Is NOW A Good Time To Buy Property In London?

22 May

So I’ve been trying to buy a little pad in central London for a while now.  You may remember the whole saga I had last year of the flat in Bloomsbury where I got outbid by a Hong Kong investor.

I didn’t want to bore you with all the stuff after the auction action – but a lot of stuff happened.  Well, that’s a slight over-statement – a lot of stuff happened – but nothing actually happened, if you get my drift.

The truth is, I went to see a lot of properties, but none of them fitted my criteria.

The other half grew exasperated as I grew more determined in my search.  And more selective.  In the end I had narrowed my hunt down to seven-odd streets.

Focus.

That’s what I told the other half he lacked as he tried to widen my Rightmove search tool to include Mornington Crescent and Camden.  I slapped his hand hard from my laptop and gave him “the look”.

It wasn’t happening.

He even took to pretending we had friends living in Kilburn to show me the delights of living “more out of town”.

I’ve got nothing against Kilburn and we did have a delicious meal there, but it’s just not the central pad I had in mind.  Of course, that was last year – when prices were about 30% cheaper.

Now?

Well, bugger-me-blind-and-spin-me-around-Mark-Carney I haven’t even got a bloody chance of a wardrobe to hang my clothes in Bloomsbury, let alone a bloody bed to sleep in.  Separate lounge?  Forget-about-it.  You’ll be lucky if you can squeeze a microwave under the floorboards and pray your neighbours don’t hear you go *ping*.

Anyway, it was my choice and what has been done, has been done.  I did have a “sort of choice” last summer when my friendly Foxtons guy Mr J (I did say “sort of choice”) gave me a tip-off about a flat which had yet to come on the market.  It ticked all the criteria and in theory I should have loved it.

But, I didn’t.

I even saw it twice within a period of 24 hours just to make sure I still didn’t like it.

And just to be really-ever-so-sure-about-this-flat-which-fitted-all-criteria-that-I-still-didn’t-like –  I took the other half.

Who I expected to not like the flat as much as I did not like the flat.

But I called that wrong.

He told me the flat fitted my “F*CKING” criteria (as the flat hunt was now known) and as prices were rising higher than a smack addiction – it was this or nothing.

The second viewing with Mr J from Foxtons ended in a blazing argument where I opted for nothing.  Fortunately by this point Mr J and his incumbent glossy Mini and Californian fringe had departed the area.

I smiled and waved through gritted teeth…as I said to the other half: “I am not going to buy a bloody place in London which I don’t like just because the prices are rising so bloody quickly” although, the language may have been fruitier and I probably should have capitalised the SHOUTINESS a bit more.

That was what I said.  That was what I believed.  And that was what I meant.

So….

Less than 12 months later and I’m royally stuffed.

In the last few months I have tried to save harder to buy a place I want to live in.  But, try as I might, I just cannot make the money fast enough.  No matter what I do, the market moves faster.

So….

What to do?

I still want/ need a central pad in London – but seriously with the market so bloody hot right now what am I doing?  Is now really the right time to be considering trying to buy in London again?

I know the market is over-heated.  I know there are too many buyers to too few properties.  I know all the latest stats and shits on every f*cking angle of this property market and yet still I am tempted and want to buy.

Why?

Well, obviously it doesn’t help that three years ago we looked at flats in both Fulham and Kensington way below the budget we have today – but *cough* declined those areas.

That was a big, fat whopper of a mistake.  And one which I whip myself with frequently given the ridiculous amounts of money we could have made.  But you know what – I wasn’t looking for an investment right then – I was looking for a place to live.

Some people confuse the two.  I don’t: A home is a home, an investment is an investment.

So anyway, I’ve come to the conclusion that while prices may soften a little in the short-term, in the long term (and I’m talking 5-10 years here) I don’t think what I pay now will be so exorbitantly over-priced in the future.

That, and the fact I think I’m f*cking crazy.

Anyhow – I’ve started the London property search again.

I’m sure it won’t take many viewings for the lustre of London living to quickly dissipate from my starlit eyes full of such wonder, hope, optimism and longed-for-London possibilities. But by then, maybe I would’ve woken up to the realisation that NOW is NOT a good time to buy property in London!

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