Magazine article The Spectator

Hot Property

Magazine article The Spectator

Hot Property

Article excerpt

In these pages recently Elisabeth Anderson wrote about, but declined to give the name of, a website that gives the price of any property sold in England and Wales during the past five years. Actually, it's called www.nethouseprices.com, and a quick nose around the site reveals that flats up Liz's way, Marylebone, are selling for anything between £200,000 and £500,000. But the website isn't good just for being nosy about your friends and colleagues; it gives property buyers the wonderful advantage of being able to catch out estate agents and developers. How often have you heard, or read in the press, an estate agent bragging, 'We've just sold Noggins Hall for well over the £5 million asking price' or 'The first phase of Thamesmead Waterside has already sold out'? One thing is for sure: they won't get away with it for much longer.

As soon as nethouseprices.com was launched I became almost obsessive about checking out sales at some of London's most prominent developments. It turned out that far from selling at the advertised prices, some apartments have been selling for tens of thousands of pounds less. In one case a £450,000 flat had been sold for just £264,000. …

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