Buying and selling in Brockley

This week, we moved house. We only moved around the corner, so we still get to run this blog, although BT is currently doing its best to thwart us.

After a tortuous six month process, we can offer the following observations:

1. The Brockley property market is frenetic at the moment. We moved to Brockley in 2006, when the last property boom was nearing its height. It was horrible. This time around, we’d been fortifying ourselves for the experience by reassuring ourselves that it would be calmer. It wasn’t. If anything, the scramble for homes in the area was far more intense than last time.

The first place we made an offer for, we bid a few per cent below the asking price. Our friends told us we were chicken and should have struck a harder bargain. They were way off. Our below-asking-price offer was politely declined and a cash bidder snapped it up a day or two later for the full price.

The second place we made an offer for, we were determined not to let escape our grasp. We saw it the day it came on the market and made a full price offer the same day. The estate agent responded nonchalantly and told us to join the queue. There were several other people willing to do the same. It went to “best and final offers” by midday. We “won” that process but lived with the constant threat of our vendors pulling out and "remarketing it" if we didn’t exchange pronto.

Similarly, we got a full-asking-price offer within a few days of our place appearing online. Based on our experience buying the house in 2006, we expected the process to take a lot longer. But available family homes are in short supply in Brockley, so it went almost straight away. Over the last year, we've observed homes that might once have been expected to sit on the market for months go under offer in days.

Local estate agent Roy Brooks recently shared with us some data from Right Move which shows that Brockley is among the most-searched for areas in South East London. Last month alone, they recored over 35,000 searches for Brockley, putting it way ahead of Honor Oak (10,000), Nunhead (11,000), Camberwell (18,000), Peckham (29,000) and East Dulwich (30,000)  in the rankings, although Forest Hill, Greenwich and Blackheath are the leaders.

2. Prices have risen a lot over the last seven years – ours went up by about 60% over that time – we dread to think what the one we bought went up by. The rises should come as a surprise to no-one, but we can confirm it through gritted teeth. Occasionally, BC is accused of property price boosterism. If that’s been our secret strategy all along, then it’s backfired spectacularly. Anyway, boo-hoo - we appreciate that we are very fortunate to be able to buy in Brockley at all. We wouldn’t have chosen to remain in Brockley at any cost, but we’re delighted to be able to stay put, as we love it here.

3. We have good things to say about the following estate agents we encountered along the way: Winkworth, who handled both our sale and our purchase and who managed to whip buyers up into a frenzy on both occasions, Rococdells, whose local knowledge and proactivity was impressive, and Kershaws, who really know houses. There were others who were rude and / or seemed to go out of their way not to help you buy any of the properties they purported to be selling.

We also got the opportunity to use loads of tradespeople recommended on Brockley Central and had good experience with them all, so thank you for all your suggestions. We will do a round-up of those people separately.

74 comments:

Phil Marsden said...

We sold a flat in Brockley 2 months ago and bought a house in Honor Oak. We received an offer at the asking price immediately after arranging viewings, and got into a bidding war on a house in Forest Hill (that, thankfully, we lost) It's all a little mad, there are very few family properties, as Nick says, and the area is highly in demand. I'd recommend people should cash in and move to a cheaper postcode where you can get more for your money, but each to their own.

maisie_moo said...

There's definitely a mini-boom going on - I've been told it's partly because people from north of the river are finally cottoning on to the benefits of the Overground, and are happy to trade in, say, a small flat in Islington for a house or large flat in Brockley.

Ben Brown said...

I gave up on finding a garden flat from forest hill to new cross, ended up buying my flat from my ex-wife, didn't pay an estate agent a penny, or stamp duty due to within marriage transfer, which was a massive bonus. It's a shame Brockley is so popular, this article is enlightening though, thanks

John McManus said...

I'm one of the 'North Londoners' who've moved South in order to get more for my money. Over the summer the property market in Brockley and Telegraph Hill was crazy, and it's still continuing - properties smaller than mine are now going for £20-£30k more.It's that the rush is being caused by the better transport links - people can get to work with little or no hassle.

terrencetrentderby said...

The prices would be even higher if there was a decent eating/drinking scene in Brockley Cross.

G said...

An estate agent told us the other day that a house on our road in Ladywell had ten couples/ families bidding for it in best and final and it went for 45k over the asking price. The bubble continues to grow until it bursts.

Headhunter said...

So where do you live now, Nice? Brockley proper or "Greater Brockley"?


We bought our place in 06 and I remember a similar process you describe, we made offers below asking price but never got anything. Finally we saw our current place on the evening of the day it was put on the market and made a full asking offer 1st thing in the morning....


the market in Brockley never seemed to drop back much though, even in 08 and 09 things sold quickly. A basement flat close to us sold within 48 hours in Jan or Feb 09 at the height of the downturn, I remember the estate agent organised 1 of those open days on a Sat and the place was mobbed.... I got back from a bike ride and the back garden was full of random people!


I think the whole of London is going into property frenzy at the moment. People I work with are trying to buy in places like Fulham and I keep hearing stories about how places had 40 offers of which 30 were at asking price and ultimately places go at way over asking, all within a day or 2 of the place going on the market.


I think I'll just stay where I am, I don't think I could deal with the frenzy out there if I tried to move!

Bobblekin said...

I think I'll make 2 new rooms in a loft extension and stay put. This area is excellent for transport to all parts of london especially in the Crofton Park triangle of honor oak, crofton park and ladywell stations.

Broccola said...

As a very proud Broccola (italian for resident of Brockley!) I am very happy to read this even though as Nick said it comes as no surprise. We bought our property in Brockley at the end of 2011 and since then it went up 70% in value! Insane to be honest but from a selfish point of view we are not complaining of course. However touching on what "terrencetrentderby" said when it comes to the commerical property market is a complete different story and quite a bizzare one. My partner and I have also recognized the need of more restaurants, cafes, etc in Brockley and recently contemplated to open our own place. You have no idea how hard it is to even manage to view one of the few unused and abandoned premises around Brockley cross and/or Brockley in general. The council doesn't even know who the owners are and don't seem to know how to find them either (we will try to contact the land registry ourselves and take it from there).
All this to say that we find the disparity between the house market boom and the commercial property market/offer in Brockley a bit of a mystery especially considering the new developments coming along on mantle road and on 180 Brockley rd. We also know we are not the only ones looking to open a business in the area but for some reasons all we hear from people like us who would be genuinely interested in adding value to Brockley with indipendent businesses is that unless we are interested in new commercial premises like the dragonfly place, tea factory and the like the old abandoned ones are so far out of reach and the council sadly seem to really don't care.
We are not defeated though so watch this space, maybe one day we'll manage to revive one of those ghost shops. Any help, assistance, tips are very welcome. Let's make Brockley the most sought after area in the world! :-)

Monkeyboy said...

Yep, extensions seem a better idea if it works for you. Lots of loft conversions happening and I saw a basement conversion in progress in a similar Victorian terrace to mine near nunhead cemetery.

gerri444 said...

I was raised in Brockley (St. Norbert Road area to be exact) and moved to Canada in my late teens. I have returned to Brockley at various times to visit with relatives. I found the whole area to be rather rundown with front lawns, as I remember them paved over for parking spaces and cars everywhere. I'm shocked at the house values in the area, they've totally skyrocketed. I'm curious why soo many stay in London or even England for that matter. Would enjoy discussing it with someone. My e-mail is geraldineleavitt@hotmail.com That being said, I enjoy returning but there's nothing in the area in the way of shops.

Monkeyboy said...

London is a fantastic city, that's why.

rhymer said...

Moved here a month ago - trading a small house in E1 for a somewhat more expensive large house here. We found it a rather strange market - prices all over the place. Some houses were attracting considerably over asking price bids, while others sat on the market for ages - and they often weren't hugely different in terms of positives and negatives. Still it all worked out - and I'm glad we wound up here rather than Forest Hill which feels much more suburban.

Em said...

I live on Telegraph Hill and think the area is fantastic, walking distance to New Cross, Brockley, Crofton Park, Nunhead and Peckham - so many great places to choose from and the transport links are great (apart from the painfully overcrowded overground). I have lived on the New Cross/Brockley border since 2009 and I have noticed so much change in the area even in that short space of time. Most of it is for the better but as someone who rents, and does not stand a chance of being able to buy a house any time soon, it breaks my heart that within the next couple of years we will be priced out of the area. Whilst hunting for our current flat we were outbid considerably over the asking price on numerous occasions, and certain estate agents (especially Peter James) seems to clock that you aren't loaded and offer you no help whatsoever. I guess that's not surprising when the market is so competitive and everything is going over the suggested rate! Maybe it's just because I live here, but there seems to be so much more of a sense of community in this area than certain other 'hip' areas of London.

Guest said...

I used to like living here when I knew my neighbours and everyone on my street now it's all rentals and new faces no sense of community,think I must be old fashioned thought a home was a place to live in not an asset to trade in.I can't see my son being able to afford to stay round here when he is old enough to work I hope this bubble bursts soon and reality kicks in.

Brockley Banker said...

I would be very curious to know how your buying and selling prices compared to the zoopla valuation of them. I fear Zoopla is wildly inaccurate.

gerri444 said...

I realize that and wasn't being sarcastic. There are lots of fantastic cities here too but the neighbourhoods aren't lacking. Don't get me wrong, I love Brockley and consider it my home after growing up there. I just find what i've seen of the houses, etc., it looks a mess and I'm astonished at the house prices. For instance, my grandparents lived in an LCC rental terrace house and the LCC offered to sell the house to them for one thousand pounds in 1962. Now the house prices are through the roof yet the houses don't appear to be as in good shape in that neighbourhood as they were in 62. Just saying. Am just curious. You can buy beautiful new homes or older homes with character here for less than a third of what you pay there and you'd have great proximity to fantastic larger cities.

Monkeyboy said...

Simple supply and demand. Lots of people want to live in London (because it's brilliant) there is simply not enough housing and the government is spending money to under right borrowing instead of spending on housing in a more direct way (my view). The population is set to rise further and there doesn't seem to be a coherent plan to deal with that. I could easily live way out in the 'burbs and take the money, that would be dull though.

London housing is nuts, just glad I got in while it was mearly stupid.

CroftonParkGuy said...

When I bought a year ago the Zoopla estimate was spot on. The Zoopla estimate has risen by 14% since then, but given the prices some of the houses on our street have sold for in that last couple of months, if anything the Zoopla estimates look way too low at the minute!

maisie_moo said...

If you're talking about valuations of individual addresses, the answer is that they are wildly variable. It partly depends on how long ago a property was last sold; e.g. if a house hasn't changed hands for 20+ years it will be valued a lot lower than its true market value. An identical house that has been sold relatively recently might be valued at more than twice the amount.

Mervyn said...

We moved to Brockley 11 years ago from Tooting. We sold our flat and bought this house for the same price. After tonnes of renovation including a loft conversion we've seen the value of our 5 bedroom house rocket. What we haven't seen though, but still live in hope is that the standard of the commercial property in Brockley will reflect the type of 'folk' we are seeing in the area.
Why is it Honor Oak seems to be stealing a march on Brockley.
We had thought when Broca opened and the other coffee shop by the station, this is it. but since then all we've really had is Degustation and The Gantry (which I adore). When and how can we instigate change in the kind of shops we have around here as that is what is really holding the prices down - just saying.

New to area said...

Does anyone know what time I need to get to Brockley station in the morning to get on a Overground train? They always seem to be late and completely choca.

Bobblekin said...

I've been here 15 years and compared to what there was the new shops have really brightened up the high street. But I have to say that the places I spend at the most are actually the places that have been here the longest! I think some more shops will follow but not as much As say east dulwich. Brockley s main assest is a relatively quiet and green district very close to London with excellent transport and good schools. That will always attract young singles, couples and families to the area.

Headhunter said...

I've been catching the 7.32 to London Bridge and always get a seat but the Overground trains at that time, although much busier, do generally have space on them...

Headhunter said...

I know most of my neighbours even though they rent.... True the turnover is higher than owner/occupier places but I just have to get to know more people...

Headhunter said...

I'm afraid that's the way of things when it's a seller's market. Estate agents spend more time sourcing supply than providing a service to the demand side. They know that for every seller they manage to attract they will have 10+ buyers clamouring to view and offer without any effort, they don't need to work at getting buyers but they DO need to work at signing properties up to sell.


Each estate agent is fighting for custom from every seller in the area - so that's what they spend their time on. It's pretty logical really - supply is limited and demand is not.


Also it's the seller that pays the bill after all, so they really owe better service to their paying customers. It was the same when I was buying back in 06, you literally had to be in the estate agents' faces to get a look in, they didn't call me, I had to call them to find out what was new...

Headhunter said...

You're 62 and I assume you've either retired or have experience which allows you to do your job in Canada but the fact is that London has a booming economy and a lot of the best employment opportunities are focused in London and the south east especially for youngsters who have just graduated and need to get on the career ladder (as well as the property ladder). Once they've got experience and are more marketable they may well move away either outside the UK or to another city but initially they need to get that employment under their belts. Same goes for people across Europe in places like Spain and Greece where there are no longer jobs. All these people flock to London as they have little other choice... It's not that easy to simply up sticks and get a job in Canada - there are work visa issues to start with

Headhunter said...

Sorry, that was meant to be "Nick" not "Nice"... I was wondering where you had moved to, Nick....

UB_Rogue said...

7:13 or 7.22. But Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone.

Brockley Nick said...

I am still roughly in the same part of Brockley I was before. Fairly close to Brockley Station.

Loops said...

I have to agree with some of the commenters above that the popularity of Brockley surprises me. We were lucky to buy a flat without too much problem near Brockley Cross a year ago, moving from Hackney, and while I'm developing a fondness for the area, it's pretty shabby. The high street is nothing special, the streets are a mess, the station is practically a cardboard box and we're under a flight path. I'm surprised to find out it's so difficult to open new businesses - we need them!

Brockley Nick said...

Zoopla estimates did not seem to bear any relation to either of the property prices in question.

Brockley Nick said...

The "prime" spots in Brockley are actually pretty well occupied. There are no unoccupied shops on Brockley Road near Brockley Station, nor on Coulgate Street, nor on Harefield Road. Crofton Park is mostly full and has a great range of shops. Brockley Cross is very patchy, because it's essentially a busy road system. The west side of the station still has a few gaps because it's still a building site.


There have also been loads of new places open in recent years. New and newish arrivals include: Gently Elephant, The Orchard, The Brockley Mess, The Gantry, Arlo & Moe's, Mo Pho, Degustation, Brown's, The Broca, The Broca Food Market, Bohemia Hair, Sainsbury's, The Malaysian Deli, etc. Coming soon, we have a new micro brewery bar.


However, it is true that there are some hopeless landlords around, who make it hard to find out how to move into their properties and that the Council isn't much help.

maisie_moo said...

What a crazy situation - we should all be concerned if people who want to make Brockley a better place are having to overcome unnecessary hurdles. I seem to remember similar comments years ago - what on earth are these commercial landlords up to?? Good luck with your quest with the Land Registry - come back here and tell us if you still don't get anywhere!

Headhunter said...

The council doesn't seem to take a lot of interest in filling commercial property which is most probably simply land banked by some investor. How about the "Toes Ask" building near the station? That has been empty for eons - at least since 2006 when I moved into the area. Apparently it's owned by Network Rail but the council seems happy to let it lie empty and puts no pressure on landlords to actually use empty buildings...

Broccola said...

Thank you Maisie. We'll keep you posted.

Glub said...

There was a nice little restaurant/takeaway place there for 6 months or so around 5 years ago, but they moved out as the whole place is damp ridden, the cost of fixing it is obviously too much for Network Rail to bother with as the rent will be too low to justify it.

Broccola said...

Yes we are trying to view that one together with all the other empty old shops around Brockley. For the record my contact at the council explained that apparently in some cases landlords are better off leaving the shops empty as renting them out means paying more taxes and bear more burden (paperworks, legal, etc...). Surely, I then replied, it should be the council and ultimately the government's responsibility trying to avoid such situations in order to encourage the economy and the regeneration of areas like Brockley.....the answer was a sigh...followed by "the government has got more pressing issues than this at the moment".
I am sure you will agree it is all very frustrating but as I said we haven't given up yet.

John McManus said...

Well I get mine at 0625 and usually get a seat - see you there!

John McManus said...

One potential problem is, that if the shops go 'up' then the rents will inevitably rise as well - which leads to independent shops closing to make way for chains which can pay the rent. So less Broca, more Costa Coffee.

br0ca said...

All true but it's a matter of when, not IF, Brockley returns to former glory. The area has everything going for it: transport, parks, nice Victorian architecture with a good mix of grand homes and no less charming terraces. Look at the development of Putney, Wandsworth, Clapham or Borough in recent years. As long as London keeps growing there is demand for the things the area delivers. Shops & restaurants will follow and I'm with Nick that in recent years the change has been remarkable.


Local schools have not been mentioned in any of these posts but look at newly built Beecroft, turned-around John Stainer, expanding Haberdashers and the continued quality of Myatt Gardens and it becomes clear why the area remains attractive to young families in particular. There are at least 5 Good or Outstanding schools in 'Greater Brockley'. We have been here since 2009, moving from Blackheath and will happily stay for much longer.

caveat emptor said...

hmm, all sounding a bit middle class dinner table talk this….


Brockley is great: necessarily and joyfully eclectic and representative of London past, present and future. Brockley is far from perfect and although my son regrets the presence of too many bearded hipsters, we continue to appreciate the growth of the market, the improvement in Hilly Fields as a community park and its artistic importance in terms of creativity, architecture and growing self-confidence. Relatively hidden assets such as the mews, small businesses, a rich ethnic diversity and an openness to individualism help combat more recent tendency to overhype the area by some journalists (BC not included). Schools are mixed- would mistrust OFSTED 'good' and 'outstanding'-all our children deserve better and would counsel caution. Brockley is currently classy in that it is classless-hope it stays the same as it is 'discovered'.

sunbabies said...

I would disregard ofsted too. Having moved here from newham n putting my daughter into Myatt Garden, I am perpetually perplexed by the ' rave' of MG. Leadership quality lacking and some teachers not interested in the kids' education. I'm surprised it is even a ' good' school. Anyone else feel the same about MG? Very wishy-washy school basking in past glory.

caveat emptor said...

Yup absolutely. No wish to deride a local school but our experience was generally disappointing barring a couple of star teachers. The best aspect was mixing local children together from very different backgrounds. Hope it has improved recently with fewer substitute teachers.

Bea said...

The 08:09 and the 08:13 overgound to DJ & HI are usually standing room only but you do get on. If you take the 08:21 you will have to push and the last few times I've taken the 08:21 people have fainted / collapsed at Surrey Quays. Most recently this week when we all had to get off the train and walk across the car park to Canada Water.

Bea said...

(Sorry - should have replied here - and not tag on to Headhunter's resposne).
The 08:09 and the 08:13 overgound to DJ & HI are usually standing room only but you do get on. If you take the 08:21 you will have to push and the last few times I've taken the 08:21 people have fainted / collapsed at Surrey Quays. Most recently this week when we all had to get off the train and walk across the car park to Canada Water

PeoplesAssemblySEL said...

Yes, now this is a topic, that gets people talking and we're going to be talking about it too!


The South London Assembly has a workshop at 11.45am tomorrow that focuses on housing http://www.southlondonpa.org/workshops/.

On the issues that concern so many of us:
-How housing finance used to work and why it
doesn’t now;
-London’s council housing and gentrification;
-The experience
of PFI and estate redevelopment;
- Housing Associations and Boris’
housing strategy.

Hope to see some Brockleyites there!

Brockley Banker said...

Hi or low?

Headhunter said...

So you'd prefer empty and derelict disused commercial space in case sometime in the future rents rise and Costa Coffee moves in?!

Brockley Nick said...

Low.

M said...

Brockley and the surrounding areas are really ordinary as are the houses. Nothing special. God knows why tiny two up two down houses of just around 80sq metres are so much in demand. I have been looking for six months in these areas for a house and it has become a total ripoff. I cannot understand who has the money for these places. It is a hideous, aggressive dirty market and it makes me feel like running away to some place where house prices are in line with what people earn and this whole gentrification bollocks does not exist. I love London and lived here all my life and am very frustrated that I cannot even afford a bigger flat in the south London road where I live because they are now over half a mill. Who has got this kind of money anyway?

caveat emptor said...

I can't agree that the housing stock in Brockley is ordinary, quite the opposite in fact, plus the rather remarkable mews at the back. Of course, I am focussing on the conservation area here but this is one of relatively few areas in London where you have such a concentration of Victorian gems -terraces or villas, together with its close proximity to ancient areas of London such as Deptford, let alone Greenwich and Bermondsey. Don't let your failure to find a place to live turn you against something rather fine and unique-if you can't see this then perhaps it is time to move on. Easy to cavil but harder to find a place to better.

Monkeyboy said...

I live in a Victorian terrace, v nice too bit let's face it they were the bog standard unit 100 years ago.

M, it's no conspiracy. Not enough housing and people like you, me and others want to live in london. Everyone will pay the max they can, everyone will ask for the max price. I did, so would you. We need more housing not the government underwriting loans so that banks will lend more and throw petrol on the fire.

Tamsin said...

Five years ago from New Cross Gate when the trains were empty because the East London Line started there...
But to offer a sensible suggestion - is it possible to rethink your options the other end of the journey? My other half - with the Overground trains impossible from NXG - finds the South Eastern service into London Bridge is emptier (even though less frequent than they used to be).

caveat emptor said...

As we enthusiastically welcome a new generation of affluent, largely white newcomers into Brockley we need to be very careful in the way we help existing individuals, families and ethnic groups come to terms with this new wave of economic migrants. The vocabulary of gentrification, however tongue in cheek is not helpful and it's inherent irony is often lost on estate agents and those promoting our area.
Brockley is not a desert awaiting rain after a long drought, it is a vibrant, creative and historically fascinating area. Whilst I welcome Brockley Market and all the development around the station we need to ensure that the new wave is not tsunami in effect. Brockley's strength is it's diversity and inclusivity. If all that occurs in this current dash for growth is that we displace the existing community then I for one would feel alienated and profoundly disturbed by our current vision of what constitutes 'progress'. Whilst our home has appreciated significantly in value it remains primarily our home and an area we are proud to live in. A culture of envy is the last thing we need in Brockleyshire.

Guest said...

My point exactly its changing here in Brockley to much to quickly I yearn for the bubble to burst and hope the local feel remains and maybe a few of the new folk will like to stay and add to the locality not take it over.

Monkeyboy said...

Thing is all these debates seem o assume there is a conscious decision to "gentrify" an area, as if there is a task force or controlling mind, there isn't. People move to where they can afford and open and support businesses that they want to use. The way to keep an areas "affordable" is to ensure the shops stay boarded up the schools deteriorate and generally make it unpleasant so that people choose another adjacent area. Also, people buy from someone.

The locals could sell to another local, they don't, they sell to the highest bidder regardless of who or where they come from, or indeed regardless of the amount of facial hair and tightness if jeans. Are the good honest locals to blame for cynically selling high? That would be a ridiculous argument. I understand the concern about local being driven out but it isn't anyone's fault or a malign conspiracy. Don't see how you can prevent people from seeing their property to who they want to, there isn't enough housing and the credit is being made easier to get thanks to gorgeous George.

terrencetrentderby said...

Gentrifying makes it sound so twee, I like to see it as reclaiming. A reverse of the post war/mass immigration white flight from the inner city. I am sure the existing community will cope with this, Brockley may be a more annoying but it is safer and busier and who knows one day might have a decent nightlife.

dim wit said...

I think "Toes Ask" is 17-19 Brockley Cross:


http://councilmeetings.lewisham.gov.uk/Data/Planning%20Committee%20C/20050120/Agenda/17-19%20Brockley%20Cross%20SE4%20-%20enforcement.pdf


Sounds like it was trading as a hot food takeaway in Jan 2005 without planning permission, and got thrown out by the council.
Weirdly, it doesn't seem to appear on landregistry.gov.uk (searching the map & searching the postcode SE4 2AB)

Broccola said...

Thank you very much Dim Wit! This helps...let´s see what we can do now...fingers crossed to us

Poster said...

Caveat emptor - what can tangibly be done to "help existing individuals, families and ethnic groups come to terms with this new wave of economic migrants"? The fact the area is becoming more popular with middle class people is purely market driven. Longer standing property owners could to choose to stay if they wished but many prefer to cash in and move to Kent!

Headhunter said...

Different areas right across London are constantly shifting and evolving and Brockley is no different. The large houses in the conservation area were constructed in the late 19th century to appeal to the uber rich, moneyed classes working in the City keen to live on higher ground away from the industrial smog of central London and yet with quick rail access to the City. From the end of WW1 onwards Brockley's fortunes have shifted and we have seen the large houses increasingly broken into smaller flats for people with less money.


Now we're seeing that reversed again as the middle classes move back in having been priced out of Clapham, Fulham, Dulwich etc. Of course we have a responsibility to citizens of our borough but populations shift and move and just as previous populations have been pushed out, there's very little that can be done (or even should be done?) to retain existing populations

Headhunter said...

Of course the vast majority of the 2-3 bed Victorian terraces are nothing special! There were thrown up by Victorian builders in huge, huge numbers to cater for London's rapidly increasing population in the 19th century. They were built for a purpose rather than to be architectural gems. I doubt those builders expected their houses to be in place for over 100 years and selling for many times the average salary, it's simply economics! Without a massive increase in residential construction in London, prices can only rise. The choice we have to make is whether we want London's urban sprawl to start to push out through Kent, over what is currently green belt, designated in the 80s as an important resource or do we deal with high property prices and try to encourage business to base itself away from London in undervalued cities like Birmingham, Leeds and LIverpool...

Headhunter said...

Yes, that's my experience. I asked for valuations of 2 very similar flats on my road, 1 of which last sold 7 or 8 years ago and another which sold in the last 1 or 2 and the latter was valued much higher simply because there is more recent value on record....

Headhunter said...

To be fair it's surely a local issue for a local council... Why should the national government be concerned that a couple of commercial properties are vacant in Brockley... Sounds like our council is simply trying to absolve itself of responsibility

Headhunter said...

Fair enough closing it if the place was run illegally as a cafe but if it's damp ridden and beyond use then why can't the land be sold off for redevelopment? Why can't the council actually enforce some kind of usage rather than simply letting Network Rail get away with allowing it to sit there rotting until it collapses - a blot on the Brockley landscape?

Monkeyboy said...

if it belongs to NR and is close enough to the railway then NR can probably tell Lewi to go do one.

John McManus said...

No, I said I was concerned about independent shops closing, not empty commercial space being used.

Fabhat said...

When I was renting a property from Network Rail in London Bridge - I passed on NR surveyor contact details re someone I knew wanting to rent out Ask Toes and they were essentially told to buzz off by NR. Alas totally uninterested in either mending or renting it out...

AliAfro said...

I'd recommend trying to use the thameslink from Crofton Park to Blackfriars, Farringdon or St Pancras etc where possible ( I know it doesn't suit everyone) - The amount of space available can vary wildly from day to day (which I've never really understood) but I get a seat more often than I don't.
PS Brockley property is nuts - we bought a 3 bed mid terrace in crofton park in Feb and had our place valued the other day at +50%! It might have been a bit underpriced when we bought it and we did spend £10k cheering it up internally but still...50% in 10 months is ridiculous. We are now looking to extend as we cant afford to move.

Broccola said...

Well because it is the government that drafts a bill before a new law is passed in parliament. The council can't do much if the current law somehow allows landlords to be better off keeping a shop closed and unrented. This is not a Brockley issue, it is a national issue which needs to be addressed at the top at some point.

Rose Bud said...

We love Brockley and have lived in our small flat since 2002, sadly have no chance of buying anywhere bigger round here, so will either have to build an extension or move to Catford. Since having kids we have made some lovely local friends with a good community spirit, so would be very sad to leave. My favourite shops are Gently Elephant, Broca food market and Browns with Orchard being a favourite for a local dinner out.

brendan said...

this is why we need a land value tax. Take profit away from speculating witholding land from productive use. Give profit back to people who are actually productive by untaxing labour and its products (including houses - just not the bit they sit on!) It would also make schemes like the Hipster Line self-funding - why should all the local landowners get a windfall on behalf of investments made by general taxpayers? - the landowners should make the investment out of their expected rent and capital increases. A council cannot apply LVT legally without parliamentary consent; tho whether it can do so lawfully may be another matter - bring on the georgist revolution!

brendan said...

more relevant than the demand/supply of houses is the supply of mortgage money. There is virtually no limit to the amount of money people will pay for property if a) they can get a loan for it that is cheap enough to service b) they believe they can get more on resale than they paid for it. The irony of low interest rates is that people end up paying the same or more of their income on housing eventually because house priices go up, so they pay lower rates but on a larger sum. Like wage rises and tax cuts tend to get absorbed by an equivalent amount of rent/mortgage costs all other things being equal.

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