1. Environmental
November 21, 2014

Today's London property bargains: actual bargain edition

By City Monitor Staff

We spend a lot of time, round these parts, mocking the top end of the London property market. The million pound room. The house that’s 83 inches wide. This depressing yellow box, close to an outstanding school. But CityMetric, like the rest of the media, has generally paid less attention to the lower rungs of the London property market, for the very good reason that they’re so insubstantial we can barely see them.

So let’s pretend for a moment that that’s not true. Let’s go forth into the world, and see what someone armed with nothing but a modest six-figure budget and a sense of righteous optimism could get for their money.

In most circumstances, £100,000 is not an insubstantial amount of money. If someone offered you £100,000, for no very good reason, you’d think you were having a pretty good day. In Manchester, a quick search of Zoopla reveals, there are 272 properties with three bedrooms or more on offer for under £100,000.

In London the results are less, ah, hmm. We asked Zoopla to show us properties on the market for £100,000 or less within 11 miles of Charing Cross. (Actually, we asked for properties within 15 miles, but, for reasons that elude us, Zoopla can’t count.)

On offer, we found 191 different properties. These included:

  • 16 shared ownership schemes (so £100,000 doesn’t get you a whole property);
  • 6 properties up for auction (so the £100,000 might not get you anything);
  • 1 retirement flat;
  • 1 houseboat;
  • 2 empty shops;
  • and 21 assorted garages.

After that we got depressed and stopped counting.

To be fair, there are a handful of genuine housing options at this level. This studio flat in Greenford looks almost like a bargain, provided you’re okay with only having 30 per cent equity and not really moving about.

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Then there’s this four-bedroom maisonette in Tottenham. Doesn’t look like much, admittedly but four beds for £100k is pretty oh hang on, it’s another auction, it’ll clearly fetch far more than that, never mind.

Not only is this flat being auctioned off, in fact. It’s being auctioned off with people already inside it (“Producing £19, 968 per annum”). At this end of the market, in fact, no one is even pretending they’re selling to first-time buyers: it’s investors they’re after. Consider this fine patch of wasteland, yours for just £40,000:

Or the selection of “studio flats”, which turn out, on closer inspection, to be tax efficient schemes for investing in hotels.

“Hotel pods”. Hotel pods. You don’t get to live in your pod, you understand: you just get the income that it generates. Isn’t that nice.

Just for a laugh, we also decided to see what you could get if you had a really tight budget. What’s on the London property market for beneath the £50k mark?

I wouldn’t worry, though, I’m sure some enterprising investor will be along to snap them up and convert them into “permanent address pods” any day now.

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