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EDITIONS
Monday, 1 July, 2002, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
The part-time property tycoons
Victoria Mews, Shoreditch
The Tylers' home will hopefully net them 150k profit
With the news that house prices have yet again risen - this time by the highest margin for 13 years - BBC News Online spoke to two people who got on the property bandwagon just in time and have financed their futures.

Businessman Simon Tyler had been living in his one-bedroom flat in Shoreditch, London, for seven years before he decided to make his landlord an offer.

They struck a deal, 180,000 changed hands and Mr Tyler was on the property ladder.

Just 18 months later, the same flat is on the market for 330,000 - with other estate agents even putting the value at up to 20,000 higher.

He and his partner have recently had a baby and are ready to move out of the capital.

The Tyler's home up for sale
Homeowners in London are regularly 'doubling their money'

For the price of their one-bedroom property in Shoreditch they are now looking at a Grade II listed cottage in Cornwall, with three bedrooms, an acre of land, its own river and fishing rights.

Mr Tyler, who runs his own candle-making company, is thrilled he bought when he did.

He told BBC News Online: "I think there's a huge feeling among people my age, who have lived in London for a while, that house prices are just going to keep going up and up and there will come a time when properties outside the city will have to catch up.

"Now is the time to get into that market - just before it reaches the proportion of London prices. That's why we're looking at Cornwall."

His flat is not far from where the new Hoxton Tube station will open in 2006 - a big draw for city dwellers and one of the reasons why prices have rocketed.

'Fashionable'

Ben Burston, residential sales manager of Thomson and Currie's Clerkenwell office - who are marketing Mr Tyler's home - said it was not uncommon for sellers to double their money in under three years.

"People who bought five or six years ago in areas like Clerkenwell which have seen a lot of gentrification, are seeing their money treble," he said.

"One couple bought five years ago in Clerkenwell, have made enough to re-mortgage their property, buy a 'palace' in Thailand, rent out the London place and give up work."

Mr Burston said as developers and first-time buyers get priced out of the current fashionable areas of London, the trend spreads.

As a result, once run-down undesirable suburbs of London become the areas in demand.

"I live in Stoke Newington and that is a good example," he said.

"It used to be seen as Krays' territory and when I get into black cabs some of the older drivers look at me like I'm an idiot when I ask to go there.

People who bought five or six years ago are seeing their money treble

Ben Burston, estate agent

"But it is now becoming fashionable and has improved beyond all recognition. As a result, house prices are booming."

Sandra James bought her one bedroomed flat in Kensal Green, London, because it was near work.

At the time, it was not considered a desirable part of the capital and tripling her investment was the last thing on her mind. But she did.

In 10 years she made 89,000.

The profit enabled her to progress to a three-bedroomed house in Hanwell, west Ealing.

"At the time, I didn't really think buying would necessarily be so profitable," she said.

"I was really just thinking about finding somewhere convenient to work that I liked, but prices have rocketed and it was great that my home became such a good investment."

Demand and supply

The 31-year-old writer paid 44,000 for the flat, with a small courtyard garden, and sold it last year for 133,000.

Just a year on, she now believes it is worth somewhere in the region of 150,000.

Mr Burston is confident the trend will continue across London and for many months to come, at least, there will be money to be made on property.

"We are in a very stable period with low interest rates and mortgages," he said.

"There is also a real shortage of property in the south east and unless green belt policies change, that will remain the case.

"With demand outstripping supply, I don't think there will be this so-called crash. Not for a long time yet."


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01 Jul 02 | Business
01 Jul 02 | Business
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