Posts with tag: London property

Millionaires Finding the London Property Market Too Expensive

Published On: December 1, 2015 at 1:11 pm


Categories: Property News

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Millionaires Finding the London Property Market Too Expensive

Millionaires Finding the London Property Market Too Expensive

It appears that the London property market is too expensive even for the millionaires looking to live in the capital, according to new research.

A new report from London agent Beauchamp Estates and New York estate agent Leslie J Garfield found that UK millionaires are now searching for homes in New York, as London is too pricey.

The firms saw a 7% increase in London-based high net worth individuals looking to buy prime residential property in New York.

Additionally, there has been a rise of 10% in London-based buyers searching for luxury homes in Miami and Los Angeles.

In a recent wealth report, the agents found that prime property is twice as expensive in London than New York on a cost per square foot basis.

For example, a large property in Knightsbridge costs around £2,195 per square foot, compared to £1,196 per square foot in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

However, homes in Manhattan are typically larger than in London, so the overall prices are higher.

UK buyers looking for a home in Manhattan generally wish to spend up to £3.95m on a luxury apartment, while New York buyers searching in London spend around £4.1m.

There are currently over 120,000 British expats living in New York and more than 197,000 American expats living in the UK, mostly in London and the Home Counties.

Both London and New York offer luxurious lifestyles, with 76 Michelin-starred restaurants in Manhattan and 65 in London. London has more museums – 173 compared to 131 in New York – and more art galleries – 857 to 721. However, London is double the size of New York City, at 305 square miles.

Prime property buyers are also hit by 12% Stamp Duty in London. In New York, vendors pay a real estate transfer tax, which is calculated at almost $2 for every $500 of the purchase price. However, buyers do pay a mansion tax of 2% of the price when the home costs more than $1m.


















EasyRoommate User Banned for Inappropriate Ad

Published On: November 21, 2015 at 12:49 pm


Categories: Property News

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A user of house and flat share website EasyRoommate has been banned after advertising a spare bed in his room to single women for £1 per month.

He claimed that the reason for the unusual arrangement was because he is scared of sleeping alone.

The user tried to upload the advertisement to the site earlier this month. However, EasyRoommate moderators blocked the advert before it went live, as they felt there was “suspicion around the sexual intent from the landlord”.

The site was then unable to contact the landlord to clarify the situation, claims Michael Benjamin, Head of Global Marketing at EasyRoommate.

The advert stated that the ideal tenant would be a female student. The landlord added that she should be single.

The advert for the property in Gants Hill, northeast London, read: “I am renting another bed in my spacious ensuite bedroom for free due to autophobia, which is fear of being and sleeping alone.

“The tenant must be single female, clean, organised and sociable.”

Benjamin says that the landlord has been banned from using the site until he makes contact with the customer service team.

He explains that about 5% of adverts are blocked before going live during the pre-moderation process. Around 1.5% of adverts have been removed once going live, if the moderator finds that unsuitable changes have been made to the descriptions.

CEO of EasyRoommate, Albin Serviant, says: “We believe that flatsharing can be a wonderful experience, given the right conditions.

“Because we don’t want to leave to chance, we have a dedicated moderation team working around the clock to ensure the advertised flats are genuine.

“As a word of advice, if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”1

In student newspaper The Tab, Lizzy Woods – a student of Religion, Politics and Society – insists: “That’s so creepy! Fair enough if you need a roommate because of a condition like autophobia, but I doubt this condition is specific enough to dictate the need for his roommate to be both female and single.”1 



London Homes Up for the House of the Year Prize

Published On: November 19, 2015 at 4:04 pm


Categories: Property News

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Five homes in London have been put on the shortlist for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) House of the Year award. The winner will be announced on 25th November.

A quarter of the 20 finalists are in the capital, with developers keen on defying London’s tight space restrictions with imaginative homes.

The award replaces the RIBA Manser Medal, indicating how significant housing design has become.

Two of the London finalists are large, glamorous and expensive homes.

Fitzroy Park House in Hampstead, by Stanton Williams, is a gleaming, modern masterpiece. It is situated on a steep slope on the site of a 1950s home. The architects took advantage of the slope, by placing the entrance at the house’s midpoint, complete with a slim, steel bridge.

The house is built from large panes of glass, pale limestone and lots of wood, from cedar and iroko to grey-painted Accoya outside.

Inside, the floors and ceilings are made of oak. All six bedrooms have an en suite, with timber-clad balconies on a cantilevered upper floor. Although the home is extremely transparent, the 6,000 square foot property is also private, looking out onto Fitzroy Park.

Levring House is located in the Bloomsbury conservation area. Architect Jamie Fobert has created a huge, cuboid property at the end of a mews. However, by sinking it into a basement and forming a broken exterior of brick, glass and bronze, its size melds in perfectly with neighbouring houses.

It sits around a glazed atrium that goes up through the centre. The concrete home, with double-height spaces, a secret terrace and a 14-metre marble-lined pool in the basement is completely out of the ordinary.

Kew House is in another conservation area, Kew Green. Integrated into a Victorian wall, this brave pre-fabricated building was created by Piercy & Company using Corten steel, which goes rusty on purpose to create striking colours.

The home was built for a structural engineer couple, who were involved in the whole process of construction. The two steel volumes are connected by a double-height glass atrium.

The site was found near Kew Gardens by accident. It was previously a stable block. The steel features laser-cut patterns and a slide for the children straight down to the basement. The home also has lots of storage, making it perfect for the family.

Other homes highlight the creativity of architects in finding difficult spaces and maximising their potential.

Vaulted House by vPPR Architects was built on the site of a former taxi garage in Chiswick, which was encased by brick walls with 24 overlooking neighbours. All of the home’s light comes from the top, through six geometrically coved roof lights.

A covered passage through to the house makes it a secret spot. On two levels, the roof lights bring in natural light to the upper floor, highlighting certain areas within the open-plan living space, which features geometric ceilings. The lower level is where the bedrooms can be found, but a retracting flat glass roof section pours light down there too. The space below can be used as a summer courtyard or winter garden.

Courtyard House makes use of a similar wall-bound site in Hackney – a long, triangular sliver. Architects Dallas Pierce Quintero cleverly inserted a small two-bedroom home using timber, brick and glass, with four separate courtyards. The discouraging space and a tight budget were defeated by the original design.

Through an industrial gate is the first courtyard, then a studio, then a herb garden, then the main house, another courtyard at the back with French windows, and a tiny space with an olive tree. Thoughtful use of exposed joists and blue-black bricks give the property a distinct, luxurious feel.

We’ll be looking out for the winner next week, but any of these inventive homes could take the crown.



Prime central London rental values lowest for 12 months

Published On: October 6, 2015 at 4:24 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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Yearly rental growth in prime central London slipped to 2.4% in September, the lowest increase since the same period twelve months ago.

Research from real estate firm Knight Frank also indicates that the number of tenancies secured in the three months to August dipped by 5.9% in comparison to 2014. Prime gross rental yields held steady at 2.96%.[1]


This slowdown come as a result of unstable financial markets, with nerves surrounding the Chinese economy moving into commodity, mining and carmakers, according to Tom Bill, head of London residential research at Knight Frank.

Bill remarked that, ‘this current overriding mood of uncertainty means companies are more hesitant about recruiting and are more conservative with relocation budgets for senior executives, which has dampened demand in the prime central London lettings market.’[1]

Prime central London rental values lowest for 12 months

Prime central London rental values lowest for 12 months

‘As a result, the number of tenancies agreed in the three months to August fell 5.9% compared to the previous year and the number of viewings declined 10.2%. Such declines suggest the trend for falling rental value growth will persist in the short term,’ Bill continued.[1]

High and low

Additionally, Bill said that this trend is less marked in lower and higher price brackets. He noted, ‘demand among younger professionals remains strong while demand at the super prime level of £5,000 per week and above has been buoyed by the fact tenants have moved across from the sales market due to last December’s stamp duty increase.’[1]




Price-gap between London and other cities growing

Published On: September 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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According to the latest house price index from Hometrack, the gap between house prices in London and other major regional UK cities is at its largest for 20 years.


Property prices in the capital saw a 4.6% growth in the three months to August and a 10% over the past year. Overall city house prices in Britain rose by 8.3%, up from 6.6% in May. A similar rise has been recorded in sales volumes, which have been translated into higher prices across major UK cities.[1]

The largest rate of growth was in Cambridge at 11.2%, with the lowest being in Aberdeen, where prices have dropped by 2%. In comparison to one year ago, price inflation has risen in five cities, led by Edinburgh with 9%, followed by Glasgow, where growth is running at 5.3%.[1]

‘City level house prices continue to increase as demand for housing grows in the face of constrained supply,’ noted Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack. ‘A changing mix of buyers is compounding the scarcity of housing for sale with rising numbers of first time buyers and investors buying property while having nothing to sell. Only a recovery in the number of moves amongst existing home owners or an increase in new supply will ease the current housing scarcity which seems unlikely in the near term,’ he continued.[1]

Price-gap between London and other cities growing

Price-gap between London and other cities growing


Mr Donnell went on to say that, ‘the gap between house prices in London and other major regional cities is at its widest level for 20 years. This highlights a seemingly over valued London market, on a price/earnings basis and the prospect of further price growth to come in the large regional UK cities.’[1]

‘London’s price earnings ratio is at an all-time high while there remains value in most other regional cities. The pricing differential to London could well assist city regions attract new investment as the cost of housing starts to influence decision making for both households and businesses,’ Donnell concluded.[1]



Honest Advert for London Flat

Published On: September 10, 2015 at 3:35 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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Londoners are used to sky-high rents, rogue landlords and squeezed living spaces, but they maybe aren’t used to such honest advertisements as this one…

Earlier this week, an advert was placed on Gumtree for a flat in Mile End, titled “S*** room to rent in East London!!!”

It goes on to say that the apartment has three rooms priced at £120 per week.

Before it was taken down, the ad read:

“This property has to offer 3 s*** double rooms available for single person or couple.

“The rooms are fully furnished. Very clean, and tidy.

“The wardrobe is broken on the top, the mattress doesn’t match with the base.

“Obviously, if you’re interested we will change everything for you. The flatmates are all professional between the ages of 20-30.”1

The letting agent, Luis Swarovski, says: “I described it like that because of the present condition.

“Obviously if someone moves in it will not be like that anymore.”1