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Viewing of ‘cheapest house in central London’ sees estate agents forced to act as ‘bouncers’

A queue forms outside the property in Sumatra Road. Picture: Polly Hancock A queue forms outside the property in Sumatra Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Friday, November 29, 2013
8:00 AM

Estate agents in West Hampstead were forced to act as “bouncers” after being swamped with almost a hundred desperate home buyers hoping to purchase what is claimed to be “the cheapest freehold house in central London”.

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Staff from Dutch & Dutch Estate Agents in West End Lane were forced to take up crowd control duties as prospective home buyers rushed to the two bedroom house in Sumatra Road during a viewing on Saturday (November 23).

With many properties in the same neighbourhood valued in excess of £1million, interest rocketed when the house was put on the market for just £300,000.

Around 90 people crammed into the small house and queues formed out the door.

The low valuation - almost unheard of for a two bedroom property in the area - was due to a small floor plan and a nearby railway line.

But the prospect of having trains as neighbours didn’t put off London buyers, who are suffering under an increasingly crowded market.

Lois Fort, head of residential lettings at Dutch & Dutch, said: “The viewing was absolutely crazy and we were swamped with people just desperate to get on the property ladder.

“It’s a very unique price point for the neighbourhood of West Hampstead, so it’s certainly been the easiest house we’ve ever had to drum up interest for.

“All the excitement is completely indicative of how little there is available at the moment for those struggling to buy a home.

“As banks have started to lend again and you have things like the help-to-buy scheme coming in, couples and families should be in a financially strong position to buy a house.

“But the level of desperation is still there as the severe housing shortage in the city hasn’t yet been solved.”

The estate agent say they have around 10 potential buyers currently battling it out to own the property.

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