It's that blue-plaque end-of-terrace on Hackford Road near Stockwell. It's a three-story property, and it's the first time it's come up for sale in over 60 years. It's also apparently entirely unmodernised, including an outside toilet. The artist moved there as a young man in 1873, and is said to have remembered his time there fondly. It's to be auctioned by Savills next month. Guide price £475,000. More here.
A 1.1% monthly house price rise has sparked off a number of responses, with some estate agents and analysts welcoming the numbers as a sign that the UK property market is rediscovering its mojo, encouraged by a short term first-time buyer rush to avoid stamp duty and a longer term easing in credit conditions. Not everyone's so sanguine:
Not as worrying as it sounds... a plan by architect Sir Terry Farrell to save the chimneys and the end towers, to save the fascinating control room, to use the interior for a park, and join the towers with a new colonnade. The idea is to bring the cost of the project down by treating the station more as a monument, surrounded by commercial development, rather than the structure for the commercial development itself. According to this, Farrell's firm has funded the planning application itself.
An interesting launch, not really a new property search engine but an added layer of functionality for Zoopla, PropertySorty.com takes the Zoopla database, strips out duplicates, adds new sorting facilities (leasehold length, square footage for example) and presents the properties in a clean and pleasing way. It also incorporates Rightmove's "draw a search" tool. It's in beta and it's currently London-only, but so far it appears (very) quick, smooth (I like the fade-outs and fade-ins) and functional.
I asked Michael Dent, of developers Liberty Tech, about his plans for the website. He told me it was designed primarily as as technical exercise... an experiment by some property website addicts to see whether they could improve upon the user experience.
Money men from the City are concerned that as many as a fifth of the Square Mile's office space may be turned into residential property under new planning legislation making it easier to turn commercial buildings into homes.
An interesting piece in Bloomberg quotes the great investor claiming many property owners remortgaged at the top of the market and managed to make a profit when they tossed the keys back to the lender and walked away.
His comments - made from the perspective of an investor left highly exposed to the mortgage market - have been criticised as "mercenary" and failing to recognise the human side of the eviction crisis. It's an interesting piece, and recommended.
Kind of, according to Hometrack. Their data shows a 18% rise in buyers registering with agents in February, but it's data skewed by a rush of first-time buyers attempting to force a deal through before the stamp duty holiday ends on March 24. In the south east, the number of first-time buyers registering was up 28%, it was up 22% in the south west. Only time will tell - with plenty of uncertainty in the market - whether buying now, to avoid the duty, will prove sound economic judgment. More here.
Two new offices are due to open in the next few weeks, first at 94 Borough High Street (London Bridge) on March 3, and then at 3-5 Crouch End Hill (Crouch End) on March 17. Both are offering the usual 0% commission for a limited time to fill their window and annoy the competitors.
According to the owners of Mulberry Cottages... yes. They tell us that 2011saw an increase in European visitors of 10%, and domestic visitors of 12%, with the Germans, Belgians and Dutch the most common Europeans renting their properties.
Sarah Wood, Director of Mulberry Cottages says that “Bookings for 2012 continue to grow strongly with the northern European market share growing by 15% in the first 6 weeks of trading. Early signs show 2012 to be a very buoyant market”.
For that, you get n-n-n-n-ninteeen buildings, plus/including tennis courts, a swimming pool, stables and a village hall... and what one local has described as a community of "thieves, ravers and squatters" (French ones, mind, so they're probably quite stylish). The village is called Courbefy, and it's 30 miles from Limoges. If you want it, a French village for the price of a Fulham flat, bids are being accepted up until Friday. According to this, so far there haven't been any. If you sit tight, maybe they'll chuck it on ebay.
That's the message from SkyscraperNews.com's James Newton, writing in the Telegraph, following local opposition to plans to build a 50 metre "eco-tower" (130 apartments, interesting-lookoing hanging gardens) next to Dalston's Kingsland Station. Locals are concerned about living in its shadow, and argue Dalston's not the right place for this type of building.
It's only been up since 12 years, but Thierry Henri already has plans to tear down his Richard MacCormac-designed Hampstead home and replace it with a giant new four-story property, including 15ft by 40ft of fishtank (four tanks, one on top of each other) rising up the middle. The Daily Mail is among the newspapers obsessed with the tank. They estimate a £12,000 annual bill just for lighting, heating and cleaning the tanks. MacCormac is said to be understandably unimpressed. More here.
According to Rightmove data, average asking prices rose 4.1% on the month... the largest increase in almost ten years. Accompanying comment points out a shortage of property for sale, particularly family homes, as the likely cause, but warns that the bounce is likely to be limited to these factors. In London, asking prices are now a 1% whisker off their all-time high (achieved last October). More here.
After a brief break, rents are rising once again, according to LSL Property Services, up 0.1% in January (the first ever January rent rise since they've been keeping records). In London, the rise was 0.8% (leaving the average rent up 6.3% on the year). There were falls in four regions. More here.
A moving article in the Guardian moves away from the hysteria about immigrants renting wings of Buckingham Palace, paid for by fire fighters' taxes, with this look at how the changes are unsettling the kids.
12,700 new unites were sold in 2011, up from 8,500 in 2010 and fewer than 7,000 in 2009; and construction starts were up 37%. Half the properties are going off-plan, with a disappointing (for Londoners) number of those changing hands abroad, with developers doing deals on the property roadshow circuit.
So let's get this straight... it's not the financial incompetence of the development companies, ti's not the architects' lack of vision, it's not the failure of the planning system to support a streamlined and affordable route from concept to delivery in less than a third of a decade without resulting in this kind of monstrosity, or this... it's the chimneys' fault. It's really impossible for the finest minds in urban development to turn the biggest brick-built structure in Europe, an icon in the heart of London, into a modern mixed-use development? Apparently so.
According to this in the Daily Mail, four years ago Santander would you give you a 100% interest-only loan, from this week you'll need 50% to qualify. Other lenders are re-thinking their interest-only deals, too, with some demanding to see realistic plans in place to pay off the capital, plus higher levels of equity, otherwise borrowers will have to choose between staying put, settling for continuing on an SVA when their deal runs out or shifting over to a repayment mortgage. Not, in the totality, a bad thing at all, but certainly potentially painful for many of the 1.5m currently with interest-only loans.
Very true. His comments are in the context of a discussion about the Government's FirstBuy shared ownership scheme and their NewBuy scheme, to help first-time buyers get themselves into new build's on 95% mortgages. Yes, ouch and ouch.
Total number of outstanding landlord loans: 1,400,000. Total value of outstanding landlord loans: £160,000,000,000. Average monthly rent: £771. Average monthly rent in London: £1,000. Number of properties bought to let in 2011: 84,000. Number of new tenants registering interest with a single leading UK agent in 2011: 275,000.
They list the quartz counters, the double oven and the custom made windows. You'd think, if they were throwing her in as an incentive, she'd at least get a mention. Unless that's the balcony. Listing... here.
Interest rates remain at 0.5%, where they've been since March 2009. There was little expectation of (or appetite for) a move either up or down. The big news, however, is a further £50bn in quantitative easing, bringing the running total to £325bn. More here.
It was a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, one of only 39 ever built, registered to none other than Jon Hunt, and it made the record price of £20.2m. There's been no comment from Mr Hunt, but those with sharp memories my recall the ambitious underground garage (complete with two-car lift) planned for his Kensington Palace Gardens home. Vintage car collectors should perhaps take note. When Hunt sold Foxtons, it was moments before the market went belly-up. More here.
Tower Hamlets councillor Shelina Akhtar has been sentenced to a 16-week prison sentence after illegally subletting her housing association home. The length of the sentence also means that she will automatically lose her job. More here.
That's according to a report by Rightmove that showed that while just 8% of potential first-time buyers had concerns about meeting mortgage repayments 29% named finding a suitable property as the number one problem. First-time sellers, it seems, are struggling to move on, due to a lack of further financing and, in some cases, problems with negative equity. More here.
It would be a new committee, headed by the Governor of the Bank of England, with powers to deflate bubbles before they happen by demanding minimum deposits, and inject a bit of life into the market when it needs to, by temporarily allowing mortgages of 90%, 95%.
The Halifax house price index is out and it shows a moderate rise in values in January, of 0.6%. The three months to end of Jan (compared to the same period last year) show a weakening in house prices of 1.8%. Accompanying literature singles out better-than-expected employment data and low interest rates for supporting house prices. Download your own copy of the actual report here.
It's hard to tell whether the newspaper is wilfully making too much of a throwaway comment, but the Sunday Mirror reports here that the rapper-turned-property investor-turned-US-property show presenter with a home in Richmond is planning a UK television makeover show. What would it be like? Here's a clip from his ongoing US show, The Vanilla Ice Project.
The number of sale-and-rent-back deals done before 2009, when the FSA took on regulation of the sector: give-or-take 50,000. The number of deals since: 61. And - according to the FSA - that number has trickled down to pretty much zero, with the remaining 22 firms effectively bullied into inertia.
But let's not loose any sleep over this. Remember the bad old days of sale-and-rent-back? The companies bought houses from homeowners struggling with their mortgages at knock-down prices, and with a promise that they'd thus avoid eviction, and stay in their homes as tenants. But the tales of sharp practice were many and varied... most commonly involving short-term tenancy agreements and unsympathetic landlords. They're unlikely to be missed.
According to Winkworth, there's no sign of London's top-end boom market ending soon, while wealthy Eurozone and Middle Eastern buyers continue to plough money in. Prices in Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Belgravia rose 17% in 2011, with 41% of those sales involving figures above £2m (up from 33% in 2010). London's safe haven status is behind the demand, and a shortage of available properties is pushing prices ever higher. More here.
Nationwide's January data's out, and it shows a 0.2% fall in house prices, leaving the annual change down to just +0.6%, from +1%. The important three-month-on-three-month measure was up 0.3%. More here.
She's said to have bought in a luxury new-build development in the Fitzrovia area. Details? It's apparently "modern concrete" on the outside, has floor to ceiling glass, four penthouses and a communal courtyard. Any ideas?
Its price has earned it coverage from Bloomberg and Business Week. It's a 16,000 square foot, at the southern end of Kensington Palace Gardens, and it sounds - from something Aylesford International (handling the sale) say - it's either not quite reached the market yet or it's never going to appear formally, but buying agents "know". The exact guide price also remains undisclosed, other than it will be more than £100m.