£1.5 million for a 2 bed-apartment, or a block of 38 flats?

Where would you rather invest £1.5million, or even £500k? And what can you get for your cash? Steve Way had a rare spare 10 minutes and played around on RightMove…

So today I thought I’d have a little fun with Right Move and see what my money could get me in Clapham, South West London.

What do you think? Have you ever thought about it? Well, here’s a brief snapshot…

  • 2-bed flat (Brixton) – £525k
  • 2-bed apartment (Clapham Junction) – £1.5m
  • 5-bed semi – £3,950,000
  • 6-bed end of terrace (Clapham Common) – £9m – Yes, you read that right – NINE MILLION POUNDS, for a terraced (yes, terraced) property.

Now, that got me thinking. From my offices in Hythe, Kent we undertake building surveys and HomeBuyer reports for people buying property all along the coast here, including Folkestone, Dover and Hythe. A lot of Londoners have begun to make the move to the coast – many were weekend owners, but have now decided to move here permanently and commute. They’ve seen the benefits of the more relaxed lifestyle, cleaner air, and of course, lower mortgages. Yes, they have to pay the train fare for their commute to work, but for many it is still cheaper than the cost of their mortgage (an annual season ticket will set you back in excess of £5.5k to London terminals, or over £6k from Folkestone to London including Underground zones 1-6). And if you’re really lucky, and good at your job, your employer might even cover this.

Folkestone – A growing tourist resort and business hub

You may have heard about the growth that is taking Folkestone by storm – the Creative Quarter that’s seeing more and more local businesses thriving, the Harbour Arm and it’s fantastic eateries, artisan bakers and brewers. Top chefs, Mark Sargeant and Marco Pierre White have opened restaurants here too. A new indoor skate park is being built, there’s an amazing coastal park for younger children and there’s a thriving kite surfing scene. Paddle boarding is also becoming increasingly popular here. Last, but not least, are the beaches. We have a pebble beach that runs all the way from Folkestone down through Hythe, and if you prefer sand, Folkestone offers Sunny Sands. This large sandy beach sees an annual sandcastle competition that arguably is more for adults than children, with some exceptional designs, but I’m not sure they’d pass a building survey inspection!

Folkestone really is becoming the place to be for both business and tourism. Support from The Roger de Haan Charitable Trust has been invaluable in this growth.

So how much property do you get for your cash in Folkestone?

So, whether you want to buy here, to live and work, or to commute to London on the very accessible high speed train, or even invest in holiday lets or rental properties, you might want to see how far your money will go.

I had a look and was amazed at the difference…

  • 8-bed detached house, with tennis court and swimming pool: £1.5m – compare that to your 6-bed terraced house for £9 million!!!
  • 4-bed semi: £425k – a snip compared to the £4m semi in Clapham, or the tiny £500k Brixton flat!
  • 5-bed detached house with indoor swimming pool, games room and a paddock: £830,000 – compare that to your 5-bed semi in Clapham!
  • 38-bedroom block of apartments – £1,490,000 – yes, a whole apartment block for the same price of a 2 bed apartment at Clapham Junction. Granted, it will need some work, and most definitely a full detail building survey , but what an investment opportunity if you have the money.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some fairly expensive apartments in the Folkestone area – a penthouse 2-bedroom apartment overlooking the sea in sleepy Sandgate will set you back £1,250,000, but there’s a lot to choose from.

Crucially, wherever you buy, always protect your investment, or maybe even drive the price down further, by having a building survey undertaken by a Chartered Surveyor like us.

I’m not one to make a firm prediction in the current political climate, but with the growth everyone is expecting to see in Folkestone, your investment now could reap the benefits in time. I love Folkestone and I think you would too – come down and take a look one weekend, especially if the sun is shining. You might be pleasantly surprised.