Good and bad news this week depending which side of the property owning fence you sit. Owners were buoyed by news that house prices are rising, but renters and first time buyers are feeling the post property bubble pinch – this being graphically highlighted by a report by Shelter. In the capital Boris Johnson is doing his best to allow London to keep hold of all its stamp duty revenues, and again the massive regional divide is brought into focus by a story explaining that property in London is worth more than that of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland combined!
Let’s start with this unbelievable report that properties in London are worth more than those of all the other UK countries combined. The evidence comes from a recent study carried out by estate agents Savills. Homes in just 10 London boroughs are worth as much as the entire housing stock in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland combined. In its annual valuing of Britains property market, Savills found that the nation’s housing wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated in the south-east; particularly within London. They go on to give the example of Elmbridge in Surrey which is home to just 131,000 people, but its housing stock is now worth more than all the homes in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city.
Rosemary Rogers, Director of reallymoving.com states “this is an amazing statistic, but it becomes even stranger when you learn that London has been pronounced the 16th most expensive city in the world. It doesn’t even make the top ten! Japan takes the top two slots with Tokyo and Osaka”. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/04/sydney-melbourne-expensive-cities
Could a pet help sell your property? Well the Telegraph reports that it can. The latest 'home-staging' trend from the US suggests that pets could be the key to selling your home. In the states home-staging – the art of preparing your home for sale – is common place and now sellers are enlisting the help of their pets. The new trend is called pet placement. One US agent boasts of selling a penthouse in Manhattan thanks to a strategically placed poodle. The dog, he believes, helped to humanise a sterile city-centre apartment. Now, apparently, the idea is taking hold here where property vendors are strategically draping cats or dogs across the furniture in an effort to make their property more appealing.
Homeless charity Shelter has this week written a report on the extent of the UK's dysfunctional housing market. They highlight the difficulties facing young people as the average house price in the UK has risen 9 times faster than the average wage. They make some alarming points by costing various items as if they had inflated at the same rate as house prices for example, four pints of milk would cost over £10 and a leg of lamb would weigh in at a hefty £53.18!
Mayor of London Boris Johnson is calling on the government to allow the city to keep its estimated £1.3bn a year stamp duty revenues. Currently, stamp duty on property sales goes to the treasury and Mr Johnson believes it would be better used if London could retain it for house building projects. He said the funds would help build a million homes by the mid-2030s, and create thousands of jobs. However, the Treasury said Mr Johnson's proposals would distort the housing market around London and it did not plan to take them forward.
This week the Halifax again reported house prices are rising at fastest rate in three years and believe this is partly fuelled by the government's £80billion boost. The Funding for Lending Scheme has been failing to get money to its key target – cash-strapped small businesses – but it is managing to cut interest rates on mortgages and make them more easily available. This is welcome news for homeowners.
Want to find a property with a bit of peace and quiet? Well we’ve found it for you. You also get a job thrown into the bargain as well! The Scottish tourism organisation Historic Scotland, have a vacancy on an uninhabited island off the coast near Edinburgh. The property is next to the medieval castle on the island, with the successful candidate living next door in a quaint two-bedroom cottage. The perfect job,and house for a weary worker looking to escape the rat race.