London Zone 2 (Camden) flat - need opinions ASAP

(38 Posts)
ldnflatbuyer2021 Thu 25-Nov-21 22:31:11

Camden, 1980s flat with a share of freehold.

Flat is very close to this one, similar floorplan and price:

In demand area with students/young professionals even some families. Planning to stay there for 3-5 years.

1) 4 stories, traditional cavity wall (no EWS1 needed)
2) share of freehold so some control over bogus costs and easy to extend lease
3) close to the Kings Cross regeneration area with a lot of new builds + there will be a lot of new builds coming in soon.
4) area in very high demand for renting - though rents dropped from £1800 to £1400 during the pandemic, now are back to £1800 so buying is still a bit cheaper
5) prices been static for the last 6-7 years so dropped due to inflation
6) good transport links - close to Kings cross, Camden underground and overground
7) new builds close by (300m away) are around £12000-£14000 per sq.m. while this development from 1980s goes for 8500 per sq.m.

1) close to railway tracks (noise issue)
2) there will be a lot of new build developments on the industrial site just nearby (potentially an issue for renting/selling due to noise?)
3) there have been high reserve fund contributions (20k in total over last 5 years - as this is an older block )
4) very pricy - and a relatively small flat as the 2nd bedroom is not a proper bedroom. But I think it is still sellable to FTBs.
5) lease is so-so - prohibits AirBnB and pets
6) London market has already peaked? especially with work from home and etc...

OP’s posts: |
A580Hojas Thu 25-Nov-21 22:35:00

Short lease. Tiny 2nd bedroom. Camden is over- rated.

29ac Thu 25-Nov-21 22:39:04

If it’s the same sq ft as the one linked, it’s really really small for a two bed flat. My old one bed was 455sq ft and people commented it was compact. The second bedroom isn’t a second bedroom at all, it’s an office or wardrobe. I think you’d be better looking for a flat that has a bedroom sized second bedroom as that would be easier to rent if you wanted to do that.

RubyViolet Thu 25-Nov-21 22:44:31

I feel a bit spooked around there after dark, it feels cut off by the canal and main road. I don’t know if it’s a dangerous spot but l have always felt uneasy if l have walked through from KX after dark.
Could you get better value pushing North into Kentish Town, Tufnell Park ?

ldnflatbuyer2021 Thu 25-Nov-21 22:56:47

@A580Hojas - I think the lease can be extended quite cheaply as it's a share of freehold flat - but true regarding the second bedroom. It's a modest guest bedroom or an office, not a proper bedroom.

@29ac - yes the same layout - the whole development has these. It is quite difficult to find something private even at this total price and price per sq.m.

@RubyViolet - it's tricky, outside of ex-council and conversions, there isn't much.
I thought the whole Elm Village area was nice. Though I would be concerned about the railways closeness and all the new builds that are planned for the area...

OP’s posts: |
googlegoode Thu 25-Nov-21 22:59:07

If it suits your lifestyle then go for it however I wouldn't expect it to increase much in value & it may potentially lose money. 3-5 yrs is not long enough in this tricky economic times.

maofteens Thu 25-Nov-21 23:00:12

The lease would put me off - wouldn't touch it unless extended.


Embracelife Thu 25-Nov-21 23:00:20

Tiny flat
Ground floor so break in risk but with no garden benefit

Clymene Thu 25-Nov-21 23:08:59

Elm Village is a dump

LuluBlakey1 Thu 25-Nov-21 23:14:58 ?

LuluBlakey1 Thu 25-Nov-21 23:21:54

ldnflatbuyer2021 Thu 25-Nov-21 23:24:18


Elm Village is a dump

Why do you think so? I do see some drawbacks but curious as to what exactly you don't like.

OP’s posts: |
Okigen Thu 25-Nov-21 23:30:11

It's really similar to the one I'm buying (albeit mine is in a different area in London).

Zero idea what the current price is for Camden but it's currently a buyer's market for this type of London flat so if you go ahead, don't be afraid to offer at a significantly low price and then negotiate back up.

Share of freehold so short lease in most cases can be extended for free, although it's not guaran teed. You will need to confirm it with the freeholder company/managing agent if go ahead.

earsup Thu 25-Nov-21 23:30:21

if share of freehold then does it matter about the lease...??...surely lease is now defunct..?..personally dont like camden much...too many crack dealers near the canal bridge and tourists in summer.

Okigen Thu 25-Nov-21 23:36:14

@earsup no, share of freehold mean you have the lease for the flat, and at the same time you own a share in a company that owns the freehold (there are other ways to set up the freehold but a company would be the most common way for this sort of purpose built development). So in theory when you extend the lease it is still possible for the freeholder company to charge you a lot of money, although it's rare.

earsup Thu 25-Nov-21 23:39:53

thanks for info...

lunarlandscape Thu 25-Nov-21 23:45:11

I'd be put off by the lease being so short and the very tiny second bed.

Clymene Thu 25-Nov-21 23:52:29

Because it's a maze for dealers to run through, because it's a council estate, because there is still a bad drug and gang problem, despite the fancy estates they're building.

Read the crime reports. Assuming you're a single woman, I wouldn't live on a ground floor flat there.

ldnflatbuyer2021 Fri 26-Nov-21 07:20:48


Because it's a maze for dealers to run through, because it's a council estate, because there is still a bad drug and gang problem, despite the fancy estates they're building.

Read the crime reports. Assuming you're a single woman, I wouldn't live on a ground floor flat there.

I think you might be quoting a larger area as the Elm Village area (between the canal of the west and south, Camley street on the east and the North London line railway on the north) is not really a council estate.
There is perhaps just one block which is under Camden council - most (90%) are blocks with private owners.

It seems you are confusing this more with Somers town?

Also the one I would be interested in a 1st floor flat - I do agree about the dangers of ground floor flats like this...

OP’s posts: |
RedWingBoots Fri 26-Nov-21 08:44:10

OP if it is share of freehold ask the vendor to extend the lease before you buy it as it won't cost them anything or very much to do, there as you would have to wait a couple of years before you can do it.

Clymene Fri 26-Nov-21 09:10:30

I'm not confused and I'm aware somers Town isn't elm village. I suggest you do some research as I said.

Good luck.

parietal Fri 26-Nov-21 09:43:30

The links @LuluBlakey1 posted look good - what put you off those?

I'm not familiar with that exact area, but agree that I wouldn't want a ground floor flat - it would never feel secure.

51m sq is fine if you are going to treat it is as a one-bed + study but not if you are going to move in a boyfriend+his junk or rent to 2 or 3 students.

Frauhubert Fri 26-Nov-21 10:07:02

The amount of numpties, beggars, druggies, and weirdos in Camden is around 5x higher per square metre than other parts of London. Just sit in a window seat in a cafe and watch.

RubyViolet Fri 26-Nov-21 11:00:55

OP, go and walk around after dark, spend some time there before you commit.
Work out how you will walk from bus stops, tube etc at night.
I would not live there as l wouldn’t feel comfortable there myself sadly.

Oftenithinkaboutit Fri 26-Nov-21 11:03:47

Size of family? Children? Schools?

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