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Fears East Enders being 'priced out' of area

PUBLISHED: 16:27 07 November 2012

A flat above this parade of shops in Lamb Street has received offers of more than £1million

A flat above this parade of shops in Lamb Street has received offers of more than £1million

Savills Wapping - submitted

Fears East Enders are being priced out of the area were heightened this week as it emerged a bidding frenzy saw multiple offers of more than £1million for flats above shops in Spitalfields - despite being in need of "total renovation".

The four leasehold flats, which boast either two or three bedrooms and are located above Old Spitalfields Market, received 60 offers in one day with prices reaching more than 25 per cent above the asking price.

Notes for prospective buyers marketed each of the two properties in Brushfield Street, and others in Lamb Street and Commercial Street, as a “development opportunity”.

The guide prices ranged from £360,000 to £735,000, but the notes for each flat went on to say: “This apartment is in need of total renovation.”

The biggest and most expensive flat, which boasts three-bedrooms and a terrace in Lamb Street, measures just 148.6 square metres, about 1,600 square feet.

Nevertheless, buyers were keen to snap up the properties, with more than 300 enquiries in the past month.

Zak James of Savills Wapping, the real-estate firm in charge of selling the properties, described the interest as “unprecedented”.

The volume of sky-high offers reflected the rarity of finding property in such a “sought-after” marketplace location close to the City, he said, adding: “Whilst each of the apartments need complete renovation, they still have many of their period features including high ceilings, cornicing and wooden floors, which adds to their desirability.”

He said the potential buyers are a mix of “end-users”, parents looking for flats for their student children, and investors hoping to add to their re-sale or rental portfolios.

But the largest union in Britain, the GMB, has slammed the news.

Paul Hayes, regional secretary for London, said: “Ordinary workers doing ordinary jobs, even those on reasonable wages, have been priced out of the housing market in London.

“This is an unpalatable fact and is not going to change any time soon.

“We need a massive programme of house building of affordable houses for rent so that workers can afford to be housed near their work.”

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