Rat and Mouse
Entries in April 2010
Fri
30
Apr

There's an interesting Investors Chronicle piece blaming the swift residential property recovery for peeing on the recovery fund picnic. According to research in the magazine, attempts to raise £770m to pick up undervalued bricks-and-mortar have failed drastically, raising just 2% of that figure, with two funds biting the dust completely and othesr pushing out closing dates. More here.

New Black Katz property fund [April 20, 2010]

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According to the Land Registry, house prices celebrated the thaw and marked the spring bounce by... falling in March. They dropped 0.6% month-to-month, although they still settled 7.5% higher than March 2009. London - by the way - did manage a rise, of 1.6%. The slack was more than compensated for in the east midlands, where prices fell 2.1%.

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More in this Category - House prices

With the madness of yesterday's booming Nationwide index - a house price bubble during a slump and a lending famine - still echoing in our ears, the Times this morning declares off-plan purchasing back.

The enthusiasm for off plan can be seen all over the country, and at all prices. Almost a third of the 27 new homes on the gated Princess Square development in Esher, Surrey (princesssquare.com) — priced from £1 million to nearly £3 million — have been sold. The development went on sale in August last year and will be finished by the end of the year.

And, of course, there are plenty of other examples cited in the piece. Remarkable courage, in the Rat and Mouse's view, especially as a second economic contagion, starting in the Eurozone, looks likely. Perhaps the hope is that all those wealthy Europeans, desperate to get their money into something more stable, will join the Greeks and start ploughing it into UK property... where there's little room and tough planning regulations.

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More in this Category - _Other
Thu
29
Apr

Expect increased property action across the summer [Property Showrooms]
Sales of fancy sheds climb [Telegraph]
As do numbers of weekday lodgers [This is London]
Making a good first impression [Modern Estate Agent]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog, since 2005

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It's a single per cent increase on the month, leading to 10.5% growth over the year, pushing the Nationwide index into annual double digit growth for the first time since June 2007.

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More in this Category - House prices

It was Michael Hurlston of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, pointing out that misinformed or ill-prepared borrowers buying first homes are the most likely to get into debt problems. He suggested attaching health warnings to home loans, and making borrowers pass an exam first. More here.

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20100428Stlukesmews

Thanks very much to the Rat and Mouse tipster who sent me this. It's 4 St Luke's Mews, in Notting Hill, the house in which Paula Yates lived, and died, in 2000. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a very trendy location off All Saints Road, and its own share of notoriety. It's with Bective Leslie Marsh; guide price, £1.75m; particulars, here.

If these walls could talk... Simon Day edition [April 6, 2010]

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More in this Category - Celebrity homes

It's the combination of higher rates of Stamp Duty and the LibDem "mansion tax" (an 1% annual tax on properties valued at £2m or over) that's being called a roof tax and would apparently cost London homeowners and buyers as much as £3.5bn. Seventy-eight per cent of mansion tax income would be sourced from the capital.

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... with more than two-and-a-half times the number of repos in second place city Birmingham (in the first quarter of 2010). More here.

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More in this Category - _Other
Wed
28
Apr
Our client needs a London flat fast , 2 beds, £700k. He's got cash in the bank and wants to do a deal - no messing. What he wants is a challenge but we find one. He loves it. We call the agent, a few questions to ask and our client wants to bring his fiancee for the final okay. No time to lose, we need to rush the fiancee in before it goes. We call the agent to arrange. "He'll call you back," was the response three times... he doesn't. Finally we get him and point out we have called him four times, "I've been busy," he says.I ask important questions about the flat. "Dunno," he says. The fiancee can only make it after work - 6.30pm. Very reluctantly he agrees to the appointment, followed by... "Well, she'd better be on time, I won't hang around." Charming. "But we'll probably have an offer in the morning," I protest. "Fab client, cash and really keen to do a fast deal." "Whatever," he says, "Got loads of those."

Tracy Kellett runs leading buying agents BDI Homefinders. Follow her on Twitter, here.

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The instability of life in a council house [Guardian]
Warring pensioners want someone to buy their home [Mirror]
Mrs Finchley [Guardian]
Property investment scammer exposed on Sky and Channel 5 today [Landlord Zone]
Life in cool Clerkenwell [Times]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

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More in this Category - Linkage

According to this, they've got their eyes on a 6 bedroom, £4m period home in Highgate. Which property? We're not sure. Maybe this? If you know, please get in touch.

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More in this Category - Celebrity homes
Tue
27
Apr

Over at Citywire, Lorna Burke asks questions about the latest LSL Property Services figures.

LSL predicts that new entrants to the buy-to-let market would make an annual return of 8.5% (or £14,000 on a typical £165,000 property) over the next 12 months. This may be possible in some areas – but don’t bank on it. Does anybody know of a property worth £165,000 that rents for as much as £1,166 a month? You would be hard pressed to achieve that rent for a one bedroom flat in central London which would cost at least £450,000 in many areas.

Expect, if you're lucky, 4.5%, she concludes... "a poor investment". And if you're expect house price appreciation to take up the slack, take a long-term, ten-year-plus view (although isn't that the unfashionable truth about every successful buy-to-let investment?).

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More in this Category - Letting

According to the Mail, it's tape measuring correctness gone mad. Her granny annexe, built onto his own country pad by her wealthy son, exceeded its plans by a metre wide and four metres long. So it had to come down. After a long battle, the council (amazingly, in my opinion) turned up early in the morning with diggers, smashing through his electric security gate, ripping the furniture from the annexe and raising it to the ground. In an attempt to stop the destruction, the old woman apparently jumped onto one of the diggers. I know... rules are supposed to be rules, but it's a massive PR fail. Also, seeing what does occasionally go threw on the nod, when a connected individual "knows the right person", it's hard to avoid wondering what kind of personal beef had perhaps developed between her son and a local official. Pure speculation... but it's how it happens.

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You ask the questions. Head over and register right now for an 11am start.

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A big "thank you" to our sponsor, Primelocation.com. Remember, Primelocation.com isn't just about searching properties listed by 4,000 leading estate agents, the website's a mine of useful advice, information and links. An example? Go here to search up-to-date real life completion prices for UK property. Snoop on your neighbours. Do the maths before making an offer. It's useful, it's free... you need to register, but it's quick and easy. If you've feedback, let us know and we'll pass it on with pleasure.

If you want to know more about advertising opportunities on the Rat and Mouse, drop me a line. Or if you just want to chat with the Rat, we're on Twitter here, or email us tips here.

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More in this Category - _Other
Mon
26
Apr

20100426Gameshow It's the launch of a brand new (and ever so slightly sick) online gameshow... You Decide!!

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More in this Category - Letting

"Converting online traffic into sales" is the theme. It's American, but much of the content looks pretty UK-friendly. More to the point, it's free, and since it's scheduled for 10am (Pacific), it'll be after-hours, but not so late your partner will think you've skipped off to watch porn. It's scheduled for April 28th. More information, here.

20100426Webinar

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More in this Category - Estate agents

House-building... a good thing. House-building, by Tesco, conveniently around its stores, the home purchases funded by Tesco mortgages (it's easy to imagine favourable mortgage terms on Tesco properties)... sinister. It reminds me of the perspective you get of some medium-sized American towns as you fly above them, really just large consumer machines in which people live, work and mall-spend to feed the corporations. McLives. Initial plans appear to centre around four "mini-villages" in the south east.

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The final stage of Bovey's buy-to-let fiasco plays out shortly, as Lloyds - with the help of Knight Frank - sells off the 700+ properties, almost entirely let apparently, plus the management company that's been running the lets. More here.

Bovey - reportedly super-distressed [August 27, 2009]
Monday afternoon linkage - Bovey meets bailiff, filmed by Daily Mail [July 20, 2009]

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More in this Category - Letting

It's Hometrack, calling April over, and reporting an index that's 1.8% up on the year, but just 0.2% up on the month. The survey is consists of what agents and surveyors consider realistic market values, so it's not entirely scientific... but then, with actual data sets so low, what is? The mainstream media's receiving the Hometrack index in one of two ways. "The annual growth figure is at its highest since January 2008." "The monthly rate of growth is slowing." Take your pick.

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More in this Category - House prices
Fri
23
Apr

They threw Candy & Candy's super-hyped 1 Hyde Park open to a (very) select few last night... only "the great and the good" of the property world invited (in the words of the anonymous tipster who called into the Rat and Mouse this morning, to tell us he'd been invited). Our exclusive report:

First, the embarrassing shoe episode. White hotel slippers are not the greatest look with a Brioni suit.
Down to the tough questions.
How much? They have just 'got a couple away' for 'north of £6000psf' Cheapest is a 1000 sq ft one bed at circa £6m.
How many sold? 50% - a mixture of Hyde Park views or noisiest road in London. Apparently.
All the early buyers have stuck with it? Yes but the clause in the lease that they can't 'flip' between exchange & completion might possibly have been a factor.
Who is buying? Mixture of Europeans, Brits, Russians and Arabs. All fairly young.
How fab is it? Nice views if you are at the back... bit noisy at the front.
Coolest feature? A chilled ceiling... this seriously confused our secret agent.
Added benefits? Heston's team will pop in to cook tea for you.
So what does our secret agent think overall? He particularly liked the Picasso in the loo. But
overall... wonderful.
Why would you buy the penthouse next door? It may have the same views and is £1800 psf... But, let's face it....it's not as sweet as Candy.

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More in this Category - Design

Remember how PropertyLive came about? A group of National Association of Estate Agents members, close to throwing their toys out of the pram at Rightmove listings charges during the decimated property market, decided they indeed held the trump card... if they owned the listings, they owned the data upon Rightmove and co. relied, and so why not launch their own NAEA listings portal? PropertyLive eventually appeared under the management of umbrella organisation the National Federation of Property Professionals. But now - according to this - the NFoPP have realised running a big portal and advertising it costs money, and a letter is apparently circulating mooting charges, of around £840 a year per office. Imagine how well that's going down.

Never, in the field of property search, were so many properties listed so quickly by so few [October 23, 2008]
What's the story with PropertyLive? [October 14, 2008]

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More in this Category - Estate agents

If you haven't paid your subs. As Crouch End estate agents Propertynet have just discovered, at Haringey Magistrates Court.

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More in this Category - Estate agents
Thu
22
Apr
Including buying the land, the house cost us £500,000, but we haven’t compromised on design: it really is a bespoke house. We have no energy bills so it’s very cheap to run and I’m not planning on selling up any time soon.

I can remember when Will Anderson began this remarkable experiment. In fact, wasn't the Independent following the build for some time, in a kind of diary/column format? What happened to that? Anyway, it's finished, it works, it's one hell of an achievement, particularly on that budget. We're pleased.

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More in this Category - SW4

Figures from the tax man show sales rising by 13,000 or 22% in March. But it will take a bigger bounce than that before it's possible to call this anything other than a depressed market. In March 2007, sales were more than double current figures.

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More in this Category - _Other

20100420Pebbledash

Think again. There's pebbledash, there's "rough-cast rendering", there's a quicklime and sand mix hurled at exterior walls in the Roman era, and it's in demand, even if Nick Clegg has been a little disparaging about it.

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More in this Category - Design
Wed
21
Apr

In another piece of data-foolery, Zoopla believes it has valued No 10. £4.5m would be a realistic target were it to reach the open market. Hah, what're the chances of that happening, you ask... before looking again at the fiscal deficit. Other numbers... if a Prime Minister had to pay rent on the property, they'd be looking at £4,250 a week. It's dropped in value by almost half a million while Gordon Brown's been in there, shouting, kicking the furniture and generally lowering the tone of the neighbourhood. More here.

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More in this Category - SW1

And they 're not great reading. According to a GfK Financial Research Survey February's figures are only marginally above February 2009's record breaking lows... still under 350,000, a low that, previously, hadn't been seen for 20 years, and 100,000 less than was seen during the lows of the early 1990s recession.

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Tue
20
Apr
You shouldn't fall in love with a bond or a stock or a piece of gold, because if you do, you won't be a smart investor. The problem (as people who sell and fix and build houses understand) is that you just might fall in love with a house. What a dumb reason to make the largest financial investment of your life.

Seth Godin attempts to apply logic to the property market. (American, but relevant here too.)

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Sometimes we don't want what's good for us. As a society, we could do with lower house prices. As individuals, we quite like the idea of making tax-free profits on the single biggest investment of our lives. A Government's job is to look after society. It's voted in by individuals. Hmmm.

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More in this Category - House prices

The FT has the scoop on a £4.5m five-year property fund, by the Black Katz agency, buying "undervalued" (good luck with that) property in London, redeveloping it and putting in professional tenants. The properties will be sold in the fifth year. More here.

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More in this Category - Estate agents
We... received a letter from the tenant's solicitor saying we would be taken to court for not securing the deposit, unless we could prove otherwise. Our agents initially said they had deposited the money, but then admitted they had not put it in the secure deposit scheme. When we then went to clean the property, we found a family living there without our knowledge, allowed to stay there by our agent without paying rent.

Nice job, guys.

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More in this Category - Letting
Mon
19
Apr

Chico's moving [Daily Mail]
All eyes on the mortgage market [This Is Money]
German taxpayers fun BNP London organisers home [Sunday Telegraph]
Madonna's radiators run on magic water [Sify]
One Hyde Park continues to aim high [Sunday Times]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog, since 2005

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The headlines: asking prices of newly listed properties are 2.6% up on the month to an average of £229,614. Perhaps related to this is the fact that unsold stock is at its highest since October. And - according to the Economist - you just can't keep house prices down. They've a fascinating survey of global prices demonstrating that it's not just in the UK that an overvalued property market appears destined to continue experiencing house price inflation.

British house prices had risen by nearly 10% in the year to the end of the first quarter of 2010, but the country’s price-to-rent ratio still outstrips its long-term average by nearly a third. This pattern—of prices rising in markets where houses still look overvalued—is also seen in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Sweden and Canada.

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More in this Category - House prices
Fri
16
Apr

A big "thank you" to our sponsor, Primelocation.com. Remember, Primelocation.com isn't just about searching properties listed by 4,000 leading estate agents, the website's a mine of useful advice, information and links. An example? Go here to search up-to-date real life completion prices for UK property. Snoop on your neighbours. Do the maths before making an offer. It's useful, it's free... you need to register, but it's quick and easy. If you've feedback, let us know and we'll pass it on with pleasure.

If you want to know more about advertising opportunities on the Rat and Mouse, drop me a line. Or if you just want to chat with the Rat, we're on Twitter here, or email us tips here.

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More in this Category - About

Trending property portals [The Modern Estate Agent]
In America... another house price crash? [Counterpunch]
In London... another house price boom? [This Is London]
The democratisation of real estate video [1000 Watt Consulting]
How to go from big house to bedsit, without passing go [Telegraph]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

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We don't have particulars or an asking price yet, but the news is that Patsy Kensit's about to chuck her four-storey home, near Hornsey Lane, onto the market. More here.

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More in this Category - Celebrity homes

20100415Spencer

Looks good. Does this mean - following the demise of Garrington Home Finders - he's leveraging his celebrity to provide a personal home search service? Makes sense. Spencer has great contacts, experience and intelligence.

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More in this Category - Property TV
Thu
15
Apr
I will not allow house prices to get out of control and put at risk the sustainability of the recovery. The timing of my measure should help to avoid a return to the conditions of the 1980s where the failure to take early action guaranteed worse problems later on. I believe these measures will help to ensure a more balanced recovery.

From an interesting piece, on the This Is Money blog, about Gordon Brown's record on house prices.

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More in this Category - House prices

Primrose Hill's most fragrant celebrities could be about to tangle with the Government about plans for the new high speed rail tunnel. The tunnel, taking trains from Euston to Birmingham and then on to Scotland, at speeds of up to 250mph, will escape London via Camden, Primrose Hill, Swiss Cottage and Maida Vale. According to this, the trains will travel beneath Primrose Hill at a depth not that much greater than some Tube lines. But instead of traveling at an average speed of 20mph, they could pass beneath Primrose Hill at 111mph. Nobody wants Primrose Hill to fall down, but the big question is surely... where are all the structural problems following the line out of East London through Kent?

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More in this Category - NW1
Wed
14
Apr

20100414Metrocentralheights1

It's at the top of the Metro Central Heights buildings in Elephant & Castle, an Ernö Goldfinger production from the early 1960s originally built for offices, and the home of the Ministry of Health. It turned residential in 1997. This penthouse duplex was refurbished about six or seven years ago by Simon Allford.... three bedrooms, a walk-in dressing room, dining and living rooms, a very large terrace (with the kind of views you'd expect from the seventeenth floor). More importantly, if you share our love of 20th Century architecture, it's a little bit of history. It's with The Modern House, at £1.1m, particulars here.

20100414Metrocentralheights2

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More in this Category - For sale

A bit of fun courtesy of Zoopla! (I'm not actually that excited. The exclamation mark comes with the name of the website. Like Yahoo! Doh, did it again...) As you might expect, Tory voters have bigger houses. The average property value in a Tory constituency is £257,518 compared to £168,112 in a Labour constituency. I do find the scale of the difference somewhat surprising. However, property wealth is ultimately spread fairly evenly between the parties, since there are more properties in Labour-held wards. Interestingly, Gordon Brown's own constituency has seen the bigger house price rises, than either David Cameron's or Nick Clegg's. More nonsense, here.

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More in this Category - House prices

The UK's cheapest streets [Property Hawk]
Estate agent blogs... the five elements of success [Future of Real Estate Marketing]
Surge in demand for housing in Olympics zone [FT]
Property tycoon warns of social unrest [Telegraph]
Wealthy Greeks bury money in UK property [Guardian]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog, since 2005

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More in this Category - Linkage
Tue
13
Apr

And in contrast to the last one, this one means something. Based on completion data, house prices, in February, were 7.4% up on the year, and 0.1% lower on the month. Interestingly, at the first-time buyer end of the market, prices were up 9.3% on the year, suggesting those Stamp Duty changes couldn't have come too soon. Grab the actual, factual report by clicking this.

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More in this Category - House prices

It's Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors report time, so if it's clarity you want, move along, nothing to see here. The headlines: properties coming onto the market outnumbered new buyers in March (said 21% more surveyors than, er, disagreed); and 9% more surveyors saw price rises than, er, didn't (down from 18% in February and 30% in March). Completed sales fell from 18 per surveyor in February, to 17. A caveat... the picture's very regional, and London continues to "perform well". Have a look at the press release here, and then see how bewildered broadsheet journalists lift whole paragraphs.

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More in this Category - House prices
Mon
12
Apr

Thanks to a Rat and Mouse reader for the tip, here. Is it us, or is there a complete and total absence of Foxtons properties on Rightmove right now, compared to a plethora on Primelocation? I have to admit, I haven't used Rightmove in a while, and so can't be sure how long this has been the case, but I notice that the Foxtons website (under "Online marketing") claims to advertise on Rightmove. What's the story?

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More in this Category - Estate agents
Barely two years after the residential property rollercoaster came off its rails, precipitating a property-led banking bust that brought us all closer to a JG Ballard vision of bent metal and human flesh, we’ve put away our crutches and, once again, we’re – according to research by property website Zoopla.co.uk – jealously eyeing the ride, and wondering whether it might save time later if we join the queue again now.

Our publisher wonders at how quickly we forget, in his guest column for Citywire.

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More in this Category - _Other

Kensington fined by FSA [This Is Money]
Estate agents could use falling house prices [Money Week]
FTB blames herself [Guardian]
Will the Stamp Duty changes mean anything to the market? [BBC]
Pamela Anderson... a spring in a London estate agent's step [Monsters & Critics]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

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More in this Category - Linkage

We start the week with one more Foxtons office. Despite posting eye-watering losses recently, Foxtons is expanding. A new office in Temple Fortune opened at the weekend.

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More in this Category - Estate agents
Fri
09
Apr

... from our friend Henry Pryor, here. Chat with the Rat and Mouse, here.

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I've a client in from the Middle East and he's itching to spend his £2m on a three bedroom flat in time for summer in London. I have found two flats to show him. That's right, just two flats... better than nothing but still embarrassing. We're viewing the first flat and the client's very keen. The doorbell goes, and six Japanese are at the door, waiting to view. We are chased away, but not before the agent tells us that only the full asking price will do. We linger. The Japanese party leaves as another agent arrives with two Middle Eastern gentlemen. We continue to linger. More agents, more buyers, swan past... countries of origin undetermined, but they're not Brits. I get a call, our second viewing has gone under offer. The agent is in depressed mood. "It's all overseas buyers pushing up prices. Without them the market would be stuffed. At this rate, all us Brits will be living in Deptford.' But on the bright side, I have had a good week. I've gained three new clients... Saudi, Dutch and Libyan.
Tracy Kellett runs leading buying agents BDI Homefinders. Follow her on Twitter, here.

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CityAM pulls together a few of the capital's least orthodox converted-to-residential properties... including a former torpedo testing tank, a telephone exchange, a nuclear bunker and some theatre dressing rooms. Read more here.

Something for the weekend... rotund in Richmond [July 17, 2009]

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Nicky Haslam-designed Park Lane penthouse: £25,000 a week [City AM]
iPhone apps and celebrity stalking [Guardian]
Lovely Leighton House [Independent]
The election; your property [Times]
The bankers bid up Fulham [Times]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog, since 2005

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More in this Category - Celebrity homes
Thu
08
Apr

She lives opposite Lord's, and last year she won her indefinite nationwide Asbo for peering into neighbours' houses and threatening them with "damnation". She's in court, attempting to have the Asbo lifted. More importantly, there's apparently video footage knocking around of her chanting outside her neighbours' properties. Youtube! Youtube! Full story, here.

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More in this Category - NW8

What with all the election excitement, we're becoming a little blasé about the record low 0.5% interest rate, which the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee left unchanged today. It's stayed at 0.5% since March 2009. Some people will feel a draught when - finally - it's on the move again.

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After February's surprise (to some) 1.6% fall, the Halifax index is climbing again, up 1.1% in March, and up 5.2% on the year. Averaged across Q1 of 2010, prices are up 0.6% on Q4 of 2009. That's a significantly lower rise than the 3.6% rise between Q3 and Q4, but it's to be expected (seasonal factors, what was to believed to be the end of the Stamp Duty holiday).

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More in this Category - House prices

Residents of Wells in Somerset sound less than pleased at news that travelers are to receive interest-free loans of up to £50,000 from the local council to buy land on which to park their caravans. One resident, quoted in the Daily Express:

“I rang the council today, told them of my change of lifestyle by giving up my band E council tax home with four bedrooms, and intended to buy a Transit van with a four-berth caravan, giving up my job and going on state benefits and trawling for scrap."

Mendip Council claims it's a way of working with the travelers, and the Rat and Mouse would agree: it is a way of working with the travelers. And if anybody would like to offer the Rat and Mouse a £50,000 interest-free loan, that would be a way of working with the Rat and Mouse.

A closer inspection, however, of the arrangement makes it look slightly different... more like a limited rental period. Eventually the travelers part-own the land from a trust shared with the council. They can stay on the land indefinitely, but presumably, can't sell it for a profit.

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More in this Category - _Other
Wed
07
Apr

An interesting piece in MoneyWeek about how inflation will affect borrowers, and the much-touted view that inflation can simply inflate away debts. Fine if you've a long-term fixed rate, but...

There's one big problem with having a floating interest rate. It's this: the interest payments will always out-pace inflation. At the moment inflation is around 3%. And Bank of England figures show most mortgage rates are between 3% and 5% - in other words, equal to, or higher than inflation. I mean, what self-respecting bank would lend at a rate that lost them money in real terms?

It's a good read... and predicts smug smiles for anyone with a 5.2% long-fix.

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It was the former London home of the Morgan family (more recently, HQ of the Royal College of General Practitioners), 14-15 Princes Gate (so posh it gets two numbers) has been sold for (it is rumoured) £34m, to an overseas fund.

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More in this Category - SW7
Tue
06
Apr

20100406Simon Day

It's a very nicely kitted-out two-storey, three-bedroom house on a cobbled mews in Primrose Hill, with more wood than Dirk Diggler. And it belongs to a British comedy hero... the Fast Show's Simon Day. It's with John D Wood, with a guide price of £1.45m. Particulars, here.

If these walls could talk... Daniel Craig edition [March 12, 2010]

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It was a Bank Holiday. This is the missing linkage.

East London line - don't buy the hype about the regeneration express [Guardian]
Administrators sieze StratReal boss's art collection [Telegraph]
Derek Conway MP in line for £1m profit from taxpayer-funded flat [Daily Mail]
Lord Bhatia can't remember address of main home [Sunday Times]
Are the first-time buyers appearing late, like the daffodils? [Telegraph]
The new Dr Who house [Mirror]
Half a million houses lie empty [Guardian]
Long-term bear market ahead [Telegraph]
So far, Landlord blog fails to find reasons to love a landlord [Property Hawk]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

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Thu
01
Apr

I'm off, now (heading to a wedding in Northern Ireland), until Tuesday... so have a great Easter Weekend.

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At Yahoo Answers, Internet users ask questions, publicly and online, and wait for other users to answer. A new question is asked every few seconds. The turnover’s compelling. A while ago, an American asked, ‘How do I not hate my landlord?’ He’d raised the rent by almost $500 a month, and was legally entitled to do so. The tenant was going to move out, but ‘until then, what can I do with my anger? I mean from a spiritual point of view?’ Most who responded didn’t get it. They suggested legal redress, tenants’ rights organisations. Of those who addressed the question, the range of responses included ‘Often God calls for change in our life for reasons we don’t understand’; ‘Pray for this man’; and ‘Kill the landlord’.

Our publisher writes about the tricky landlord/tenant relationship in his guest column for Citywire.

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The listing broker for a one-bedroom Upper East Side apartment that was on the market for a year learns that the buyers she was courting had decided to have me represent them. When speaking to me, her tone is icy. After I present the offer, she tells me that the seller had accepted an offer the previous day, a Friday, and that lawyers were already working on the contract, an unlikely development so swiftly. Then, she reports early the next week that the seller felt morally bound to stick with the buyer with the lower offer. Was she lying and collecting a commission for both sides of the transaction?

Don't get him started.

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Writing for Wharf.co.uk, he's sick of it. House price chat is making him sick. And it's back with a vengeance, he says. On the DLR:

Two calls in every three are: "I don't know if it's too far a walk from the station for you, I haven't seen it yet but the area's really going to be up and coming thanks to the new station and now's a perfect time to buy."

I don't want to accuse him of imagining things - because that might suggest he's crazy - but really?!! Fun piece, though... and, of course, when he says it does us not good, he's right.

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