into family homes - and several cases of split houses being knocked back together.

As prices of converted flats plummet, the financial incentive to do this will return. How planning departments will respond though, is another matter...

Edited by Mr Yogi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've commented on this before.

A beautiful 5 bedroom Victorian terrace up from me is being converted into, not one, not two, not three, but 4 one bedroomed apartments. :(

It'll cost a fortune to put right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I certainly saw a lot of instances after the last crash in the 1990's of houses of bedsits being converted back into family homes - and several cases of split houses being knocked back together.

As prices of converted flats plummet, the financial incentive to do this will return. How planning departments will respond though, is another matter...

And therein lies the rub. What council will like taking a massive drop in Council Tax revenue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a nice idea but those older style house are just not economical to live in and heat in the way people have been chosing to live for the last 40 years or so.

When i was a kid it was normal you saw your breath in the morning and there was ice inside the windows and we all ran down to the fire to get dressed going 'brrrrrrrrr' 'brrrrrrrr' as my mum would say 'Dont be silly!'

And we were in the south coast of england and it was a well built modern building with cavity wall insulation and even not very big at all.

Unless a conversion is in a better area and is amongst desirable properties i cant see anybody reversing the work and I dont recall this happening much if at all back in the 1990's?

But by the sounds of it some of the inner city developments could be cleared for parks as part of a way to restore the market?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've commented on this before.

A beautiful 5 bedroom Victorian terrace up from me is being converted into, not one, not two, not three, but 4 one bedroomed apartments. :(

It'll cost a fortune to put right.

Strictly amatuer, when I lived in London , the semi victorian house had been cut into 14 'flats' , each room in the house was cut into a self contained flat, there was a narrow spiral stair case replacing the originals where the landing space had also been cut into a flat, all the attic space was converted so was the cellar.

I use the word flats unwillingly though as said these were shoe boxes , you fit a narrow single bed in them a desk to put say a TV on them and there was a combined toilet/shower and a roller shutter in the toilet which was the kitchen whch was big enough for a 2 ring hob , fridge had to be put under the desk.

If this wasn't enough it cost far too much in rent, and most of the flats were occupied by couples, I found it cramped by myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've commented on this before.

A beautiful 5 bedroom Victorian terrace up from me is being converted into, not one, not two, not three, but 4 one bedroomed apartments. :(

It'll cost a fortune to put right.

Theres a street in Staines that used to be entirely composed of lovely BIG victorian semis. Quite a number of these semi-pairs have been knocked down and a block of ten ugly-as-sin flats been erected in their place.

Really grates my carrot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember parts of London where because many of the big family-sized houses had been chopped into flats, there was a real shortage of bigger houses. And people did buy both flats and rejoin them.

My own house had obviously been internally divided and also had obviously had a shop on the ground floor at some point when I bought it.

I made it all back into one house and the Valuation Office eventually changed the council tax from 2 Ds to 1 F without problems. It is the valuation office that re-value things, not the council.

Knocking two flats back together within a house is pretty hard to stop people doing, once they own both parts and are living there. They would most probably just do it anyway. And then after a few years, retrospectively apply for permission, which couldn't then be denied.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also what about people buying pairs of terraced 2up2downs and knocking them into one house. Especially existing owners buying the one next door. Makes a lot of sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In prime inner London this is a trend that has been going on for some while. Georgian houses are in such short supply that they are worth more as houses than as flats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Its a nice idea but those older style house are just not economical to live in and heat in the way people have been chosing to live for the last 40 years or so.

When i was a kid it was normal you saw your breath in the morning and there was ice inside the windows and we all ran down to the fire to get dressed going 'brrrrrrrrr' 'brrrrrrrr' as my mum would say 'Dont be silly!'

And we were in the south coast of england and it was a well built modern building with cavity wall insulation and even not very big at all.

Unless a conversion is in a better area and is amongst desirable properties i cant see anybody reversing the work and I dont recall this happening much if at all back in the 1990's?

But by the sounds of it some of the inner city developments could be cleared for parks as part of a way to restore the market?

But if you have a big family, you need a big house. Economical or not, surely?

Your four Yorkshiremen memories of icy windows and running down to the fire are amusing, but not really relevant. My parents had a big old house and it was warm and toasty generally. Its called central heating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Theres a street in Staines that used to be entirely composed of lovely BIG victorian semis. Quite a number of these semi-pairs have been knocked down and a block of ten ugly-as-sin flats been erected in their place.

Really grates my carrot.

This is the real problem. Converting houses into flats is one thing, but building these ugly new builds is quite another. Conversions can be converted back with a bit of money and hassle, but these new build blocks cannot.

The trend in my area lately has been 'reconverting' e.g. taking a large Victorian house that has been converted into 3 2 bedroom flats, and changing it again into 5 smaller flats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One big problem would probably be getting the council to consent to the loss of three band C (say) flats in return for one band E (say) house.

But the council will only have to do one third of the work. One bin to empty, rather than 3, one Council tax bill to collect and chase, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i am entirely convinced we will see property shows on tv where someone buys a three apartment block at auction and converts it into a 4 bedroom house, the real clever part of the show will be how they knock down the 'extension' which was added in 2003-2007 and formed the third appartment to reveal.......

...... a garden!!!!!

3 stinking little grotty appartments that no one will bid on at 40k each, converted into a large 4 bedroom detached house with a garden and off road parking at 200k.

40k profit for the clever developer...... easy money.

It's an appealing idea, but I'm very sceptical,

1. You'd first have to acquire title to all the flats in the property. It would be extremely unlikely for all the flats to be for sale at one time, so you'd either be hanging on for years waiting to buy the last flat, or you'd have to pay way over the market price to tempt that last flat owner to sell. If you know a bit about property development you'll be familiar with what a "ransom strip" is, well that last flat is the mother of all ransom strips!

2. If you did manage to get all the flats then why would you want to be the only house in a street full of flats? Once a street has turned over to flats it's gone for good.

3. Energy and transport costs are only going one way over the long term, so packing people into ever higher densities around employment hubs seems to be a trend that's also going to keep going. In 1995 new builds were averaging 24 homes per hectare, by 2005 this was up to 40 homes per hectare, and in London density is now over 100 homes per hectare so you can see there's a lot further for the rest of the country to go! Interestingly, right throughout this period the pundits kept talking about how the internet would see us all working from the Isle of Skye or Bodmin Moor, well it never happened, and with oil over $100 per barrel it's even less likely to happen in the future.

Sad as it is the overwhelming balance of evidence says get used to higher population densities, because even with a crash it's going to get even more crowded, and forget about reverse conversion as it's impossible to make money doing it. Unfortunately if you want space then you'll either have to be very well off, or move to the suburbs/exurbs and make sure you're fit enough for a long cycle ride!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 396 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%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.