Pricing flat 1 is tricky because Waterlow Court is unique. It’s a grade II* listed building located in a unique location, Hampstead Garden Suburb. It is also in need of modernisation. The best way to price flat 1 accurately is to determine its current market value if it were in good condition and subtract the cost of modernisation.
So, what is the best way to determine its market value if it were in good condition?
Average valuations by estate agents
The most obvious method is to get estate agents, high-street and online, to value the property, remove the extreme valuations and average the rest. The consensus suggested that the asking price for flat 1 in its current condition in September 2019 lay between £425,000 and £450,000. Prices have moved higher since.
Comparison with similar properties
Another method is to compare flats at Waterlow Court to similar flats nearby. For example, flats at Heathcroft, Heathview Court, Bigwood Court, Chandos Way, Manor Heights, and semi-detached houses that have been converted to flats. However, it is nonsense to price a 500 square foot flat at a modern block such as Chandos Way with a 500 square foot Arts & Crafts grade II* listed flat at Waterlow Court. They exhibit widely different architectures, landscaping, and heritage, and hence demand different pricing.
Comparison with similar flats at Waterlow Court
A more useful comparison is to compare similar flats that have sold at Waterlow Court in the last few years. The last one-bedroom flat to sell at Waterlow Court that was of a similar size to flat 1, but in better condition, though suffering from restricted headroom like all top floor flats, sold for £475,000 in June 2019.
Flat 46, which is almost a mirror image of flat 1, last sold in August 2013 for £330,000. It too had been extended, but not to the same extent as flat 1, and also needed modernising.
Price Index Data
The most accurate method to determine market value is to use price index data from the Land Registry and extrapolate the price from when flat 1 was bought. An offer for flat 1 was made in April 1999 for £120,000. The monthly price changes for flats and maisonettes in Barnet suggest that the current market value of flat 1, if it were in the same condition, should be about £476,000 in March 2020.
The Nationwide House Price Calculator also predicts a value close to £476,000 for March 2020.
This price data also suggests that the market value of flat 21 in March 2020 was £484,000 and that the market value
and that the price data for flat 46 was £474,000, which excludes the additional value that has been added after it was modernised.
Cost per square foot
Another method is to calculate the average cost of a ground-floor, first-floor, and second-floor flat and use price-index data to calculate the current cost per square foot.
Thirty-eight of the fifty-four flats have sold at least once (75 transactions) since 1995, the earliest price index data is available. Of these, floor plans for twenty-three exist. The average cost per square foot, now, for ground-floor, first-floor, and second-floor flats is £1,003, £979, and £942 respectively. These figures suggest that the market value for flat 1 in good condition should be £507,500 and £521,500 for flat 46.
Hence, the market value for flat 1 in March 2020 if it were in good condition lies between £476,000 and £507,500, the average being close to £492,000.
Cost of refit
How much would it cost to refit flat 1? A figure of £25,000 has been mentioned, but £50,000 may be more realistic.
Assuming a cost of £50,000 for a refit, then the fair price lies between £426,000 and £447,500. Either way, the current discounted price is an opportunity to buy cheaply and refit to a high specification and, more imortantly, to match exactly your needs and tastes.
Most properties require some work. Flat 1 just needs a little more.