Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How the mighty fall

Birmingham city centre apartment prices slump, but the market will recover eventually

The young professionals in newly-built Birmingham city centre apartments might be alarmed, to discover they paid over the odds to live in properties written off by a Conservative councillor as the “slums of tomorrow”. Compact is the way the estate agents might describe it; or, not enough room to swing a cat, in more common parlance. This was all very well when property prices were rising and the city’s young accountants, lawyers and bankers were literally falling over themselves to get a slice of the action and probably didn’t much mind what they bought because they assumed property prices would go on rising. It has been revealed by the cabinet member for housing, that even the city council has turned down offers to buy these properties for homeless people.

Posted by mytimeisnigh @ 10:07 PM (2792 views)
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3 thoughts on “How the mighty fall

  • If the flats aren’t good enough for council tenants, then why on earth did the same council’s planning department give planning permission to build them? So much for joined-up government….

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  • Ok here’s a bit more background:

    Birmingham Post: Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter apartments ‘not fit for homeless’

    It’s emerged that developers desperate to shift the one and two bedroom flats – branded the “slums of tomorrow” by a senior councillor – have approached civic housing officials hoping to do a deal.

    But the local authority has rejected all offers, declaring that the apartments are too close together, poorly built and not good enough for council tenants.

    Cllr Hutchings added: “There is no open space near them and we wouldn’t have council flats built at such high levels of density.

    Birmingham City Council has invested £500 million since 2004 in modernising its own housing stock, with 90 per cent of the 65,000 local authority properties now meeting the government’s decent homes standard after being fitted out with double glazing, central heating, new kitchens and bathrooms. And for the first time in 30 years, the city is building its council houses again.

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  • “Birmingham City Council has invested £500 million since 2004 in modernising its own housing stock, with 90 per cent of the 65,000 local authority properties now meeting the government’s decent homes standard after being fitted out with double glazing, central heating, new kitchens and bathrooms.”

    If it managed to refurb 58,000 homes to that standard for £8,500 a pop, that is pretty good value by council standards! But the question is, how many of those 90% were already “decent” before 2004?

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