Wednesday, Dec 09, 2009

Property is Property, right?

Bloomberg: Houses Make Comeback as British Reject ‘Little Box’ Apartments

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Houses are making a comeback in the U.K. as buyers reject “little box” apartments and investor demand for rentals evaporates.

Posted by estrader @ 08:32 AM (2116 views)
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1. crunchy said...

I've got the receipt with the box, just about intact. Can I now have a refund, as it's not fit for purpose, and don't fob me off with an instore credit token.

What happened to the days when we got what we payed for? Hijacked with boxcutters?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 09:07AM Report Comment

2. mountain goat said...

Investors helped spur development of high-rise apartment blocks in cities such as Birmingham and Leeds that outpaced demand. Leeds City Council said in April that about 13 percent of center apartments are were empty, citing local tax returns.

With investor demand largely gone, it’s a question of selling new flats to occupiers,” the bulk of whom will be first-time buyers requiring larger mortgages, said Richard Donnell, director of research at London-based property research company Hometrack Ltd.

There's hope for this country yet!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 09:36AM Report Comment

3. estrader said...

Just to back up this article. Yesterday I viewed a 2 bed flat which is on the market for £157,000. The estate agent said that "Now is a good time to buy (don't know what he told the vendor, but I can certainly make a good guess) because a similar flat in the same building sold last year for £175,000". The interesting thing is he also said that it would be a good investment if I could pick it up for £150,000, then follwed it up by saying, even a worse case scenario at £155,000 it would still be a good investment. I found ir interesting because he was talking the price down and not up.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 10:06AM Report Comment

4. crunchy said...

2. mountain goat Does the name Chav Towers ring any bells? Personally I would prefer cells, but in these hard times..........

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 10:24AM Report Comment

5. montesquieu said...

A 1,289 square-foot free-standing house at Clover Bank costs 259,995 pounds and includes a garden of a similar size, a garage and a driveway. By contrast, a two-bedroom flat in Latitude costs 195,000 pounds for 677 square feet, a communal garden area, and storage area, an open-plan living room and kitchen and a concierge at the entrance to the block.

This is a huge amount of extra margin given the density and the much cheaper build cost - but also shows how anyone who bought these shoeboxes were complete mugs.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 10:28AM Report Comment

6. need-a-crash said...

I don't think the British ever accepted little boxes, it was only BTL that ever bought them anyway!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 10:39AM Report Comment

7. mountain goat said...

Crunchy - here in Manchester we have the best Chav Towers of all

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 10:43AM Report Comment

8. mark wadsworth said...

@ Need-a-crash, the great Home-Owner-Ist public were always ambivalent about shoe-boxes. On the one hand, the HO's like to make it nigh impossible to get planning permission, so builders try and build the smallest homes possible. And then the HO's complain about the ee-evil property developers building shoe-boxes and 'covering the country side with rabbit hutches'. So the HO's prefer to go on the safe side and prevent any new construction whatsoever. But of course, the grateful FTB will pay vastly over the odds for anything he can get his hands on. A triumph of the Socialist Planned Economy, only it's the HO's playing the role of Stalin.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 10:50AM Report Comment

9. crunchy said...

7. mountain goat

Do they have security gates? Secure communities are all the rage now. lol

Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. Franklin P. Jones

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 10:57AM Report Comment

10. easybetman said...

I start to get email from Knight Frank Hong Kong nowadays trying to unload flats in London to Asian investor...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 11:29AM Report Comment

11. rumble said...

Good riddance. If they're not knocked down they'll fall down.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 12:22PM Report Comment

12. drewster said...

Flats aren't bad per se. If you go to other countries (Germany, America, etc.) you find some huge flats with ample storage space. The only reason these poky flats were built in the UK is because investors were dumb enough to buy them, sometimes without even viewing them beforehand.

montesquieu - The comparison you quoted is misleading. The houses are out in the suburbs (technically Wolverhampton), whereas the flats are in Birmingham city centre. You'd always expect to pay more in the city centre because the land is worth more. That said, the difference in price is shocking.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 01:23PM Report Comment

13. a saver said...

Apartments are the norm in places like Switzerland, you even see apartment blocks in the country-which looks weird.
They are usually amply proportioned with high-quality fittings, lots of cupboards, a balcony (often with trees in big tubs) and a separate storage room in the cellar. Bathrooms often have marble walls and floors. Long-term renting is the norm in Switzerland too rather than buying, even for the well off.
I would love to see the expression on an average Swiss person's face seeing a typical UK apartment for the first time!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 04:29PM Report Comment

14. estrader said...

Something very noticeable is happening around my area which may vindicate the bubble graph. I figure that the last HPI report may have been the final part of the 'return to normal' phase. If the next HPI report does not show a sizeable drop in prices then I will declare it utterly untrustworthy due to figure manipulation. Why I hear you ask?

I sold my 1 bedroom GF converted flat in October. Two identicled properties were listed on Rightmove at around the same asking price at the same time and I have checked the progress almost daily to see if I got a good deal and the timing right.

Property 1 was listed well below mine @£89,950 and tonight I see it listed @£84,950. I thought I was seeing things incorrectly until I saw property 2!

Property 2 was listed originally @ £102,950
Not long after I sold, Property 2 was relisted @£99,950
Now it is listed @Offers in Excess of £95,000

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 06:07PM Report Comment

15. estrader said...

Yes, but the U.K isn't the U.S.A or Japan or Greece or Spain or Dubai, simples!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 06:24PM Report Comment

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