To think flats are not cheaper than houses

(32 Posts)
rampagingcat Sun 17-Jan-16 18:23:51

Buying first property and all I hear from a relative is to buy a flat. Why am I buying a house when a flat would be better for me?

Now round here, flats are just as if not more expensive than houses!

Is this true everywhere or AIBU

annielouise Sun 17-Jan-16 18:34:22

Varies massively by area - £60-300k for a flat (the 300k is luxury, fantastic area) or £80k to £millions for a house. It depends. You can buy a cheap flat but get a terrace for maybe £20k more. One might need loads more work though.

scarednoob Sun 17-Jan-16 18:38:09

There are long term things too. A flat will have service charges, which a house (probably) won't. BUT if anything needs doing, eg roof leak, the service charge will split this amongst all the flats, whereas a house owner will have to pay for all the works by him/herself.

Bearbehind Sun 17-Jan-16 18:38:26

Generally speaking houses are more expensive. They have more space, less noise etc.

Flats are also usually leasehold so have the burden of ground rent and service charges.

If you can find a freehold house for the same price as a leasehold flat I'd choose the former everyday of the week.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 17-Jan-16 18:40:00

Yes house over flat - t flats are difficult to sell and lose money before houses

BlackeyedShepherdsbringsheep Sun 17-Jan-16 18:51:53

ground rent and service charges, which are reasonable her but can be a lot. also you can get stung for repairs etc in addition to the service charge. you also get little control about some things that can effect you quite a lot.

also houses are more adaptable to your life as it changes. you may only get one shot at getting it right and end up bringing up two children in a bloody flat. (very biased here)

StitchesInTime Sun 17-Jan-16 18:54:07

Generally houses are more expensive, but luxury flats can get pretty expensive. The last place I lived in a flat, the most expensive 2 bed flats were the same sort of price as the most expensive 2 bed houses.

But, as a general rule, I prefer houses. With houses, you get no ground rent, no service charges, less noise from neighbours, you're more likely to get some garden space.

Vanderwaals Sun 17-Jan-16 18:59:40

Houses are better in my opinion. Garden. Less noise from neighbours. (Unless really unlucky). More privacy. No lugging things up stairs. No one stealing your packages.

silvermantela Sun 17-Jan-16 19:28:28

I agree with you OP. When I started househunting I was shock at the price of flats - mainly large scale, designed ones, not houses that had been split into 2/3 - firstly because they were only a little bit cheaper than much bigger houses in the same area, but mainly because of the ground rent and service charges, which added together would have been half as much as my mortgage, on top of mortgage itself and all other bills!

It also didn't seem very clear what was included for that - quick clean of 'communal areas' (so, hallways), and sometimes a 'concierge,' - if I need someone to sign parcels I'll have them delivered to my work. I can understand the advantage of splitting repairs - but this would also only be an advantage if it was an issue that affected you in the first place - i.e. if the roof was leaking, if you owned a flat on the top floor it would be great for you to know that the cost would come out of your service charge rather than having to sort it out yourself, but if you were on the ground floor you wouldn't be affected either way, but would still be paying for it.

silvermantela Sun 17-Jan-16 19:31:03

Also you can see on rightmove that the higher end flats suffered a huge drop during the recession - selling for £160,000 brand new in 1999, for example, then £140,000 in 2004, then £115,000 in 2009, then £120,000 recently. Whereas most houses may have dropped a little in the recession but most are now worth far more than they would have been 15 years ago.

sooperdooper Sun 17-Jan-16 19:35:07

When I was first buying my initial thoughts were to get a flat but I realised once I added in service charges and ground rent I'd be much better off getting a house

BackforGood Sun 17-Jan-16 19:35:14

Generally flats are cheaper than houses as you have neighbours on top of you / underneath you, and you don't tend to have a garden (I know you can with maisonettes) or driveway. You also have a communal entrance hall, and then service charges to pay.

Obviously, you will be able to find a house that's chaper than a particular flat, but looking in the same area, with similar space, the flat is always going to be cheaper where I live. Although that doesn't necessarily make it a better investment.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 17-Jan-16 19:35:24

Depends where you are. Some of Edinburgh's most expensive and desirable property is flats. We don't have "ground rent" flats are owned outright.

notquitehuman Sun 17-Jan-16 19:36:22

Depends on the area. Flats have increased in price around here as we are on a commuter line to London. They're great for those who don't need or want a garden space, and they tend to be a bit easier to maintain so great for busy people. However, if you've got your heart set on a house then go for it!

ijustwannadance Sun 17-Jan-16 19:38:14

When my friend bought her 2 bed flat 2nd bedroom just about fits a single bad and nothing else, I suggested maybe she looked at a 2 or 3 bed terrace or semi in same area instead for same price. She bought flat and now can't sell it as refuses to sell for less than she paid and there are too many 2 bed flats that were thrown up at the same time all for sale too. And she is paying the service charge and to have a parking space. Silly money. The flat was easy option at the time but she can't even rent out the spare room as too small.

BackforGood Sun 17-Jan-16 19:40:21

I'd suggest though, that that's "location" that is upping the price of those flats. If you had a flat and a house in the same road, then the house would cost you more.

ComposHatComesBack Sun 17-Jan-16 19:59:28

Depends where you are. Some of Edinburgh's most expensive and desirable property is flats. We don't have "ground rent" flats are owned outright.

I live in a less desirable Edinburgh c19th tenement and it amazes me how inefficient a use of space terraced housing is in city centres down south. Our tenement takes up the same amount of ground space as two terraces, but upwards of forty people live in it.

It is completely normal to spend your entire life living in a flat.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 17-Jan-16 20:04:37

I agree. And as for not having a garden, tenements have back greens.

BMW6 Sun 17-Jan-16 20:57:12

Too right OP. Our mid terrace 2 bed house was cheaper than most flats in our city! No brainer.

noisytoys Sun 17-Jan-16 21:09:35

I live in a flat in the South East - to get the same floor space in a house would be double the price. The flat is already 5x my wage. To buy a house is a dream that will never happen.

almward Sat 21-May-16 13:51:33

The biggest drawback with a flat, of course, being that (ignoring inflation) the value diminishes with the elapse of time. At the point at which the lease expires, the value is zero.

Fortunately, most leaseholders have the right to buy a lease extension.

Take a look at: www.lease-increase.co.uk

sall74 Sat 21-May-16 14:22:05

It's quite bizarre in my area, flats are generally more expensive than houses and seem to sell quicker and easier, despite all the disadvantages... No garden, Service Charges, Ground Rent, inflated repair fees, noise from potentially 4 attached neighbours.

TurquoiseDress Sat 21-May-16 14:47:25

YANBU in some ways.

Factoring in service charge (which can be a few thousand a year if there is a lift, gym, concierge service etc) & ground rent all adds to the cost.

I'd much prefer to buy a house, but living here in south east London, it is all highly unlikely unless we win the lottery!

EssentialHummus Sat 21-May-16 14:58:37

It depends on which flat and which house! grin

I live in Zone 2 of London, in an area that is genuinely nice but has a "right side of the tracks" and "wrong side of the tracks" (literally, it's divided by a railway). There is slightly more dodgy stuff happening on the other side, and this side is a bit prettier, but it's not chalk and cheese. For the cost of my "nice side" flat, I could have a (small) "wrong side" house.

Love my flat - it's a huge ex-council maisonette - but I'd love a garden and freedom to knock through into the roof etc.

In short, it depends <sore bum from sitting on fence>

Oysterbabe Sat 21-May-16 15:03:35

We own a 2 bed flat and a 3 bed semi in exactly the same area. The flat is worth 300k and the house 320k, so pretty much the same all things considered.

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