London Prices

(58 Posts)

Hi all, am still languishing in a small flat in SE4, hoping against hope that someone wants to offload their gracious home for the same price as our flat - anyone know of any bargains?

I thought the prices would be due to go down soon, as interest-only mortgages aren't so easy to get, and apparently the market is 'cooling'.

What do you all think?

Bowlersarm Tue 03-Jun-14 14:47:54

Not sure prices will go down but I think they are levelling off now.

I saw a house for sale in Plumstead and the estate agents were asking for sealed tenders and a fee from the purchaser! <shudder>

RCheshire Tue 03-Jun-14 15:02:23

Mortgage tightening will help it level off. I can't see them starting to fall under interest rates rise significantly and people can't afford the payments.

minipie Tue 03-Jun-14 15:38:20

Market is cooling where we are, SW London (it has been INSANE mind you). Sealed bids/open days are much rarer and houses are actually staying on the market for a while before selling. Doubt asking prices will go down much but actual sale prices probably will.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 03-Jun-14 15:49:33

I reckon interest rates are going up v soon so that should calm things down a little.
Plenty of bargains around for the price of your flat. Sadly unlikely to be in London though hmm

meadowquark Tue 03-Jun-14 16:52:08

I think the market is cooling in SE London though some crazy estate agents continue to offer open days and sales by tender where a vendor AND a buyer pays fees. Mad! But houses are definitely staying on the market for longer now.

LondonGirl83 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:36:19

The market is cooling in Dulwich as well. However, that is after rising almost 35% over 18 months. However, the most recent increase in asking prices (another 20% compared to the end of last year seems to be too much for buyers to swallow). Lots of houses have been relisted dropping asking prices by 100k or more and who know what they are actually selling for. I think people really got greedy trying to push prices so much higher in such a short period. I think if someone listed a house at 2013 prices it would still be snatched up in a minute.

I have friends who are buying now and they can really see the difference as things are definitely less mad.

HortenMarket Tue 03-Jun-14 19:45:32

Yes I spoke to our Estate Agent today (fingers crossed completing sale in a month) and she said it has changed since we were looking. We are in SE London. Things are staying on longer, especially things at the upper end and she reckoned prices were going to drop a tiny bit then level off. I can see lots sitting there now as people are asking stupid prices. Also houses are having open days and not selling, which was unheard of 8 weeks ago.

Yes - I've noticed the higher priced houses are coming down a bit - not happened so much to the entry level houses though - they are still £550k. In my old (and addled) head, a 2 bed victorian flat should be £250000, and the whole house £550000 - with smaller little victorian cottages going for £400k. Now prices are nearly twice that and i still earn the same as i always did! hmph.

hyperspacebug Tue 03-Jun-14 20:28:11

Market is cooling off here, but not sure it will actually go down. I'm seeing insanely over-priced houses by KFH having prices dropped more frequently here. We have now 3 outstanding primaries nearby and given the birth rate here it will may be long before the prices actually drop, but one never can predict the future...

Yes, we tried to get interest-only mortgage and passed deadline of 90-day mortgage in principle when the new tighter regulations came into effect and couldn't get it anymore.

Good luck with house-hunting.

LondonGirl83 Tue 03-Jun-14 20:31:20

Your budget can probably get you something fairly nice in Charlton which has some smarter bits. Otherwise, have you consdiered Chislehurst, which has loads of 2 bed houses for circa 400k.

Viviennemary Tue 03-Jun-14 20:33:52

If interest rates go up even by a small percentage then a lot of people will be in deep trouble. This help to buy scheme was a mad idea. It should have been restricted to properties costing under say £250K.

Bluegrass Tue 03-Jun-14 20:41:41

One thing to watch will be how motivated sellers are if prices drop. I think there may be some people who read the stories and thought they would stick their place on at a price they knew was ridiculous just in case they got lucky. If the crazy price isn't forthcoming they might just decide to stay put, in which case supply could get tight again.

I have recently realised that all my local friends are on interest only mortgages - never even occurred to me when we bought here - no wonder they have much nicer places! Doh.

lessonsintightropes Tue 03-Jun-14 21:04:43

Those people on interest only mortgages though will be in real trouble if they only bought in the last couple of years though...

Things are definitely slowing down in SE27/SE19/SE23/SE26. We had been looking since December last year and things peaked just before Easter, dropped a little straight after and then after a short post-Easter flurry have calmed down a lot. Loads more properties reduced and agents are now chasing us rather than the other way around. One agent took us to see something on the market at 50k over our max budget and assured us they'd take an offer - which they did. I don't think there's likely to be too much of a drop, but I think prices are stalling and over-priced property is not shifting.

lessonsintightropes Tue 03-Jun-14 21:05:16

Far fewer 60 person open days too - which I think is in the interests of both buyers and sellers.

RCheshire Tue 03-Jun-14 21:21:02

Financial suicide buying recently on interest only

Iseenyou Tue 03-Jun-14 21:21:02

Yes, ive noticed a number of open days haven't resulted in immediate sale, then they sell after a week or so, which suggests to me that an offer has been accepted below asking price.
Still some stunning prices being asked for some houses coming on to the market now though. But the panicing seems to be abating. Will be interesting to see if they get them - though we may never know if they're one of the categories land registry doesn't publish!
I see rbs announced today that they would stop lending more than 4 times salary where the mortgage is more than 500k - following lloyds. Not sure how many mortgages that affects in practice, but it may also act as a message to buyers generally - party's ending soon so don't assume prices will keep rising. Once buyers no longer assume that prices will be 20% higher in 12 months time, the wheels slow down generally.

pleaseaffixstamps Tue 03-Jun-14 21:23:53

Are you estate agent lists, OP? That way, if something does come up in your price bracket, you'll get an email about it.

Iseenyou Tue 03-Jun-14 21:26:13

Cheshire i used to think that interest only was reckless for owner occupiers, but some mn posters convinced me otherwise! Renting is so insecure that if you have children it is preferable to buy interest only if that's all you can afford, and effectively you have a long term rental (and maybe a profit as well). Yes you have to pay to maintain and repair but you can't be evicted at 2 months notice by the landlord, have 'inspections', restrictions on pets and so on. It does actually make more sense than i thought. Though obviously repayment is preferable if you can afford it.

However - it is true that interest only mortgages will be starting to mature and this may lead to forced sales - another brake on price increases, though not sure how Significant this will turn out to be.

RCheshire Tue 03-Jun-14 21:32:52

Iseenyou, couple of rather major downsides vs renting though - firstly fees to buy and sell (inc stamp), and probably more importantly, the greater chance of negative equity when you find you want (or need) to move.

Of course if you've a separate investment vehicle addressing the capital then that's a different story - suspect most still haven't though.

And yes, done my fair share (3.5 years) of renting across multiple places with under 5s so I am by no means saying that current tenancy contacts are great. (Having said that, potty training before you buy a family home/put your carpets down has something to be said for it)

Bowlersarm Tue 03-Jun-14 21:38:31

IO mortgage has been great for us. Interest rates have been so low we've managed to overpay loads off the capital. If people haven't done that, or have no way to pay it back at the end of the term, then more fool them.

But I don't think there will be any sort crisis because of people on IO mortgages. As each year goes by the number of IO mortgages are naturally and gradually diminishing with fewer and fewer people having them.

I don't think interest rates will go up anytime soon either. And when they do, it will be very slowly. (Barring any worldwide unforeseen crisis)

RCheshire Tue 03-Jun-14 21:56:37

Bowlersarm, you might be right. Or you might be wrong. I'm by no means certain. You of course have been sensible with your IO.

There have been concerns about IO www.independent.co.uk/money/mortgages/the-interestonly-mortgage-time-bomb-that-must-be-defused-8497734.html

"Research from xit2, the asset management data firm, has shown that of 1.3 million interest-only mortgages set to mature by 2020, about one million do not have a repayment plan in place."

I also agree that it's likely interest rates will rise slowly. I'm concerned though that some who've bought recently in London will have panic-stretched, not be able to cope with even a moderate rate rise, and unable to sell for their purchase cost.

Iseenyou Tue 03-Jun-14 21:59:23

Good point cheshire, the transactions costs are huge, though if you see it as a price worth paying for 25 yrs of security of tenure that is understandable. Yes, also more risk of negative equity, although for the first few years of a repayment mortgage you repay hardly any capital anyway - but you are still right!

Bowlers i think there may be a timing issue - interest only mortgages were a substantial proportion of new mortgages at one point - say, 15-20 years ago (im guessing) and these will all mature within a shortish space of time of each other so could lead to a sudden increase in 'forced' sales. But i don't really know the figures - as you say of course a lot have converted to repayment, made overpayments and so on. And some people will be able to convert their pensions now to pay off the capital - though will need to leave enough to live on! So basically forecasting is pretty impossible.
Still, looking at the here and now, yes, things do seem to be slowing down a bit!

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