Buying a house in Cambridge - your experience

(14 Posts)
Calicam Thu 13-Apr-17 03:23:08

We're moving to Cambridge this summer and I'm intrigued to know what the housing market is like at the moment. We've been obsessively checking Rightmove and while some houses go very quickly, others seem to linger around for weeks (and then get discounted) even though they look pretty good on paper.

How competitive is it out there right now? Are homes going for over the asking price or is the market cooling?

Also curious whether more homes are likely to come onto the market in the summer months? Listings seem pretty thin on the ground at the moment - new builds aside - and just wondering if that's typical or just a quiet time of year.

We're looking for a 4 bed Family home ideally within walking distance of the station for KX commute. but realistically we may have to extend our search radius. Dd has a place at the Perse so would need to be southerly. I love Newnham Croft but houses rarely seem to come up there. Queen Edith's area is interesting- seems you get lots of garden & house for your money (relatively speaking) and bit more stock available.

Any insights/anecdotes/advice would be really welcome. Many thanks.

IamLovingThis Thu 13-Apr-17 07:57:54

Hi Calicam probably best to ask the local EA's re the market but with regards to timings I think more would come up over the next (summer term) so people can move in the summer holidays where possible rather than during a school year.

IamLovingThis Thu 13-Apr-17 07:59:30

Have you considered Royston ( good for commute maybe not so much for the Perse) or how about Great Shelford/ Sawston.

Snapdrag0n Thu 13-Apr-17 08:53:19

It's insanely competitive, we have put an offer on multiple houses and all went to 'best and final offers' and even putting a price of £70-80k over the asking price we haven't been successful in securing any. The houses that are central only linger on rightmove as they will have multiple people bidding on them so they keep them online until a buyer is decided. I called up about a 3 bed house recently that I wanted to view they said I could make an appointment but they already had bids £120,000 over the asking price, insane! Any house that has its price reduced a number of times, in my opinion will have an underlying issue, as in cambridge itself, that's very rare. A four bedroom central Cambridge house you are looking at about £900k! As IamLovingThis suggested Sawston is much cheaper and Shelford also better value for money.

neolar Thu 13-Apr-17 09:10:46

How much are you looking to spend?

I think the market around Hills Rd has definitely cooled. Some houses have been on the market for a while.. Also, very little is coming up. Partly, I suspect because house prices are so bonkers in the area that a lot of people are improving their homes instead of moving.

HereIAm20 Thu 13-Apr-17 21:55:19

Most go for over asking price especially if within walking distance of the station.

terrifictoddlers Fri 14-Apr-17 00:54:37

Yup I agree, expect to pay at least the asking price, probably considerably more ... cheeky below asking price offers just don't seem to be a thing in Cambridge anymore sad Property prices still on the up ... our house valued yesterday has gone up over 25% in last 2 years! Crazy!

neolar Fri 14-Apr-17 11:04:43

2 houses in the Hills Rd area reduced from £800k to £750k this week. They've been on the market a while.

Cambduck Fri 14-Apr-17 15:08:25

Queen ediths does give you a bit more for your money. Perfect for perse and cycling is the way to go here. So it's quick to cycle. It's a quiet area, good for kids. Newnham is very hard to buy in- gorgeous area but the houses are smaller.
I'd say the housing market is cooling but I bought last year so couldn't say for sure. Buying here was absolutely awful- all the houses were in bad condition but so expensive. I hope you find it easier!

HereIAm20 Fri 14-Apr-17 17:00:09

Neolar -ooo where? Do you have the links?

BikeRider33 Fri 14-Apr-17 17:21:15

Not being part of a chain can increase your chances I think. Some houses just go and you are right that others seem to hang about, I wonder if a few are over optimistically priced.
Cycling to the station will increase your area - it's very normal and there is lots of cycle parking.
Children travel to the Perse from quite an area, but the closer you are the more independence the children can have and the easier it is for them to get involved in all the extra curricular things on offer - as they aren't dependent on public transport or parental lifts.

Calicam Mon 17-Apr-17 20:06:51

Oh dear, I had hoped things might have calmed down a bit recently, but obviously that was wishful thinking. The whole bidding war thing sounds horrid!

We are moving back from overseas and will hopefully have sold our London flat by the time we get back, so at least we will be chain-free which should help, as @BikeRider33 said.

DH does cycle to work at the moment, but he is understandably worried that a cycle ride + train commute to London + tube ride will be too much, especially in cold/dark (and given he'll probably be doing it for next 30 years of working life!). But at this stage I think we'll need to keep our options open.

Does anyone here do a London KX commute? If so, how do you like it? Do you always get a seat at rush hour?

Thank you everyone for your input - all very useful.

terrifictoddlers Mon 17-Apr-17 23:12:56

My dh does the cycle + train to London kx + cycle other end bit (his bike gets lots of use!) He hates it as does shifts so dark cold mornings and nights etc ... but he reckons it's worth it (we like where we live, school is v good, nice balance of country-side green with closeness to city centre, affordable-ish for Cambs) and do-able for the next few years (been doing it a couple already). Not sure we could do it forever (? ...) though, it is tough. Also - Expensive season ticket and no, not always a seat in rush hour. Hope that helps smile

Calicam Mon 17-Apr-17 23:33:08

Thanks @terrifictoddlers, that's good to know smile

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