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London price/sq ft in different areas
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# 1
deelo555
Old 23-02-2013, 4:20 PM
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Default London price/sq ft in different areas

I'm looking at investigating the price/sq ft for different areas in London. Asking prices seem to be quite misleading.
Is there a good way of finding out the sold price/sq ft for different areas?
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# 2
bob2
Old 23-02-2013, 4:53 PM
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For some reason people in the UK focus more on number of bedrooms and reception rooms than floor area. Properties with identical floor areas will sell for different prices if one has more bedrooms (e.g. one bedroom has been split in two).

Consequently, property advertisements in the past tended to omit this crucial information - although more and more ads now seem to come with a floorplan and sq ft measurement.

However, the figures are difficult to interpret with some plans counting garages and other non-habitable spaces in the area calculation. As I understand it, in other countries (US/Canada) there are standard regulations about what can and can't count towards and advertised sq ft measurement.
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# 3
deelo555
Old 23-02-2013, 5:07 PM
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What I find strange is that websites such as Zoopla don't show the sq ft in a clearer fashion. You need to dig into the floor plan for each property you are looking at.
I wonder if this is done on purpose for the benefit of estate agents to obscure smaller properties?
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# 4
aliama
Old 23-02-2013, 8:50 PM
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To be honest, I'm not sure whether it would be meaningful to compare properties in London in this way. I suspect factors like whether the property has a garden or patio, quality of fittings and proximity to good schools or tube stations will probably play more of a role in the price of a property than the square footage.
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# 5
olly300
Old 23-02-2013, 9:58 PM
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As the others have indicated in London properties aren't sold this way.

Generally any property in the catchment area of good schools, in close walking distance to a tube/train station and with it's own parking sells for more.

Bidding wars can occur simply because a property is well decorated, in the catchment area of schools, less than 10 mins from a station and has it's own parking even though 5 minutes further away (even on the same street) there are similar or larger properties.

This is why in London one of the best things you can do is rent in the area before buying if you don't know any long term residents of where you want to purchase.

I know a lot of people who have decided to move house after having children simply because they were in a poor school catchment area. I know childless people who have moved due to poor location and lack of parking due to their work prospects.
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Last edited by olly300; 23-02-2013 at 10:03 PM.
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# 6
BigG10
Old 24-02-2013, 7:52 AM
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Deffo not sold this way in London.

e.g. when we were looking.

2 beds with 490 sq foot in region of 250 - 265k
1 bed with 490 sq foot in region of 225 - 240k

Thats in a good area.

Different area...

2 beds with 715 sq foot in region of 200 - 225k.
1 bed with 370 sq foot in region of 160 - 200k.
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# 7
Abatement
Old 24-02-2013, 10:59 AM
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It's definitely a relevant factor, and one that I paid quite a lot of attention to when looking to buy in London. However, it's only a starting point - obviously you also need to factor in layout, outside space, parking, local amenities, state of repair, freehold/leasehold and a whole host of other things, which means that two properties with the same square footage in the same general neighbourhood could differ in value quite substantially.

Unfortunately I don't know of anywhere that you can find the data you need. I kept a spreadsheet of every property I viewed which included asking price, square footage, and price per square foot. Over time it gave me a good general sense of what was a reasonable price for the area.
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# 8
deelo555
Old 24-02-2013, 4:23 PM
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I wonder how hard it would be to start up a new property website which would show the following for each property:
price sq/ft
distance to tube station
distance to local schools
parking availability

For my search I've found that I waste a lot of time looking at properties only to find they are too small (i.e. too expensive price / sq ft).
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# 9
propertyman
Old 24-02-2013, 4:33 PM
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I want to shout at people who babble on about sq ft. It is a waste of time trying to impose some popular concept from the TV of other countries.

In this country we have a huge variation in style design and age, and historically have a real mix of properties and who developed them, as well as hugely different living concepts
It is only when dealing with relatively new build apartments and suburban estates, say an area developed by one developer or owner or new towns, that it is indicative as the properties are easily and rationally compared

Look for eg a three bed semi with parking garden etc price range get the details and look at the room sizes and layout, view or dont view Simples.
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Last edited by propertyman; 24-02-2013 at 4:44 PM.
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# 10
aliama
Old 24-02-2013, 5:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deelo555 View Post
I wonder how hard it would be to start up a new property website which would show the following for each property:
price sq/ft
distance to tube station
distance to local schools
parking availability

For my search I've found that I waste a lot of time looking at properties only to find they are too small (i.e. too expensive price / sq ft).
Rightmove shows the middle two. And if a property has a parking space or a garage, it'll usually be stated in the description.
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# 11
bob2
Old 24-02-2013, 5:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propertyman View Post
I want to shout at people who babble on about sq ft. It is a waste of time trying to impose some popular concept from the TV of other countries.
Heaven forbid anyone should want to compare property based on an objective measurement! As far as imposing it on others - doesn't matter to me if someone else doesn't want to consider it - but as a buyer I would want to know the floor area before proceeding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by propertyman View Post
In this country we have a huge variation in style design and age, and historically have a real mix of properties and who developed them, as well as hugely different living concepts.
Translation - many UK properties are absolutely tiny and if people paid too much attention to this they might not want to buy them. The entire property "ladder" might collapse if people realised that moving up from a 3-bed house to a 4-bed house could sometimes mean only increasing the habitable area from 1100 sq ft to 1200 sq ft at a cost of 100,000 or more! So could perhaps get better value from an extension.

Quote:
Originally Posted by propertyman View Post
It is only when dealing with relatively new build apartments and suburban estates, say an area developed by one developer or owner or new towns, that it is indicative as the properties are easily and rationally compared
Indicative of what? Space is space whether a house is old or new. Sure - if you value "quaintness" and "character" over space go for a tiny historic cottage. But when comparing quaint character cottages it's still useful to know which one has more space.
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# 12
aliama
Old 24-02-2013, 5:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b!!! View Post
For some reason people in the UK focus more on number of bedrooms and reception rooms than floor area. Properties with identical floor areas will sell for different prices if one has more bedrooms (e.g. one bedroom has been split in two).

Consequently, property advertisements in the past tended to omit this crucial information - although more and more ads now seem to come with a floorplan and sq ft measurement.
Why 'for some reason'? It seems logical and sensible to me that people would care more about the layout of a property and the number of bedrooms, because those are the factors that will determine how you live in a property.
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# 13
bob2
Old 24-02-2013, 5:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliama View Post
Why 'for some reason'? It seems logical and sensible to me that people would care more about the layout of a property and the number of bedrooms, because those are the factors that will determine how you live in a property.
Number of rooms is of course important - but you can increase/decrease this by adding/removing interior walls. You can't add significant space without building an extension (if possible).
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# 14
aliama
Old 24-02-2013, 7:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b!!! View Post
Number of rooms is of course important - but you can increase/decrease this by adding/removing interior walls. You can't add significant space without building an extension (if possible).
True, but it's not always as simple as that. The layout of the house might be awkward and not present a simple solution, and sometimes people just don't want to bother with the faff of building works -- they just want to move into a place and have done with it. Not to mention the difficulty of getting planning permission for a double-storey extension (because who wants a bedroom on the ground floor?), the reduction in garden size, the possible existence of a price cap on the property, meaning that building an extension could essentially be digging a big hole and pouring your money down it.

The balance of the property is important too. Some people might want a larger kitchen and be happier to settle for smaller bedrooms or a smaller bathroom; stuff like that won't be reflected in the total square foot of the property, although it will be reflected in the floorplan, which I agree is vital. I think my main argument here is that the floorplan itself is far more useful and telling than a total square footage. I always get a bit annoyed when a property on Rightmove doesn't have a floorplan.
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# 15
aliama
Old 24-02-2013, 7:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deelo555 View Post
For my search I've found that I waste a lot of time looking at properties only to find they are too small (i.e. too expensive price / sq ft).
Is it possible you're expecting too much for your money? Another thread of yours mentions looking for properties in the region of 300k, and that won't go far in many areas of London.
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# 16
gfplux
Old 24-02-2013, 7:23 PM
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When buying something witch will probably be the most expensive purchase anyone normally makes in their lifetime you need all the facts. The amount of square feet the property is IMO an very important fact.
Trying to play by the rules.
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# 17
sinbad182
Old 24-02-2013, 7:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliama View Post
Is it possible you're expecting too much for your money? Another thread of yours mentions looking for properties in the region of 300k, and that won't go far in many areas of London.
Too right it won't. You'd be lucky to get a 2 bed flat any where decent for that.
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# 18
orcocan
Old 24-02-2013, 11:06 PM
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you guys don't make any sense

so, all else equal, a 500 and an 800 sqft 2 bed flats should sell for the same price just because they're both 2 bedrooms properties?
price/sqft is an objective indicator, it's absolutely fair enough that buyers will want to look at it
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# 19
orcocan
Old 24-02-2013, 11:08 PM
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this might help

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/06b9f73c-4...#axzz2LrRGyE00
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# 20
aliama
Old 25-02-2013, 9:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orcocan View Post
you guys don't make any sense

so, all else equal, a 500 and an 800 sqft 2 bed flats should sell for the same price just because they're both 2 bedrooms properties?
price/sqft is an objective indicator, it's absolutely fair enough that buyers will want to look at it
Huh? When has anyone said that the size of a flat plays no relation to value? Of course it does, IF all else is equal, but the point is that in London, all things are rarely ever equal.
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