The Brockley Housing Market Redux

"Check out Brockley Central for a test case in how a group of committed local people can start to catalyse change and deal with corruption at street-level, not on a “us versus them” level which sanctifies professional journalists at the expense of narratives that actually matter to people."
- Lloyd Shepherd, Head of Future Media Solutions, Channel 4

It's very kind of Lloyd to say so, and we hope we do make a useful contribution to local issues, but there is a time for rigorous analysis of local government policy and there is a time to talk indulge BC readers' other favourite hobby; talking about house prices.

BC regular Headhunter's been stoking the flames on the Suggest a Topic topic thread, but given how long that has become, we have decided to create a new one, to give those who wish to discuss housing market theories the opportunity here. This is what everyone's favourite Dutch-impressionist had to say:

"One of my neighbours on Manor Avenue sold his flat within 40 hours of it going on the market! There was an article on the ES website yesterday saying that th property market is picking up slightly with historically low interest rates."

139 comments:

Headhunter said...

Seriously... I'm tellin' ya. Buy, buy, buy....

Comment said...

House prices... now there's a topic, that gets woefully ignored!

Anonymous said...

"... my house"

Anonymous said...

Lucy Alexander from Homes under the Hammer was recording a piece in Brockley a few months back (I saw her from my window) - I hear it was broadcast recently but didn't see it. Did anyone happen to see it? I heard some of what she was saying - it indicated prices were holding their own in this area.

The Cat Man said...

I have been regularly searching the Brockley area on rightmove.co.uk to buy a second house and there isn't much on at the moment. Honestly, I think the ELL effect has reduced the effects of the recession in the Brockley Area.

Lets look at Brockley during the last 6 months (when the economy has contracted):

Cafes:
- Moonbow Jakes Closes,
- Royal Teas Opens
- Broca Cafe expands

Shops:
- Broca Food Market Opens
- Computer Repair Shop (Mantle Rd) Opens
- Travel Agency on Brockley Cross Opens
- Estate Agent in the Tea Factory Opens

Other:
- Brockley Common goes ahead
- Mantle Road Flowerbeds goes ahead
- New residental block (Mantle Rd) goes ahead.

So the net effect, is that the private sector is doing very well and the public works has supported the regeneration in these tough times!

Its no surprise the housing market is relatively stable..

Brockley Nick said...

@Catman - i am astonished to find myself agreeing with every word!

You could add to that list the Tead Factory Gallery, Tickle Me takeaway, the plumbing and electrical shop on Brockley Cross.

Plus Aquarium has replaced / improved Ecosium.

Hopefully Dandelion Blue will reopen soon and perhaps La Lanterna will return improved.

Anonymous said...

My god, Catman you spoke sense, are you ok?

Anonymous said...

On the La Lanterna front, I was in Charing Cross recently and I noticed that their other Biaggio restaurant there appears to have closed down aswell.

Either a chain-wide facelift or a bad omen?!

Anonymous said...

there is a new shop of some description opening oin the corner next to the shop on the hill.....

also, does anyone know what the extensive and apparently coordinated work going on in the Conservation Area is about? scaffolding everywhere. must be good news for so much inward investment.

my observation is that "special properties" like big well kept houses seem to be doing ok. I guess owing to rarity value. They also have massive gardens which are unusual in London and JAGs adn Dulwich College etc are handy for families moving in.

I don't know about flats - i don't mean this to sound negative; i just haven't tracked them.

my suspicion is that the ELL and literally going on the map will more than compensate and that anywhere in London getting new infrastructure is a good bet....

Comment said...

Sorry for interrupting your flow there anon 12.02. that was quite funny.

Headhunter said...

To be honest, I'm not sure the current rise in optimism is likely to be long lived. This time of year is typically one of the busiest for house sales, so there are perhaps a few more buyers out there at the moment, however as Cat Man points out, there ain't much on the market as people who don't have to sell up just won't bother as they know their asking price will get hammered. Lack of supply is probably briefly forcing prices up, however I doubt we'll see prices fall much further over the rest of the year.

On the other hand, Brockley is still one of the few places (in zone 2) you can buy a decent home for less than £250k, so still within the 1% stamp duty threshold, that's something else that's going to attract people.

Brockley Kiwi said...

I cringe a little when I hear people try and second guess the property market and convince themselves that property prices are on the way up. Property prices only matter if you're (a) a speculator or (b) you make a decision to enter or leave the market (which for the average Joe Brockley is very few times in their life).

What really matters is whether you are happy with the place you live in for the price you pay for it (rent or mortage costs).

I bought a flat in Brockley a couple of years ago and I love it. All the positive stuff above just reinforces and improves my quality of life. I'll only start worrying about property prices when I decide (or am forced to) not own my own property.

One unrelated cripe is Weatherspoons ownership of the Brockley Barge. Brockley surely deserves something with more character as it's centrepiece Pub? £2.69 breakfasts and £2.13 pints just don't do it for me.

Sorry for the rant ...

Hugh said...

You see all these 'Sold' signs outside houses and flats and on rightmove but they never make it on to nethouseprices.com.

The agents are telling porkies out of desperation.

Brockley Kate said...

The KFH adverts in the Sunday Times property section always feature Brockley now, which they never did a year ago. Suggests to me that this is one of the few areas where stuff is actually worth trying to sell.

Anonymous said...

Hugh is right- everyone- press/estate agents/govt is desperately trying to avoid an economic meltdown, and putting a positive spin on things to avoid depression (when everyone stops buying anything reasoning everything will cost less soon).
With unemployment soaring, repossessions are about to get nasty, and I'm afraid this is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better...

Comment said...

Property talk, what to say that hasn't been said, written about or blogged numerous times before.

We've had 10 years of Kirstie and Phil, and Sarah Beeney, and that slimey estate character Andrew from Selling Houses and then all BBC programmes then there's the columns in the newspapers and blogs all proffering various degrees of real estate punditry. Now it's all just rehashing cliches.


We all know about the charms of Brockley and it's 'zone2 sub250k decent home' status otherwise alot of us probably wouldn't have found ourselves here.

But there is a reason why that is the case it's structural. I would guess it's because the majority of the homes in Brockley are owned by the council. This has an impact on the types and range of the shops. Which in turn impacts on the type of people who'll buy into here.

Headhunter said...

"I cringe a little when I hear people try and second guess the property market and convince themselves that property prices are on the way up"

I don't really care if what I say comes true - it's just fun having a chat about it!

Re depression there are already some signs of a lift in the investment banking market. Just recently a couple of our clients have started to hire, another bank, UBS has just lifted its total, global hiring freeze and some banks are already registering very good Q1, so it's not all doom and gloom.... AND very soon we'll all be able to get a decent breakfast at Roayl Teas! Who could ask for more?

Headhunter said...

"But there is a reason why that is the case it's structural. I would guess it's because the majority of the homes in Brockley are owned by the council. This has an impact on the types and range of the shops. Which in turn impacts on the type of people who'll buy into here."

I agree the reason for the increase in scaff in the area, Lewisham BC and Regenter etc are now repainting and refurbing all the council owned buildings in the area. I don't agree that simply because there are council owned properties in Brockley it will limit its appeal, I lived in Islington for a few years before moving here. Islington is riddled with council estates and housing and it certainly doesn't have a problem attracting people with wonga.

Squirrel Nutkin said...

@Headhunter

I wouldn't be too quick to include UBS in your green shoots analysis, there are rumours of another 5000+ layoffs.

max said...

In fact probably most of London has around the same ration of private to social housing and that's a deliberate policy, the other option is economical segregation and that's not something that's desirable.

Brockley Kate said...

Mortgage approvals were up 19% in February btw.
This is the point in the cycle at which the vultures begin to feed.

Tressillian James said...

I'm afraid I started Mr HH off on this with the below comment on 'Suggest'

"Kicking off a house prices debate...place opposite me sold within one week, has Brockley hit it's bottom?"

The above is true. Moreover my brother is currently buying in Brockley (yes buy) and has found that the prices do seem to have reached a bottom level, and the most desirable places go quite quickly. He is buying for investment, on the strength of its 'obvious gentrification over the last 5 years and the ELL arriving in the next year or so'.

Now prices reaching a bottom, do not mean prices rising. Neither do fast sales. What the fast sales mean though is that prices are finding a level and anything under that 'level' will be snapped up.

I also think more properties will come on the market as the PFI works end - if you are thinking of selling, it is best to do when your house has a clean frock on.

Brockley Kate said...

PS. Anon - the 'co-ordinated' work in the conservation area is the Brockley housing PFI, bringing council-owned homes up to the government's Decent Homes Standard. It has been covered in the past on here several times.

Bea said...

As Tressillian James can verify, not all the properties covered in green netting and scaffolding are occupied by council tenants. Some people actually own the flats and have had to fork out thousands of £s to Regenta to get new roofs, have their sash windows reconditioned, insulation put in the loft space and had their facades painted.

The Council holds the free hold but the occupants may well be flat owners.

Headhunter said...

"I wouldn't be too quick to include UBS in your green shoots analysis, there are rumours of another 5000+ layoffs."

Must admit I was surprised that UBS would be hiring, the word on the street is that they're pretty much exitting investment banking

"This is the point in the cycle at which the vultures begin to feed."

Great. The sooner my flats worth more than I paid for it (again), the better....

Tressilliana said...

I can't think why anyone would want to but you could do a map right now of which buildings have Lewisham Council as a freeholder just from the scaffolding. Lots of those houses will contain flats and maisonettes which have been sold as leasehold properties under the right to buy back in the 80s and 90s.

We are hoping to retire in about 7 years' time and with a bit of luck that should be at the top of the next boom. On the other hand, if the entire world economy has crashed, we might by then be reduced to fighting our neighbours for the last handful of grass on Hilly Fields.

Tressillian James said...

Bea - you're right - often the whole building will be leaseholders. The council holds the lease just like any other landlord (so the leaseholders are indeed refurbishing their property).It is quite common in Brockley as the council bought up the properties after the 2nd World War and then 'lost' them in the right-to-buy years.

Tressillian James said...

sorry - the council holds the freehold - not the lease

Headhunter said...

TJ - "I also think more properties will come on the market as the PFI works end - if you are thinking of selling, it is best to do when your house has a clean frock on."

I suppose that could be true, but if I'd just coughed up for a load of work to be done and the market wasn't exactly blossoming, I'd probably stay put and enjoy living in a smart looking building

Comment said...

Freeholders do rent out their homes to the council to house the needy. It's all swings and roundabouts.

The most important thing is make this place a good place to live and that typically means increased social interactivity regardless of what type of housing people live in. Shopping opportunities alone is not what makes an area for me.

Let's support the Brockley Max and the fun run's if it's happening this year.
That recent Brockley assembly and the BXAG and Brock Soc meetings, what ideas did they yield to make Brockley better and keep it lovely.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bea for the clarification on the "co-ordinated" work.

I agree with Kiwi that house prices only matter if you are entering or exiting the market andn few people do that as a matter of course. In fact arguably what you really want throughout your property owning time frame is for prices to drop adn drop as you trade u then woosh, increase.

at te woosh point Im off to Barbados.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking to buy in brockley for 2 years. Vendors are still holding on for high prices and many of the (overpriced) properties are staying on the market for over 6mths, some for over a year-many in fairly bad condition. I think this is because the vendors have inflated their prices in anticipation of the ELL (which isn't due for some time) and brockley although "up and coming" hasn't quite got there yet. Prices in brockley are similar to that of Stoke Newington and not much lower than East dulwich....I don't think the property prices have fallen in brockley but I don't think much is actually selling either

Comment said...

Maybe you try somewhere else if Brockley is so overpriced. You don't want to get fleeced.

Headhunter said...

I think vendors holding onto high price expectations is common across London. If you were selling a flat in Brockley and hoping to buy in, say, Islington, if someone made an offer of 20% off asking which you then tried to reflect on an offer on a place in Islington and were told to naff orf, you'd probably tell your buyers to naff orf too. Until people are forced to sell because they've lost their jobs or have made an offer on a place and need to sell theirs to move, I should think liquidity in the housing market will be low (relatively speaking to a few years ago).

Housing stock in Brockley and particularly the conservation area is waaaay better than the cramped little conversions in East Dulwich anyway. The only reason prices are high is that people think Lordship Lane is the new Upper Street.

Bobblekin said...

People forget that house price dynamics include affordability (as well as supply and demand).

There is still a significant gap between average house prices and average earnings. Affordability (earnings + loan availability) will continue to fall for another 18 mnths.

Home sellers and home buyers perception of house price and value has been really distorted over last 15 years. It will take many more months and the hard reality of affordability before the actual impact becomes clear in Brockley.

I would agree with comment about impact of council housing which limits supply somewhat in the conservation area but this also effects demand as the area does not benefit from a momentum of new people moving in (a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

Michael said...

I've recently moved to Brockley from Bloomsbury. I love it here. I think that this area (like Bloomsbury did) has a real sense of community. Also, coming here just two months ago, I can clearly see that this area is improving all the time. Barely a day goes by when some new venture isn't mentioned. I think that it's very exciting.

On buying - We bought our flat through a government scheme called Ownhome. It was one of the best things that I have ever done. We were supplied with a 40% equity loan that acted as a deposit and given a mortgage for the other 60% through the co-op. The whole thing was very easy and everyone we dealt with very helpful. Now we own a beautiful Victorian garden flat. I couldn't be happier.

Enjoy Brockley, it's great!

Cynic said...

I'll give you two years..

ONLY JOKING!!!

;) and welcome. Brockley must seem relatively bucolic compared to WC1.

Anonymous said...

personally i am glad i didn't buy in brockley last yr or the year before (or buy anywhere for that matter).

as headhunter says if someone doesn't need to sell a property then they can wait for the right price..but a property is only worth what someone is willing to pay.

mintness said...

Glad you like the area, Michael - it's proper grand for the most part.

However, since we're on the subject of house prices in general, you do bring up a point that illustrates something I've been dwelling on for a while:

We were supplied with a 40% equity loan that acted as a deposit and given a mortgage for the other 60% through the co-op ... Now we own a beautiful Victorian garden flat.

To me, this is indicative of what's got us into this whole inflated house price mess in the first place - the idea that you, or indeed anyone else in your position (I'm really not picking on you here!), in any way "own" anything more than a tiny fraction of the place you call home at the minute.

One suspects it's too late for our generation, but kids really need to be taught what "buying" a house actually entails in terms of the huge commitment and debt burden it brings in relation to the actual "ownership" you can reasonably claim to have, particularly after only a year or two...

Hugh said...

Actually you do own it, in law.

mintness said...

Then the law is an ass.

No, of course you're right, it's more just the financial reality of it all that seemed to get lost in the big scramble, i.e. people who shouldn't have even been thinking about buying a property of value [x] being encouraged to do so with unrealistic earnings multiples, convoluted partial ownership schemes and the like. If you know the risks and rewards of what you're getting yourself into and you're satisfied with what you're taking on, then all power to you, I guess.

Hugh said...

I see nothing wrong with what people did. They were just speculating on asset prices. We all do it. And doing it with houses means you get the benefits of leverage provided you guess right, not to say tax-free gains on your main residence.

The common man doesn't get many chances to make a killing. You can hardly begrudge him trying his luck.

Tressillian James said...

Well said Hugh.

However; Hugh - a champion for the common man? Whatever next - a review of Morley's?...a decison NOT to move out to the mythical West?

Headhunter said...

Whether you do or don't own the property, you're still classed as an "owner/occupier" by banks, credit companies etc etc. The beauty of "owning" your own place is also that, unless you default on the mortgage, you can remain happily there for as long as you like, decorate it as you see fit and no landlord can suddenly kick you out because they fancy selling your home.

Of course landlords have the right to sell up whenever, but it's a pain in the backside when you have really settled into a place, got your pics on the wall and your ornaments on the mantle, to suddenly be told you've got a month to find somewhere new to live and get out.

If you own, the buck stops with you and you can do what you like.

Hugh said...

James, don't worry, definitely heading out West.

Headhunter said...

It's been a long time coming Hugh! You've been talking about it since you 1st arrived on this blog. Anyway I thought you had your eye on a 7-bedder on Wickham Rd?

Hugh said...

Is acquiring such a gaff and moving out West being inconsistent?

Headhunter said...

So you're planning on dropping a mill/mill and a half on a house in Brockers and then buying out west as well? Greedy!

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

If anyone living in Tyrwhitt Road moves to Wickham Road they are indeed moving West...

Headhunter said...

But I would hardly consider that a move "out" west!

The Cat Man said...

With greed like that Hugh must be a lawyer come banker..!

Is anyone watching the protests? Its quite amuzing. Apparently some of the office workers were leaning out of their office windows waving £10 notes at the protesters!

Hugh said...

Watching them? Hugh has been among them!

No sign of that crap professor, though. Mostly unwashed hippies in the 22-26 age bracket with expensive octagon tents bought in Sevenoaks.

Comment said...

groan@ catman that same story was doing the rounds during the last round of anti-capitalist protests in the city.

The second part of that 'story' is that the protestors see the bankers waving the cash, become enraged and begin to raid their building. A bunch of them run up the ascending escalators and are about to reach the top where all havoc will ensue when a quick thinking security guard, flips a switch and reverses the direction.

Headhunter said...

Any of that elusive hot totty from Goldsmiths hanging around?

tyrwhitt ali said...

I'm pretty sure it was £50 notes the last time round..... The credit crunch has hit everyone :-)

Pete the Pedant said...

"amusing" spelt with a z!

I despair.....

Pedant said...

Not to mention the "lawyer come banker"

Ed said...

House prices are also relevant if you are up or downgrading within the market as well as entering or exiting...

Hugh said...

No sign of Goldsmiths totty in the City today but
some bird in hotpants was parading around on Bishopsgate.

Not sure if he was pre-op.

Michael said...

I, of course, understand your point Mintness. For the most part people only legally own their homes, rather than actually having paid for it. Still the feeling of freedom that our 'owning' our home has given us, is huge. That, coupled with optimism of the area, we are very very happy.

I want to explain a little about our purchase, because I think that it is a long way from the kind of actvity that has fueled the current housing crisis. The Ownhome scheme was set up by the government last year. It is designed to give first time buyers a chance to get onto the ladder. My girlfriend and I both work in the arts , she as a writer, I as an actor. We both make an honest hard-fought living out of our careers but, sadly (!) don't come close to earning enough money to put away a deposit. This scheme, in loaning us the equity has made something we rarely thought possible come to pass. The government will take no rent from us, we will only pay interest on their loan (at 1.75%, far less than a mortgage) after five years. This all means that our outgoings are far less than they were when we were renting. Yes we only 'own' 60% of our flat, but it's a start and one we're extremely grateful to have.

The only reason I want to put this on here, is that we feel very lucky to have come across Ownhome and would thoroughly recommend others looking into it if they are struggling to get on the housing ladder.

In conclusion: in your face world!

Tamsin said...

Where were you Michael when I wanted a younger male voice to read poetry one Sunday evening in the Telegraph Hill Festival? And how can I get in touch for next year?

Tamsin said...

Going back to the discussion yesterday morning. As an ex-lawyer who worked in a small provincial practice I could see that it was the mortgage lenders chasing commissions and offering self certified loans with far too high a ratio of loan to earnings who were a major factor in fuelling the hyper-house price inflation (well out of line with the rpi and average earnings) that we were cursed with over the past twenty years.
For every common man who made a killing on the rising market in the last two decades there are two or three who over-stretched themselves, were re-possessed and so lost everything (even the tiny nest-egg of savings or the legacy from Granny that they may have put in) as the mortgage company who should not have lent in the first place adds in everything it can to the outstanding debt (legal costs etc.) and makes a pig's ear of "marketing" the property.

Wicked, wicked, wicked and still makes my blood boil.

The result has been, even after the abrupt re-adjustment that we are going through, that home-ownership is as far beyond the reach of many people as it ever was, without fancy schemes or deliberate government interference with the market. I know it is patronising to say "sorry, you can't have a loan that high, lower your sights a bit" but without that sort of reality check everyone suffers.

Tressilliana said...

Let's not forget, though, Tamsin, that those lenders wouldn't have been able to do that if Mrs Thatcher's government hadn't made credit so much easier to obtain in the 1980s. In the early and mid-80s building societies were very strictly limited in what they could lend for and how much they could lend for a given security. When we got our first mortgage in 1986 the limit was 2.5 x our joint earnings or 3 x higher income + 1 or maybe 1.5 times lower income. We had to produce a deposit of at least 5% - I can't remember if this was because 100% mortgages didn't exist or because they were far more expensive to allow for the greater risk.

Within a very few years, all that had gone. Building societies were falling over themselves to increase people's mortgages with no questions asked about what the money would be spent on - previously you could only get an increase in your loan for something that would obviously increase the value of the property, e.g. central heating, fitted kitchen, and you had to prove it with receipts.

Then of course most of the building societies demutualised, while the banks moved into the mortgage market, which before the 80s they'd largely avoided.

And so on, to the sorry mess we find ourselves in now. It does make me gnash my teeth to hear the Tories trying to pass this off as all New Labour's fault. The honours are fairly equally divided, I'd say.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hugh said...

Tamsin said:

'For every common man who made a killing on the rising market in the last two decades there are two or three who over-stretched themselves, were re-possessed and so lost everything (even the tiny nest-egg of savings or the legacy from Granny that they may have put in) as the mortgage company who should not have lent in the first place adds in everything it can to the outstanding debt (legal costs etc.) and makes a pig's ear of "marketing" the property.'

Always amusing how people bang on about their rights but are the first to blame others when the result of exercising their freedoms is personal loss.

You can't have potential upside without potential downside. Growing up might be the best solution.

Michael said...

Sorry Tamsin, I was probably standing amidst mountains of boxes. I'd be happy to help out in the future, keen to in fact.

Erm not sure how I can get my email address to you without publishing it on here.

I think you're right about over-stretching. It's something that hopefully people will start waking up to. It's incredibly important to understand and accept what is affordable. This of course becomes harder when banks and credit cards continue to offer more credit at (seemingly) low prices.

It's funny how perspective changes with hindsight. I have a family member who has suffered during the market crash, as over the last fifteen years they continued to borrow more and more. Moving to larger homes. I've watched them over this period and have been very jealous. Now, though, I realise that so much of what they have built up was on credit and loans. It's quite sad as now they have to move and re-house their family. Although this is far from as terrible as similar situations can become.

I like to think that I have learned from this. We've taken a fairly modest home. We've actually bought for £10,000 less than we could have done and we're very happy. There's great comfort in knowing that we can afford our home. Hopefully, that is the positive that will come from the re-adjustment. People will learn what they can afford.

The Cat Man said...

Speaking as a Chartered Accountant Tamsin is right and Thatchers policies resulted in very large gains for some, whilst losses for many. It is only now that the many are experiencing the losses due to time lags in the way the economy works.

This is the problem with politicial democracy, often the party in power isn't the party who created the problems but are penalised by the electorate as there is no-one else available to blame.

It is of course what Thatcher wanted, to screw the working class en masse. Under new labours policies we has mass globalisation to thank for continung the trend (depressing labour wages etc..).

To beat the recession, start your own business and shop locally. Do not go to large 'globalised' companies.

Anonymous said...

@ Tressiliana - I quite agree (and I hope the Tories will acquire the honesty to blame their predecessors in their own party as well). No only de-regulation of the money markets, but the privatisation of the railways and the semi-privatisation of the NHS that happened and were started respectively under Thatcher was political dogma pursued to dangerous extremes. Anything that adds to bickering over what are effectively internal contracts to the detriment of actually delivering a service is just stupidity. The nationalised industries were inefficient and wasteful but, back to the News Quiz of a few weeks back now, I would prefer well meaning incompetence to incompetence linked with greed.

@ Michael - I haven't actually begun to even think about next year, but e-mail Nick and he can forward it to me (or pick up a copy of the TH Festival Programme and my e-mail is in there) or register with thehill.org and send me a message through the forums.

patrick1971 said...

It's a bit rich to blame Mrs Thatcher for the enormous house price inflation seen in 2000-2007. When I bought my first place in 1999, the credit situation (3.5 times income) was exactly as Tressilliana describes. I managed to get four times my income (with a 20% deposit, too!) but it was a struggle. I agree that the explosion of cheap credit was one of the big reasons behind the house price boom, but to blame it on Mrs Thatcher is just not correct.

patrick1971 said...

"but the privatisation of the railways and the semi-privatisation of the NHS that happened and were started respectively under Thatcher"

And this is also not correct; privatising the railways was done under Major (first privatised trains ran in 1996, six years after Thatcher left office). Thatcher ran down British Rail, admittedly, but this was because she was in favour of the private car. Had she wanted to privatise the trains, she would have fattened them up and made them attractive to private firms. Major sold them off in a fire sale out of a lack of any coherent policies.

I know that blaming Thatcher for everything has been the standard reaction for the last eighteen years (although Gordon Brown seems to be claiming this mantle now!) but again, let's at least be historically accurate.

Headhunter said...

I have to say I can see both sides here. the banks certainly did lend irresponsibly, however I certainly understand what Hugh says. Just because the banks are willing to offer you a mortgage at 5x your salary, you don't have to take it.

When I bought my flat in Brockers, when headhunting was booming, my bank was almost trying to persuade me to borrow 3x what I needed to buy the little 2 bed flat on Manor Ave, but I decided to restrain myself and am very glad I did given that my earnings have now plummetted (but at least I still have a job for the moment).

On the one hand people whinge about a nanny state when the government steps in to control things, but on the other they moan when the government doesn't step in when they overstretch themselves and borrow too much.

You are ultimately responsible for your own circumstances. Use your brain and think what might come to pass in the future, don't overspend on that credit card and don't overstretch yourself on your mortgage. Don't rely on the government or the bank to act in yuor interests.

max said...

Headhunter, that's all very true, but as each individual is ultimately responsible for his/her own choices so the Government is responsible for decisions that in an entirely predictable way lead to mass abuse of credit.

Tamsin said...

Sorry - the anonymous at 9.40 was me.
Apologies also for the historical inaccuracy - but whether or not the railways were fattened up first the principle remains the same - a mass of contractual relations leads to buck-passing as much as it does to increased efficiency.
@HH Not everyone is as clued up as you are and where the underlying culture of an industry is such that it cannot be trusted to regulate itself there is a role for an element of state nannying.

Comment said...

Blame doesn't lie in any sole quarter. However it was that Thatcherite orthodoxy which ushered the economic genie out of the bottle, in terms of legitimising laissez-faire economics.

Which ultimately led us to where we're at today. But of course you don't HAVE to be a mortgage holder, again I mention Kirstie and Phil and the general media pressure that was everywhere about property. Many people in this country feel like failures if they don't have a mortgage which is not the case for comparable people in countries like Germany. That is a value system is directly attributable to Thatcher, 'property owning democracy' doctrine.

Which I don't necessarily think is a bad thing despite things going a bit wonky at the moment. There have been many winners but things will have to change fundamentally because the losers in this game are the young, the 30 and 20 year olds.

Saddled with university debt, astronomical property prices, semi privatised health care. It's not a great legacy.

Tamsin said...

Rather than actually placing a high value on a diversity of skills, experience and aspiration everyone is fed (by the government and the media) the dream of a degree (in anything from anywhere) a credit card and a mortgage. You are indeed made to feel a failure if you don't comply.

Headhunter said...

I find it quite amazing in the 21st century when people are constantly bombarded by hype and marketing, they still fall for it and believe what big companies want them to believe. Get yourself on www.moneysaving expert.com, take responsibility for yuor finances and stick 2 fingers up at the big corporations (unless they offer you a decent deal).

Anyone noticed that the press is reporting that property prices are now on the increase again? They do qualify it by saying that it's impossible to say yet if we have hit the trough in the market.

tyrwhitt michael said...

Money saving expert com - ah yes the man who recommended investing in Icelandic banks.....

I ignored him unlike many of my colleagues.

Bellend said...

To be fair I don't think you can write him off on that.

All investments carry risk, a loss after many years of gain is to be expected. And not one UK depositor has lost their cash, of course.

Headhunter said...

I'm sure he makes mistakes, I'm not saying he is the ultimate financial oracle, but on a "grassroots" level, his site highlights lots of offers, money off vouchers, ways to take advantage of credit card offers, ways to make money through sites like Quidco etc etc. By ignoring him (and messages on his forum) you're just chucking the baby out with the bath water...

patrick1971 said...

"Many people in this country feel like failures if they don't have a mortgage which is not the case for comparable people in countries like Germany. That is a value system is directly attributable to Thatcher, 'property owning democracy' doctrine."

Again, this is simply not true and is just part of the reflex reaction to blame Thatcher for everything. I agree it's cultural, in that in countries such as Germany there is less emphasis placed on home ownership, but to say that this started with Thatcher is just plain wrong. What about all those ads for "Metroland" in the 1930s, which directly appealed to British people's desire to own their own homes? And, going further back, the sprawling Victorian suburbs were also driven by an increasing middle class interested in property ownership.

The saying "an Englishman's home is his castle" didn't come about for no reason, and the mentality it represents certainly wasn't invented by Mrs Thatcher. Exploited by her, maybe. But not invented by her.

Brockley Nick said...

Patrick and Hugh are both right.

No one individual is to blame for a global asset bubble. Recessions are inevitable and with the possible exception of Iran and North Korea, this one is affecting every country very badly, regardless of their political system. Germany and Japan are the two economies worst hit this time around - the UK looks likely to come through this in relatively good shape.

There is little to admire in France's restrictive policies in terms of an individual or small business' ability to raise capital through loans. Yes, there has been some irresponsible marketing of debt and some reckless lending but are we really saying we want to go back to the days when there was little competition for personal finance and people had to grovel for a loan?

The Cat Man said...

I think it is correct to blame Thatcher for where we are. The single most 'political' thing she has done for the financial markets was the 'big bang' approach to de-regulation.

The one major element that stands out is that prior to de-regulation banks had to hold statutory levels of liquidity ratios (i.e. short term cash/investments to level of debt). Thatcher abolished this requirement allowing banks to lend whatever they want based on what the market expected. Look where this has left us.

The market was wrong.

Comment said...

Patrick people have always bought houses, property, but what I'm saying is that Thatcherism; the concept of a property owning democracy - council house buying is directly attributable to the culture we are now in.


I am correct on this one.

Headhunter said...

I think you give thatcher too much credit. Her policies seemed largely to be a reaction to increasing global economic competition, freeing up UK markets to allow them to compete more easily. The other way to go would have been to increase protection for UK companies and increase regulation to protect UK markets, pretty much as the French have done.

Anonymous said...

They posed a danger to our ships.

The Cat Man said...

Its not neccessarily wrong to have a degree of protection from international elements, as the present crisis shows.

I'm more concerned about the labour market issues re. globalisation. I want british workers to have fair wages not third world wages.

Anonymous said...

The third world would kill to have wagers British workers are already entitled to!

Headhunter said...

Not even Thatcher managed to remove all regulation though. the market we operate in is far from completely free.

As for British workers earning decent wages, as a worker in Britain I too, want a decent wage, but the UK operates in a gobal market, if UK companies are obliged (by unions or government regulation) to pay high salaries, UK plc will collapse and companies will go elswhere. UK workers are in competition with workers from other nations.

Have you noticed articles in the news today that the UK has refused to end its exclusion from the 48 hour limit on the working week that other EU countries are bound by? It's quite unfair really that the UK is permitted to give itself this advantage when the EU is trying to level the playing field in favour of its workers.

Anonymous said...

The empire didn't get built on 48 hour weeks.

Headhunter said...

True. The Empire was built on brute force and superior firepower

Anonymous said...

The CAT is back!!

"political democracy" yeah that sucks, the alternative being? A strong leader? a spot of fascism perhaps?

Oh, presumably you're not against letting foreigners buy our exports?

Leave politics to the grown ups if I were you.

Tyrwhitt Michael in Friday afternoon mood said...

If third worlders want British wagers they should use Portland Bookmakers Brockley's local bookie corner of Adelaide Avenue

which is no where near Longtime cafe.

The Cat Man said...

When people talk about wages they are often taking about 'nominal' wages. If nominal wages are higher in the UK then elsewhere, it does not mean we can actually buy more.

The problem is that there is the perception the UK is a rich country creating more labour supply as people want to earn wages here but collectively depressing the labour market for everyone, themseleves included.

Those who do not rely on the labour market and who own the means of production - i.e. the wealthy - benefit from lower 'employee' costs whilst those who are employees - i.e. the 90% of the population suffer.

This is where we are in the capitalist cycle - massive disparity between the rich and the poor. In the US, the top 5% wealthest people own 50% of the countries wealth.

On a international scale there is enough relatively wealthy people moving to the UK pushing up underlying house prices for instance. The people who get left behind are those that were born here to a working class family with limited life opportunties and due to a 'free' globalised labour market will never be able to afford to live in the UK or in the areas where they grew up. This is what I call economic displacement.

The Cat Man said...

meaow

max said...

Cat Man, I'm not sure your analysis stacks up really.

Those that are from working class families and do not acquire the skills to improve their situation will keep on living in social housing so there is no displacement.

On the other hand those that you say are "relatively wealthy people moving to the UK pushing up underlying house prices" work and pay taxes and that in turn pays for services including social housing.

Those people from working class bckground that, like you, move upwardly are then perfectly capable to buy themselves a house wherever they move in order to work.
You live in London because your work is in London and unless Winchester becomes a financial centre you'll stay here, but nobody displaced you, you moved for work, just like anybody else.

I'd also add that speaking correct English is an advantage when looking for a job, so if employers end up hiring people form outside the UK it means that they can't find whet they need already here and I wouldn't say that people here are excluded from acquiring the skills to improve themselves.

Anonymous said...

Max said: "I'd also add that speaking correct English is an advantage when looking for a job"

But not essential - the Cat Man is living proof.

The Cat Man said...

They are many many reasons for and against.

I wonder how many people are not eligible for social housing whose income is also not high enough to warrant the income multiple to buy something.

The problem with free markets and social welfare, is that often social welfare does not 'immediately' adjust to the conditions imposed by the free market.

We only elect the government once every 5 years for instance. The free market 'elects' a new market equilibrium every second of every day.

max said...

Micheal pointed to a decent solution to this problem in this very thread here.

max said...

Sorry, wrong link, here.

jon said...

Brockley this Brockley that or should it be renamed I wish I lived north of the river.
Come lets really enjoy what we have before it goes ie cafes, bars theatre, cinema, ballroom, parks

Hugh said...

What is this thread now about? Can't be arsed to read it all.

uhfdf said...

情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, ut聊天室, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網, 影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友,

免費A片, 本土自拍, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊,

Tressillian James said...

*Housing market news* Hot on the heels of Tressillian Road, St Margaret's Road haas just seen a 2 bed flat also sell within a week of going to market. Are these odd properties or have we, as I contend, reached the bottom of the market?

Hugh said...

Anyone know what flats are selling for? I would guess 2004 prices but am prepared to be corrected.

Headhunter said...

There's been a lot of press recently about the housing market picking up. Apparently last month prices rose again for the 1st time in about 18 months or something (can't remember the exact time frame). I suppose things typically pick up anyway at this time of year and then lull again in the summer, then pick up again in Sept, Oct time before going quiet over winter. However banks are finally starting to offer better mortgage deals without the need for 25% or more deposits and with interest rates as low as they are, if you can get the financing, it really can't be a bad time to buy...

Headhunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tressillian James said...

Yup - I can give you prices, as I know someone who has just bought - a small two bed garden flat (bedrooms approx 12 x 8; 14 x 9); living room (15 x 11), very small kitchen in the conservation area was sold for £250,000.

Same person is now looking fro another. I think that puts the prices at about 2006 levels?

Hugh said...

Which street and did it have a garden? That is higher than I'd have expected.

Headhunter said...

Prices haven't dropped much at all in Brockers. My neighbour sold for £250k - similar 2 bed garden flat. Even at their peak I don't think 2 bed garden flats were going for much more than that unless they were exceptionally large.

Asking prices for small to medium 2 bed gardens were at about £270-290 in 07 but I don't think many sold at that level. I agree that we've only dropped down to 06 levels really and £250k is always going to be a sticking point because of stamp duty.

There're still quite a few people looking in the area, we still get those notices from estate agents saying they have buyers lined up. A friend of mine on Cranfield Rd is looking to buy another place, he reckons that at current prices with low rates you cane easily make money on buy to let.

Hugh said...

Headhunter, that is nonsense. Estate agents in 07 were quoting me asking prices for my gaff 15-20% higher than they now are. And look at the top-end properties in Brox which aren't selling. Large price reductions.

Headhunter said...

Not my experience Hugh. Along Manor Avenue in 07 asking prices for 2 bed garden flats didn't go over £290k and now they're at about £250-260 asking. My neighbour has just sold for £250k and another neighbour sold in 07 for £250k and when I re-financed part of my mortgage in 07, my place was valued at £250k. £250k is a sticking point.

I used to keep an eye on what was on sale and I really don't think that these prices were any different across the whole conservation area. If you get estate agents round they will often quote inflated prices just to get you to go with them, these quotes aren't worth squat. Best do your own homework on prices. When I sold my 1 bed ex council flat in Islingtion in 06 I was quoted prices between £175k and £220k by estate agents! That's a vast difference.

I can't really comment on the top end of the market - the 7 bedders etc, I only really keep my eye on what mine could sell for.

Danja said...

Dead cat bounce or green shoots in the Brockley Central house price talk index?

Headhunter said...

Well apparently the London economy hasn't been as much affected by the credit crunch as was feared, it's proving pretty resilient, whereas the rest of the UK is suffering somewhat.

Certainly there is some evidence of green shoots appearing already in the banking sector and hiring is picking up again (so banks obviously think they will need people in the near future) but estimates are that the rest of the economy will take longer to pick up.

What I'm saying is that if London's economy remains relatively strong, the demand for housing will reflect this. In fact if people lose their jobs elsewhere in the UK some may do a Tebbitt and get on their bikes and come to London where there may actually be jobs taking up some any slack in housing.

Hugh said...

Headhunter, estate agents may inflate asking prices but when the same agents drop the suggested asking price by 20% you might be forgiven for thinking sale prices have fallen.

Anonymous said...

I've just bought a 3 bed house for £190k, which needs about £40k spending on it. Its just outside the conservation area though.

Headhunter said...

Yes but Hugh, you also have to be a little cynical. When markets are very quiet, estate agents (and headhunters/recruiters) will most likely artificially decrease prices just to make the sale and get some liquidity into the market.

Any sale is good news for an estate agent in a bear market, even if it is, realistically, at a price lower than could be attained, it still gets your P&L up and gets you some commission.

I know that if I was an estate agent fearing for my job, with the market as it was a bit ago, it would almost be in my interests to paint a bad picture of the market, fix a low asking price and risk not getting the home on my books but at the same time, make the sale more likely to go through. I(nstead of getting the property on the books through fixing a high asking price, estate agents are more likely to say "well the market has tanked and we think you need to ask xx% lower than in 2007, however look at our record in the area, we have sold xx number or properties and are really in tune with the local area". THus they start to trade off their name in the area rather than the price they can attain. If they come in, all guns blazing, inflating your hopes, it will make their job so much harder andthe market remains at loggerheads.

Honestly, mate, I work in a sales orientated job, so do estate agents and it's all about the sale at whatever you can get. Do your own homework, don't believe the hype.

Hugh said...

Thanks for the lesson. Lowering a price to get a sale through = a lower price. The reason is irrelevant.

Headhunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Headhunter said...

Yes, true, but I suppose you can only go so far telling people that their home is worth 20% less than it was in 07 if (a) they're seeing properties nearby selling for a higher price or (b) you risk lowering the asking price so far that it puts the seller off completely and they don't sell at all and try something else, like renting the place out.

It must be a very fine line to tread, trying to drop prices sufficiently to get sales going through at the same time as not putting sellers off altogether...

Headhunter said...

I haven't spoken to estate agents recently but I'm sure another way to attract you to sell through them would be to offer some fantastic, one off low %age commission of sale price compared with what they were charging in 06 or 07. Or they may offer you a fixed rate for the sale, so their fee is no longer dependent on the final sale price.

Comment said...

Listening to the professional economic pundits on the budget suggests that we're in for some really lean times in the coming years. Anyone thinking about leaving the country to try their luck elsewhere, Dubai, Canada?

Headhunter said...

I wondered about that. Perhaps head somewhere where the tax burden won't be as high as it'll be here for the next few decades while future governments pay off the enormous Gordon Brown debt.

Brockley Nick said...

Dubai? They've been badly hit. They needed to be bailed out by abu dhabi and nearly all the big projects are on hold. Loads of ex pats losing their jobs, etc

The Cat Man said...

Agreed. I think Brockley is proving more resiliant than other areas but prices have gone down abit.

I dont really care either way to be honest.

All I know is that I find it absolutely amazing to be able to live in a nice old victorian property and awake to birds singing in the trees outside with no traffic noise. That is worth living for in my book. A nice quiet 'mature' garden helps as well.

By the way, the final shop in the Mantle Road block has been let. I have no idea who too.

drakefell debaser said...

And in other darkside news, Martins Yard is now empty of scaffolding at last.

Anyone know when the redevelopment is due to start?

Brockley Nick said...

I don't think it has planning permission yet.

drakefell debaser said...

that's a shame - come on Lewisham.
At the moment the foxes are taking advantage and making out in the open space which isn't much fun to listen to.

Tressillian James said...

Hugh, it isn't one of the premium conservation area roads (Montague, Hilly Fields Crescent, Hilly Fields, Manor Avenue, Tressillian), but it is in the conservation area, it's freehold, and as said before it has a garden.

As my friend is buying another, I'll let you know how much that goes for too.

Oh and as an aside and your comment aobut 'large' properties, I have another firend who is looking right now in the conservation area for exactly that (large 6 bed house) - it seems the fact that such large attraactive house can be bought relatively cheaply is causing interest.

When I ask my friends why they are buying here, whether to live or for investment - they mention the ELL extension, the zone 2 location with a short trip to central London, and of course the properties in the conservation area and hilly fields.

Anonymous said...

I imagine that the uplift caused by the arrival of the ELL and our appearance literally "on the map" will cancel out the current downturn in prices.

It's very clear that there's a shortage of family houses in London - if I could afford it, I would club together with friends and get a massive house hgere. That's where the extraordinary value is and where the millions - and I mean millions - are going to be made over the next 10 years when City money comes back into te equation and suddenly realises se4 is a prime candidate for investment. The relative proximity of top UK schools - JAGS, Alleynes and Dulwich - are an added attraction.

You find houses of the size of the Conserv semidetacheds, the massive Breakspears or Wickhams in few other places in London. They're stunning and at se4 prices a screaming buy.

Flats - different story, much more supply. there isn't the rarity value.

Comment said...

What constitutes a 'premium conservation area' road?

Monkeyboy said...

Looks like Alistair Darling is posting on here in secret (re 18:29 post)

Hugh said...

James and Anon, if SE4 is so great an opportunity, how come bankers from the Wharf didn't buy all the large houses before the boom ended?

Comment said...

Because Brockley was and is very 'below radar'. I'll tell people where I live and more times than not they'll not have a clue.

Thinking about it Brockley hasn't really got an identity. A cultural calling card to telling the rest of London what we're about. Most known areas will be associated something, be it Brick Lane with it's curry houses, Islington with its Upper Street shopping, Bloomsbury with it's squares and literary heritage.

I was hoping the Tea Factory gallery would be that cultural calling card and turn Brockley into an Arts and creatives centre.

Monkeyboy said...

Much as I like Brockley (I do honest) it still lacks a centre. Can't see the high street changing anytime soon, It's just a straight busy road. Hopefully they'll do something smart with Colgate Street, I would have thought that would be relatively inexpensive and at least give Brockley an interesting gateway type thingy.

Tressillian James said...

Hugh - I'm just telling you things as they are happening - it would seem that quite a few people think Brockley IS an opportunity. I think lots of people (especially bankers in Canary Wharf) won't think of buying in South London - but that often has a lot more to do with status and appearance rather than opportunity.

Hugh said...

James, the only thing that's different this time is the ELL. Balance that against the recession and an almighty housing crash and you'd still have been better off selling in mid-07.

Everyone thinks they're the first to discover the hidden potential of Brockley. I suspect even Kate Bush felt that way.

eda said...

101煙火,真愛密碼,煙火批發,煙火工廠,製造浪漫煙火小舖,煙火小舖,衣蝶,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣,情趣,煙火批發,情趣內衣,情趣禮品,成人用品,小泉彩,性感丁字褲,自慰器,按摩棒,情趣內衣,情趣精品,情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣,真愛密碼,貓裝,自慰器,性感內褲,飛機杯,充氣娃娃,情趣用品,角色扮演,丁字褲,性感丁字褲,衣蝶,跳蛋,情趣,跳蛋,AV,丁字褲,煙火,跳蛋,情趣用品

I said...

What he said

Roxy said...

costa rica tours, shopping online, costa rica fishing, jaco fishing charters, costa rica whale watching, costa rica dolphin watching, costa rica party boat, panama fishing, fishing costa rica los suenos, los suenos fishing charters, costa rica fishing los suenos, los suenos costa rica fishing, costa rica los suenos fishing, fishing costa rica los suenos, los suenos fishing charters, costa rica fishing los suenos, los suenos costa rica fishing charters, costa rica los suenos fishing,
http://www.kingtours.com/.

Latest Tweets

Brockley Central Label Cloud

Click one of the labels below to see all posts on that subject. The bigger the label, the more posts there are!