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BAND
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so some projects will (and already are) unfortunately suffer and it's all a bit of a bitch at the moment. But in the long run, here's my thinking...



The drop in prices, if disproportionate to that in houses, will make apartments more affordable to owner occupiers (first time buyers in particular).

This will;
a) help create better communities within blocks, thus making them more attractive to more buyers,
b) create more permanent residents in our city centres,
c) make 'apartment' and 'city-centre' living a more integral and accepted part of our culture, again meaning apartments are more in demand from owner occupiers.

These in turn will lead to increased demand for larger apartments (as opposed to the studios and 1-beds targeting buy-to-let investors) and thus create a more sustainable demand for apartment buildings (which will include skyscrapers)

So what do you think?
 

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No.

The fact that people aren't buying them in the first place is because they are not attractive to the market they are originally aiming for.

Other markets, families say, are not going to find them attractive either because of lack of play space and education facilities in your average city centre.

An option is to lease to housing associations for a fixed amount of time until the market picks up.
 

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BAND
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Obviously they're never going to be suitable for families, but maybe young couples wanting to get on the property ladder?


I can see your points yeah, and completely agree that they were never particularly attractive to the majority of people to start with which might be a major problem in the future...

(The daft thing is they're still building stupidly small 'studio' flats... a few of applications have gone in for these in Sheffield over the last couple weeks)
 

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The smaller stuff makes sense in the buy to let/HA/rental market, it would make sense for first time buyers if it was more affordable but there would still be high churn.

I think Paul has a valid point, the market is forcing developers and agents to reassess the offer and how they get their return from developments, this can only be a good thing as it will encourage developers to consider the wider issues of the district and neighbourhoods they're working in rather than site specific focus.

Anything that questions and minimises the awful, bland and cheap 'campus' type of residential building developments is welcome so long as the money doesn't get too scared of investing in homes.
 

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Mancunian Member
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Most are empty at the mo anyway, so with reduced prices, hopefully occupancy rates will rise and help towards possibly achieving a) b) and c)
 

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No.

The fact that people aren't buying them in the first place is because they are not attractive to the market they are originally aiming for.

Other markets, families say, are not going to find them attractive either because of lack of play space and education facilities in your average city centre.

An option is to lease to housing associations for a fixed amount of time until the market picks up.
They're not going to rent them to housing associations. Or at least not for long. All social housing has to be at "lifetime homes" standards by 2011, and city centre flats aren't. Those that can't attract owner occupiers will sit empty and end up as cheaper private lets. So immigrants, young EU economic migrants and students are probably going to end up in most of them.
 

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Ultimately it won't be a bad thing.

The reason they are dropping in price is that many of them were astronomically over valued in the first place; It was reported that some two bed flats in Cardiff that were selling for £240,000 in 2001 are now selling for £40,000 less. Well in 2001 you could buy a solid 3 bed terraced house in Cardiff for £100,000 so why the hell was anyone paying more than double that for an apartment in the first place?

I'm glad they are dropping in price, and if it means you can't sell your flat for a year or so, well so be it. Owning a flat in the UK in 2008 makes you one of the lucky 10% humans on earth so sit back, invite your mates round and live in the fecker for a while.
 

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Second Citizen
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It will be a good thing.

Developer's have 3 choices:
a) Keep the same build cost but make less profit
b) Reduce build costs and increase profit
c) Offer better 'Value for Money" and see what happens.

They won't like a) and some will go for b) but that is very short term-ism. The cheap apartment blocks are the ones they will be demolishing in 20 years time.

What I think (and hope) will happen is that more people will buy flats, leading to greater occupancy levels and the formation of community. Developers will have to up the ante and make apartment blocks better quality, more sociable/communal, nicer communal areas, better maintenance.

Hopefully we will see an end to cheap and nasty apartment blocks, warren-like communal corridors and tired carpets and dirty walls in central areas.
 

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They're not going to rent them to housing associations. Or at least not for long. All social housing has to be at "lifetime homes" standards by 2011, and city centre flats aren't. Those that can't attract owner occupiers will sit empty and end up as cheaper private lets. So immigrants, young EU economic migrants and students are probably going to end up in most of them.
Please forgive my ignorance, but what are "lifetime homes" standards?

I don't working in planning or architecture, I'm just registered here because I'm interested in it.
 

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Please forgive my ignorance, but what are "lifetime homes" standards?

I don't working in planning or architecture, I'm just registered here because I'm interested in it.
Ah how useful my pointlessly acquired knowledge becomes. Basically by 2013 all home built in this country will have to be suitable for being adapted for older and disabled people. But with social housing it's 2011.

Due to the recent local authority restructuring health, adult social care, social housing and other service commissioning and delivery agencies will be forced to work together to provide tailored services within the community. It means that housing associations won't just be able to rent a load of crappy flats and put people in them, but will have to acquire (build, rent, buy) accommodation that is suitable for the other care that people may need to receive.

The rabbit warren style apartment blocks that have been thrown up in our city centres won't be suitable for this (given that they aren't suitable for families and won't be adaptable for the services that vulnerable single people need). I am presuming that those receiving housing benefit who probably will be able to stay in them if the landlords will accept them, but as the welfare system is becoming more employment focussed and punitive their numbers are probably going to be fairly low.

Whether this will be good or bad in the long run is open to interpretation. Our cities are going to have a large housing stock that no one wants to own and no one with very much money wants to rent, but which won't be suitable for social housing tenants.

If you look to Hulme in Manchester in the 1980s the crescents went through a similar process (no on wanted to live there) and became the haunts of students, "bohemians" and drug users. It is possible that some of the lower quality city blocks will descend to this kind of use, which while not very nice does tend to be creatively productive.
 
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