City properties valued at eye-watering sums, but are they selling?

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Inside the living room of Northgate's £1.5 million home

Fancy living in a three-bedroom terraced property in Northgate? That will be £1.5 million please.

That is the astonishing figure St Margaret’s Street estate agent Strutt and Parker has valued this “elegant Grade II Listed Georgian townhouse and boutique shop front”.

And it belies an extraordinary fact: that more and more homes in central Canterbury and the wider urban area are being valued at more than £1 million – a price tag which in years gone by might have been reserved for manor houses and estates in rural east Kent.

Elsewhere, a house in Stour Street is one the market for £1.1 million. Agent Winkworth describes it as a “Grade 2
listed property oozes character, elegance and charm throughout”.

A six-bedroom property in Whitstable Road will set you back £1.2 million while a St Peter’s Lane pad is on at £995,000.

This house in Stour Street is on the market for £1.1 million

These are family homes and over in the buy-to-let student market you can find homes converted to student flats comprising 17 and 18 units for more than £1 million.

Charles Bainbridge, who operates his estate agency from offices in Broad Street, asks how many of the £1 million+ properties actually sell for the price initially given them.

He analysed centrally located properties within a half mile radius priced between £950,000 and £1.5 million over the last two years.

“Some of theese are investments rather than owner-occupied homes,” Mr Bainbridge said.

“But the interesting thing is that not one shows as having being sold, even if only subject to contract. They are all either archived, which means withdrawn from the market, or still for sale.

“Many of the properties that are still available have been on the market for a number of months.

“Generally, the first two to four weeks of a marketing campaign is the most fruitful period, as soon as something has been on for six weeks or more the chances of a sale at the existing price reduce dramatically and price reviews are usually necessary.”

Charles Bainbridge

Despite there being properties on the market for near or above the £1 million mark, Mr Bainbridge points out that there is little demand for such places in Canterbury.

He went on: “The higher end of the market is certainly the least active at the moment.

“These stats demonstrate that. It can be that comparable evidence of houses that sell in the £800,000 to £900,000 sector provide a theoretical foundation for larger or more impressive property, in whatever respect, to fall in to the £1 million to £1.5 million area. However, as this data shows, it doesn’t necessarily result in sales.

“Demand in this price bracket is proportionately low and a house in the city still has to be very special indeed to achieve in excess of £1 million.

“In brief, £1 million plus houses in the Canterbury are still a hard sell.”

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