Archive for August, 2009
Interesting piece over on the Guardian’s Money Blog today about a timber shed up for auction for £150,000 – just £10,000 less than the Nationwide’s average UK house price, as Hilary Osborne notes.
Osborne wonders if this is “a return to pre-crash price insanity, or is it money well spent on a prime spot?”
Looking at the details, and with the blog post below about sea views in mind, I think I’m in the money well spent camp.
Why? Because you’re not paying for the “semi-derelict one-bed bungalow” (aka: shed), you’re paying for the site: two acres in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park with quite breath-taking views over the Heritage Coastline.
True, you’ll only be able to develop it subject to acquiring the necessary consents; and yes, you’d be bonkers to bid on it without first talking to the local planners about what they would allow.
But even so, I think the potential here surely justifies the guide price. What do you think?
We’ll keep you posted on how it fares when it comes under the hammer. Auction to be held at: the Falcon Inn, Staintondale on: Wednesday 16th September 2009 at 7.00pm prompt.
The Property: Listed Victorian church
The Place: Aberfeldy, Perth & Kinross, Scotland
The Price: £190,000 OIEO
The Pain: It’s a big and potentially expensive project – all the more so since planning permission is for conversion into four large apartments.
And at the end, you’ll have to find four buyers to make your money – which in the current market is not the easiest.
The Gain: The property is attractively located in an elevated position with fine views over the countryside and is perfectly placed to attract second-home buyers – fishing, hiking, golf, skiing and water sports are all within easy reach.
The building itself is in good shape, and has some fine period features.
When completed, the apartments, says the agent, will be worth £200,000-£300,000, so there’s potential for a decent return on this one.
The Agent: Strutt & Parker, Edinburgh (Tel: 0843 2823 308)
With this year’s Edinburgh Festival almost in its closing stages, we decided to don our tartan bonnets and kilts, and hotfoot it north to Scotland’s capital city.
As well as hosting the world’s most famous arts festival and being home to the globe’s biggest Hogmanay party, Edinburgh always ranks highly on those Most Fabulous Places to Live lists on account of it being so unutterably cool.
With all that in mind, we’ve only picked properties that are in or close to the city centre, and therefore well placed to take advantage of everything that “Auld Reekie” has to offer.
So, in the words of one of the city’s illustrious former residents, Muriel Spark, here’s the crème de la crème of Edinburgh properties for a variety of budgets.
(Click on pics for full property details)
1. Blackhall, Edinburgh
2. Warriston, Edinburgh
3. New Town, Edinburgh
4. Edinburgh City Centre
5. Corstorphine, Edinburgh
So, we’re winners but we have to wait till 16th October to find out whether we’re four star or five star. We have our suspicions!
If we are a top scoring five star winner, then later this year we’ll compete against other winning companies from Asia Pacific, Europe & Africa, the Americas and Arabia to find the ultimate World’s Best Property Portal.
We’re delighted with the result. Not bad for a company that launched in January 2008.
Thank you to you all for your support.
For more info on the awards click here
This week’s graph comes from the Office of National Statistics and charts the level of house-building activity in England.
According to the latest figures, there were 29,980 housing starts in the quarter to June, a 63 per cent increase on the previous quarter.
This is the second successive quarterly rise but the year-on-year figures show that the number of new homes being built was down nine per cent on quarter two 2008.
Housing completions, meanwhile, were up 24 per cent over the quarter and were up seven per cent year-on-year.
The data does suggest that the house-building industry – which was hammered by the credit crunch – is over the worst, but this level of construction is a far cry from the Government target of 240,000 new homes per year.
Small wonder, then, that Professor Steve Nickell from the Government’s National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHPAU), has warned that lack of housing will put the pressure back on prices and aggravate the affordability crisis:
“Recessions do not have a big impact on household growth but they do cause a dip in house-building … and declining affordability is having increasingly severe impacts.
“Worsening overcrowding; lengthening social housing waiting lists; first-time buyers finding it harder to get on to the housing ladder; and adult children living with parents for longer are the direct effects.
“But there are also likely to be increasingly serious wider economic and social consequences if we do not manage to bring the supply and demand for housing back towards balance and start tackling the backlog of unmet need.
“We risk even greater volatility in house prices with the potential for even more extreme boom and bust cycles – with knock-on effects for the wider economy.”