This Week’s Hottest Property News – 24.03.2017

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House prices in England and Wales: growth in the East and West Midlands outstrips all other regions – Evening Standard

Midlands see a property price boom as the rest of the UK lags behind as demand outstrips supply resulting from the housing crisis. 

The average UK home now costs £310,000 following the second highest March increase in a decade, as demand continues to outstrip supply of available homes across the country.

The greatest price increase was seen in the East Midlands, which stretches from Northamptonshire to Derbyshire and includes cities such as Nottingham, Leicester and Lincoln, according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index.

Homes in the region are now being marketed for a record average of £200,600 – £10,800 more than a year ago.

Read more here

Buy-to-let property purchase activity ‘continues to be weak’ – Landlord

With the downturn in the buy-to-let market affecting private rental housing, worrying figures show this is set to continue. 

The number of buy-to-let loans secured by buy-to-let landlords increased in January to the second highest monthly level since the introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge on second homes in April 2016, behind November 2016, new figures show.

But rather than new loans to invest in new much needed private rented housing, this activity was actually driven by buy-to-let remortgage lending which accounted for more than two thirds of total lending.

The volume of loans for buy-to-let house purchase advanced in January was at an eight month low in part due to the traditional seasonal dip in activity in the winter months.

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Affordability worsens all over England and Wales as house prices rocket way ahead of earnings – Property Industry Eye

The worst is confirmed by recent ONS survey as the gap between wages and property prices continues to widen with no end in sight. 

House prices have been rising faster than earnings over the last two decades, highlighting a growing affordability gap.

On average, working people could expect to pay around 7.6 times their annual earnings on purchasing a home in England and Wales in 2016, up from 3.6 times earnings in 1997.

The figures are in a new report from the Office of National Statistics which looks into earnings and the price of housing.

Read more here

Where to buy in zone 3: first-time buyer hotspots from Forest Hill to Leyton with easy commutes to central London – Evening Standard

Following on from the previous week, the Evening Standard takes a look at the popular areas within zone 3 for first-time buyers, who still want to be within an easy commute to the center of London

As house prices move inexorably upwards, Zone 3 has become the new Zone 2, beloved of first-time buyers because of its easy commutes to central London and its — moderately — affordable prices.

It will probably mean accepting an 0208 phone number, but that is a small price to pay when compared with the sheer variety this inbetweener zone offers:

Harlesden: hot

Read more here

Inside the ‘billionaire bunkers’ where the world’s super rich will ride out the apocalypse – as sales surge 300 PER CENT since Donald Trump was elected – The Daily Mail Online

It’s all gone wrong – if the world’s richest 1% are already tripping over themselves to buy up their nuclear bomb proof bunkers since Trump’s election, there is no hope left for us!

A growing number of the world’s super rich are preparing for the apocalypse by purchasing ‘doomsday bunkers’.

But don’t expect the one per cent to slum it out in drab, concrete dwellings as they survive the end of the world – these bunkers feature some of the most lavish layouts imaginable that are designed for the more modern survivalist.

‘Your father or grandfather’s bunker was not very comfortable,’ Robert Vicino, CEO of Vivos, told CNN.

‘They were gray. They were metal, like a ship or something military. And the truth is mankind cannot survive long-term in such a Spartan, bleak environment.’

Read more here 

Higher house prices mean fewer burglaries, insurance firm claims – Estate Agent Today

The good news about the UK’s rising house prices is that there will be less burglaries, although the bad news is that many are unable to own their first home – swings and roundabouts spring to mind.

New analysis shows what appears to be the correlation between rising house prices and falling burglary rates across the country.

The research, by Churchill Home Insurance, claims to show a direct correlation between property values and crime levels, with the counties experiencing the sharpest rise in property prices also likely to experience the biggest decrease in reported burglaries.

Across the 10 regions in England and Wales, house prices as reported by the Land Registry rose from an average of £199,493 in 2011 to £274,228 last year – an increase of nearly £75,000, or 37 per cent.

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It’s time to ditch the decking and opt instead for swish stone, gravel or even fake grass – The Daily Mail Online

Blamed for the surge in rodent pests amongst other things, decking is the new dirty secret when it comes to your garden’s landscaping. 

Back in the early Noughties, the show Ground Force used decking as the go-to solution for any garden problem.

Need a low-maintenance garden? Put some decking down. Awkward shape, space or uneven ground? Decking. Got lots of children and don’t want mud traipsed through your tidy house? More decking.

Now Alan Titchmarsh has apologised for the surge in the trend. ‘I am partly to blame for the decking boom, and I am sorry,’ he said in an interview. ‘I know it’s everywhere.’

Read more here

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