Short term Central London leases sought, the shorter the better!
August 12, 2010 4:18 AM   Subscribe

Sources of short term leasehold properties, Central London?

I'm interested in gaining additional exposure to London real estate, and have been trying to find reliable sources of data on short term leasehold properties.

In 2001 when I researching the purchase of my flat in the East End, I was presented with a short term leasehold property in Leicester Square. I didn't pursue as the property offered didn't suit my requirements (walking distance to work, low council tax, etc) but did some research into the pros & cons, and the idea has remained with me.

I paid off my mortgage a couple of months ago and since I've been looking for sources of data on short term leasehold property, but without much luck. Specifically I'm interested in leasehold properties in Central London with less than thirty years remaining. Other details of the configuration (bedrooms, etc) are irrelevant.

I already know this segment of the market and realise what I'm getting into i.e., I won't be seeking funding to acquire the property, I know the price of negotiating leasehold extensions are exorbitant (since the 2005, Cadogan Estate court decision) but they don't factor into my business plan.

Any leads to reliable sources would be appreciated. Most web sites either don't seem to have the listings I'm looking for, or list only very visible, high end "trophy" properties (e.g., Knightsbridge penthouses selling for £800K when fair market is £3M) so I suspect the greater majority of these properties trade off the listed market.

Any tips would be appreciated.
posted by Mutant to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
Best answer: There are short lease specialists, like Davidson-Hall, but I guess they may qualify under your "trophy" exclusion.

At the risk of stating the obvious, if you run a search for cheapo properties in central London you pull up a fair number of short leasehold flats. I got just under 20 in W1 and a bunch more for SW3.

Nothing for WC2 (Leicester Square), though. I suspect it just means there may not be a great supply of them. I think part of the issue - as you acknowledge - is since the Cadogan decision short leasehold flats are unfinanceable and much riskier, and hence there is a large financial incentive for the existing owner to try and sell with a longer lease.

Most of the services I've seen are geared around leasehold extension. Even if you're not interested in doing that, if you go in that way you might get more traction from estate agents.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:33 AM on August 12, 2010

Response by poster: "At the risk of stating the obvious, ..."

Ha, it is obvious, now that you've shown me ! For some reason I never thought to search by price, rather I was spending all of my time looking, without much luck, for lease terms. FWIW, I'm not interested specifically in Leicester Square, rather property trading at a steep discount and folks who need to sell but are constrained to cash transactions; clearly investment opps if the numbers make sense.

Many thanks for a speedy response.
posted by Mutant at 5:50 AM on August 12, 2010

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