Richard Owen reports
A Housing Association is selling at auction a large freehold house in Loftus Road, with a guide price of £1.2 million+.
As usual it has been left to rot and is quite an eyesore with steel shutters over the windows. The neighbours will be cheering. But hopefully the considerable proceeds can be recycled into better maintenance of existing stock and building additional homes in areas without such a large price premium on land.
Odd. The council have assured us that the reason for them wanting to transfer the entire council housing stock to a housing association is so they can never again be sold off for profit blah blah blah. But you say housing associations DO sell properties.
They certainly do sell. Notting Hill Housing have a regular program of sales in our borough as do Shepherds Bush HA and Old Oak HA. Notting Hill sold the house opposite me a couple of years ago, and another nearby before that. For all their ideological hang-ups and organisational inertia they are not completely economically illiterate. They are very happy to take a couple of million quid from a tech entrepreneur for a run-down Victorian wreck and let that sucker renovate it instead of them.
My belief is the council wants to sell as well – it’s madness not to – but has painted itself into a political corner. So transfer the assets to a housing association and let them do the dirty work!