Metro - 17 January 2013
By Jo Eccles
Lloyds TSB recently carried out a study of the most expensive streets in England based on property sales between January 2007 and September 2012. There were no surprises to see that the top ten were all in London. We have bought properties for clients on a number of these streets and I love looking around them, but despite the almighty price tag, the space isn’t always what you’d expect.
The top of the list was Egerton Crescent, and the last house to sell there went for a whopping £12 million, which was £750,000 above the asking price. So was that good value for money? Well, that depends on what price per square foot was paid, and in this case it was just over £3,000 per sq ft.
In central London, properties are valued on a price per square foot basis. If you’re buying yourself and don’t know what price per square foot you’re offering and how it compares to other comparable properties that have recently sold, then alarm bells should be ringing and you need to find out. This is the only real way to assess whether you’re overpaying or getting a fair deal.
The problem with a lot of these sensational studies is that they can be quite misleading. Whilst they grab headlines, they rarely tell the full picture. Of all the top ten most expensive roads mentioned, each has a much higher concentration of houses rather than flats, so the average price of properties changing hands is much higher than a road which is a mixture of flats and houses. If you’re lucky enough to own a property on one of the streets mentioned, it can be great publicity if you’re thinking of selling, but if you’re a buyer, don’t be fooled by prices and headline trends. The property market loves dishing out sweeping statements, so if you’re planning on buying in 2013 then keep a clear head and do your own sums and research.