Monday, January 19, 2009

Optimists of the week

These chaps who are trying to advertise two-bedroom flats in Chelsea at £950,000 in a recession.

Why optimistic, you say? Even non-Londoners know Chelsea is expensive (no idea why, but still).

Well, the flats are located at the council estate end of the famous King's Road 20 minutes bus journey from the nearest underground or rail station. Despite Sloane Square tube (at the other end of the King's Road) being just one tube stop from Victoria, it would take 40 minutes to get there by public transport. The best way of getting anywhere is by boat.

Again for the benefit of non-Londoners, housing is priced by perceived ease of transport as well as by scuzziness of the area. Places in Zone 4 with fast trains can be as expensive as somewhere closer to central London (Zone 2) on a slow tube line. Living more than 15 minutes walk from a tube or rail station, to a Londoner, is akin to buying a small croft in the Outer Hebrides and trying to commute to the West End everyday.

Chelsea (and Dulwich Village in south London) is a special case - it seems to be expensive precisely because there is no public transport (see Chelsea Tractor). However, if you wanted to drive or take taxis everywhere because you could afford to, you wouldn't live at the council estate end of Chelsea.

The flats are being advertised as being close to Imperial Wharf overground station, which hasn't been built yet. They are also advertised as being close to the King's Road, which is true, provided you are willing to walk through an industrial estate.

Suggest people buy these flats direct from the bank...

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