Are House Prices in Sydenham Stagnating?

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Are House Prices in Sydenham Stagnating?

Post by nasaroc »

There have been a number of alarmist postings on this site in recent weeks about house prices in Sydenham calling this a "Cinderella area" where house prices aren't keeping up with the rest of London.

Just to reassure house/flat owners, I have looked up the land registry sales for houses in a fairly typical Sydenham Street - Knighton Park Road - over the last four years.

Here are the results.

2003 (3 sales) average sales price £181,666
2004 (10 sales) average selling price £216,400
2005 (6 sales) average selling price £231,500
2006 (1 sale) selling price £285,000

According to the Nationwide, a property in the Greater London area valued at £181,600 in the first quarter of 2003 would, on average, have risen to £210,623 by the first quarter of 2006. Knighton Park (and other areas of Sydenham) are showing well over the average rises in the last three years compared with other areas of London - and this rise seems to be accelerating in the last few months since the arrival of the East London extension was announced.

Ignore the doom mongers who run down this area and the people in it. You're in the money!
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Post by TTR »

I have to agree. After months of chasing houses in SE26 we have just had an offer accepted on a house. Our experience is that houses in Sydenham are being snapped up at or just below the asking price. Also, some vendors in SE26 are using Forest Hill estate agents to attract buyers who have been priced out of Forest Hill eg Kinleigh Folkard.
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Post by Knighton »

Unfortunately those figures take no account of the types of properties being sold. Taking Knighton Park Road as an example there is a mix of properties including one and two bedroom conversion flats, 2 bedroom terraced, 3 bedroom terraced, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom terraced, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom semi-detached. The piecemeal nature of this street's devopment means there are properties aged 50+, 60+, 90+, 100+, 150+ years old.

The larger houses seldom come onto the market and when they do they will therefore distort the figures.

Nationwide figures are adjusted according to the average properties sold in an area. This renders them quite irrelevant . They do not itemise small areas such as Sydenham or zones within Sydenham. To judge prices you need to compare like with like.

Take your land registry figures and see what kinds of properties they were and then compare the movement of prices within those particular ranges. Over two years, within one street, you will have difficulty coming up with a reasonable comparison. You also have to take into account, for example the condition of individual properties etc.

For the evidence you should take a look in the offices of the estate agents in Sydenham Road. There has been little movement in the price of houses for several years. However a former neighbour of mine was able to sell her property, using an agent from outside the area, for considerably more than the going price.

An estate agent is paid commision. Depending on market conditions and the subjective attitude of the agent they prepare a valuation. If their subjective view of the area is unflattering that is likely to be low to ensure a sale and the return of their commision. In Sydenham this has had the effect of depressing property prices.

The prospective buyer sees an unusually cheap area for properties and assumes it is, therefore, an inferior area. They don't bother looking. If they happen along Sydenham Road at 5.00 pm they certainly will not bother looking.

Ask yourself a simple question. Where else , within 20 minutes travel of the City, can property be obtained at such prices?
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Post by nasaroc »

Knighton - thank you for the number of good points you make about the presentation of statistics.

You are perfectly right that a small overall survey can distort the figures, and you have to be sure you are comparing like for like. For easy reading, I presented a comparison of one street - Knighton Park Road. But before I did this, I looked at land registry figures for over 100 streets in the area comparing first all of the overall figures over a four year period and then like for like (ie. four bedroom house against four bedroom house, two-bed flat against two-bed flat etec etc). Taken over this mass survey the figures point unmistakably in one direction - that property prices in this area are rising and they are rising faster than the average for other areas of Greater London.

Readers can look at these figures for themselves using sites such as, or any of the other sites that track property prices. If anyone can see any indications that house prices in SE26 are stagnating, let's see the evidence.

Knighton - I wonder if I could quote two sentences from your posting which are presented in evidence for your view. Forgive me if these are taken out of context - I don't believe they are and I'm confident that readers will judge this for themselves. Here is the quote:

"For the evidence you should take a look in the offices of the estate agents in Sydenham Road. There has been little movement in the price of houses for several years."

Of course, anecdotal evidence such as this can only be judged by people's experience. So can I ask readers to re-read the two sentences above and to ask yourself whether they ring true? I have to say that quite the opposite in my experience and that of my friends and neighbours.

If anyone can show me like-for-like properties in any street in Sydenham which are being offered by local estate agents for less than they were eight years, or even five years ago, as Knighton claims, can they let me know? I want to buy one.

Of course Knighton is correct to point out that you can still buy a property in this area for less than you can in many other comparably areas. But this is very, very different from Knighton's original claim that this is a Cinderella area where property prices are stagnating. The price gap is closing and will continue to close in coming years. Great news for residents of this area who are lucky enough to own their properties and great news for those thinking of settling in this area. I've recommended a couple of friends to buy flats in this area - and I don't think they're going to regret this sound investment as they see the price rise of their homes continue to outstrip other areas of London in coming years.
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Post by nasaroc »

In my posting above I had questioned whether anyone could find properties being offered by Sydenham estate agents at less than they were 5-8 years ago. I do, of course, mean properties which are being offered at the same price.

My apologies.
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Post by raymondus »

At the begining of Jan, the properties were flying out of the estate agents. However, now, I perceive something of a slowdown. Anyone have the same observation?
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Post by paulhgc »

all house prices are over priced
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Are House Prices In Sydenham Stagnating?

Post by zozo »

Well said Paulhgc.

All property is indeed overpriced. Especially if you're not lucky enough to
already be on the property ladder - in Sydenham or anywhere else in London. Or pretty much the rest of the country these days for that matter.

My ancestors moved to Sydenham from Beckenham in the late 19th century and occupied an eight-roomed house set over four storeys on Dartmouth Road for around 100 years - until developers bought the property in the mid 1980s. I believe the developers paid around £15,000 for the house and gave a nominal fee to my grandparents, who were living there alone, to move out. Four succesive generations were brought up in that house - which was a reasonably roomy but by no means luxurious family home for all concered. My grandparents had barely two pennies to rub together their whole lives and indeed they considered the house to be all they could afford - which is why they stayed there for so long and ultimately jumped at the chance to hop ship when they retired and some cash was offered to them to move.

The developers turned the place into three separate flats - although how they managed to squeeze three flats out of the available space I will never know. A couple of years back I noticed one of the flats was up for sale for the princely sum of £185,000. That 'flat' covered floor space we as a family had used for many years as just a simple, not spacious living room and kitchen area. Even given the astronomical price rises around Sydenham in recent years, I fail to comprehend how that flat could be 'worth' £185,000. But some mug bought it. Snapped it up in fact.

An attic 'studio flat' is currently up for sale in an identical house in the same terraced row. It's on the market at £100,000. My grandparents used those self same attics for storage most of the time they lived there simply because the rooms were so small they were really good for nothing else - they were that cramped. They were built as Victorian servants' quarters after all. At various points throughout our family's history different kids, cousins, aunties, family friends - anyone needing a place to stay or between houses or without money to rent elsewhere - would live in those attics for a couple of months, make them liveable for a time but then move out asap. When did the world and Sydenham go so crazy that it's now possible to charge £100,000 for those dingy, tiny attic rooms? And people are willing to pay that price and even think they've scored a deal no doubt - because it's Sydenham which is considered to be one of the last few remaining pockets of London where it's possible to snap up 'reasonably priced' property these days?! No amount of Home Front style storage cabinets and clever lighting can mask the fact that there's no room to swing a cat up there. It's bonkers.

After leaving Sydenham to live abroad and go to university I came back to the area to work and start a family. I got a shock - my partner and I are professional people working in London but without financially crippling ourselves cannot afford to get on the property ladder here to even buy a flat that occupies just one third of the floor space in the house I was brought up in. So we rent. We know we can just afford to do that when student debts, travel fares, council tax and ever rising utility costs are factored into the equation. As a result we'll probably therefore end up moving elsewhere as soon as we possibly can. Somewhere we can afford to buy.

So the answer to the question - from my perspective at least - is no, I don't think house prices are stagnating in Sydenham.
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Post by oicur0t »

Having kept a close eye on house prices in south east london for the past 9 months (we moved a month ago) there is a distinct lack of properties for sale. Look on a website and see what is marked "under offer" and what is still available. There are more houses available generally in the summer months because people try to move during the summer holidays, so you may expect a slight drop as people rush to move during this period and accept lower offers (but this of course only applies to larger properties which could home a family). The trend is still rising, mostly fueled by estate agents, over valuing to gain business then over selling (the east london line is a big tout at the moment - "buy now to have a prime spot near a tube station!")
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Post by nasaroc »

Why do we always blame "wicked" estate agents for rising or falling prices? The poster above is saying agents are inflating prices: further up this thread someone is blaming estate agents for underselling the area and pushing prices down. Both can't be true.

In the long term, prices only reflect what people are willing to pay and buyers make very considered and usually accurate assesments of value. Estate agents have NO long term effect on prices - these are determined by the market. At the moment you can buy a four bedroom house in Sydenham for the same price as a three bedroom pokey upstairs flat in Balham or Tooting. Is it any wonder that prices are rising in SE26 and that properties are being snapped up as soon as they come on the market? And estate agents can't surely be blamed for pointing out to buyers that Sydenham will be on the tube in four years time. Buyers aren't silly: they can judge for themselves the value of such a transport improvement and they are sensibly willing to pay more to enjoy such a benefit.
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Post by jwright »

I have just purchased my fist property in Newlands Park Sydenham. Its a two bed garden flat and i had to pay top wack for it. (227.500).

The place needs work which we are doing and we hope to make a decent profit from it when we sell.

As i am new to the property ladder advice would be greatly recieved.. have i made a mistake in buying here and how long should i leave before selling.

Will the tube extension really effect the prices

Also how much of a profit is realistic?

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As i am new to the property ladder advice would be greatly recieved.. have i made a mistake in buying here and how long should i leave before selling.

Will the tube extension really effect the prices

Also how much of a profit is realistic?
Maybe you should have done this research before you bought the property. :?: :?:

Hopefully you will make about £15-20. :wink:
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newlands park

Post by TommyP »

hi there - I moved to Newlands Park about a year and a half ago and we own a 2 bedroom garden flat with cellar and was in good nick when we picked it up . . . . We got the property for 190 - so it is excellent news to hear the price of what you paid for similar property in same area.
This clearly goes to show the boom that Sydenham is experiencing - which can only be spurred on more and more by the planned regeneration and the arrival of the east london line.
I can imagine prices continuing to rise steadily for the nxt 2/3 years in this area - certainly more than alot of areas of london.
my advice - do it up and sit on it !

Oh, yes and welcome to Sydenham!
P.S. I don't think you have made a mistake buying now in the slightest - if i could have afforded to buy a place earlier in this area then obviously I would have paid less. . . . C'est la vie :D
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Post by jwright »

Hi TommyP.

Cheers for the welcome !!

Thats great news to hear that there is money to be made here.

Thanks again
sydenham Don
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Post by sydenham Don »

In answer to the title of this post, NO!

Mrs Don and I had our flat valued this week - we bought in 2004 for £190,000, and just had it valued for £285,000 - clearly you dont always get the asking price, but shows that the area really is becoming more desirable - this cant all be down to the dolphin, surely :D

s o crates
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prices are NOT stagnating

Post by s o crates »

I bought a small house in Sydenham (Nr Mayow Park) 4 years ago and although prices seem at first to be slow to rise we have seen a 25% rise in that time. Most of the Sydenham Agents however have been very negative to promote and encourage prices upwards.

Particularly the corporate agents, my wife walked into one of the agents a few months ago and the cheeky so and so exclaimed "Your the one who bought that overpriced house!!" He clearly had the pip that he did not sell it!

I think as you have said we need more gentrification of the high street in order to encourage better business here and this is starting with the Bell Green redevelopment Hooray!!
kenny karzi
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Post by kenny karzi »

sydenham Don wrote:In answer to the title of this post, NO!

If they are not stagnating, which way would you say they are going then ?

I assume that you think they will continue to rise, so i would like to ask this

jwright has paid just shy of a 1/4 of a million for a 2 bed garden flat in Penge.

Compared to average earnings, do you actually think that’s a realistic price ?

I have many family still living in the area and on Knighton Park Road. And in time, i think there going to be a "few surprises in store" for some people. Sydenham is a long way from "millionaires row"

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Post by raymondus »

I think stagnating is probably overstating it. Compared to house price rises elsewhere, I don't think Sydenham is keeping pace. Dropping? Probably not. But not skyrocketing either. Interestingly, I have heard one local estate agent complain that there weren't enough properties to sell in Sydenham. The fact that that does not push prices up I suppose shows that demand isn't that strong here.
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Post by kster »

The long term average property price increase is about 10% per year, which means that over about 7 years the price will double. From my own property in Girton Road, I would say that Sydenham is just ahead of that long term average over the last 5 years. Whilst there have been well publicised and huge rises in the high end properties, I don’t think Sydenham is significantly out of step with similar areas of London.

Kenny makes that comment that “Compared to average earnings, do you actually think that’s a realistic price?”, of course it isn’t. 3 times that average salary isn’t close to buying a £250,000 flat. Unfortunately, it is because it is unaffordable that people are continuing to push up the prices. With programs like the key worker scheme, banks offering mortgages of 6 times your salary, parents paying large deposits and shared equity– all these are designed to make properties more affordable to an individual but they just pour more money into the property market which pushes up all the prices. Unfortunately, if you don’t have access to any of those schemes, you now have little chance of getting on the ladder in the first place.

If we have a dose of high interest rates (which is unlikely as we will probably max out at 6%) then that would put a dent into the march of property prices, but they will continue upwards when the interest rates come down again.
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Post by randomv »

Raymondus, I almost completely disagree!
Walking around a couple of weeks ago I was struck by how many For Sale/Sold/Let By etc signs there are around and a bit of research shows that a decent 2 bed flat in SE26 has now gone right through the 250k mark which was not the case when I was flat hunting less than a year ago. That's a major breakthrough (i'm not saying necessarily in a good way, just in terms of the property market). Take a look at Right Move and see whats around, including the properties that are Under Offer and it's clear that these places are selling pretty quickly.
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