We're being priced out of Totterdown
Published on: 29 Apr 2016
Picture: Proposed homes in Goolden Street, Totterdown
ROCKETING prices of housing are making homeowners in South Bristol wealthier by the month – on paper at least.
But the soaring demand is also pushing rents up for tenants – forcing many of them to move.
Meanwhile, many who are saving to buy a home of their own are seeing their dream slide further into the future.
Even homes classed as “affordable” are out of reach of many. This is because rents are no longer capped – instead, an affordable rent is set at a proportion of the market rent, which is rising all the time.
The Voice has been contacted by one Totterdown resident who inquired about the new homes to be built by a charity, the Guinness housing trust, in Goolden Street.
Guinness is requesting planning permission for five three-bedroom family houses, each with a garage.
However, the Voice reader hoping to occupy one of the houses told us: “I was told each home will be valued at £330,000. Buyers would have a 35 per cent share in the homes. They need to raise £115,500 and they would also have to be able to afford to pay the rent of the share they don’t own, which works out at £491.56 per month.”
Residents would face paying almost £500 in rent each month plus mortgage payments on £115,000 – which could cost another £500 a month.
But this is too much, said our reader: “A lot of us living in Totterdown can not afford these homes. It’s a pity as a lot of people in Totterdown are no longer able to buy homes.” In any case, Guinness told the resident that the homes will be revalued before they are put on sale – meaning the values, and the prices, will almost certainly have increased further.
However, the Guinness properties look almost cheap compared to others nearby. In late April a three-bedroom maisonette in Bushy Park was on offer for rent of £1,200 a month, and a two-bedroom house in Park Street £1,000 a month.
The cheapest rent on offer was a studio flat in School Road for £550 a month.
Rents in Bristol rose by 18 per cent in 2015, according to Homelet, the highest in the country alongside Brighton.
Meanwhile house prices in some areas seem to have risen even faster. One two-bed terrace in Green Street, Totterdown, was sold for £310,000 recently.
The price of two-bed terraces in the area has risen by £100,000 in the last two years.
The prospect of faster trains to London – one hour 20 minutes will be the norm by 2020 – and walking distance to the city is attracting many newcomers. A story in the Times citing Totterdown as one of the trendiest places to live in the UK has spread the news further.
Long-term residents – especially those who rent – fear being pushed out.
SEVERAL objections have been made to the Guinness application for five 3-bedroom homes, each with a garage, in Goolden Street.
They would replace a derelict scout hut on land being sold by Holy Nativity church.
Tresa, the Totterdown residents group, is among those objecting that the plan
will remove parking on one side of the street, adding to congestion.
Some neighbours fear loss of light too. Of 17 comments to the council, 14 objected, two were neutral and one supported the scheme.