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This weekend we are launching our biggest ever advertising campaign with a brand new multi-million pound national TV, radio and print campaign. This follows the recent launch of our multi-year sponsorship of West Bromwich Albion football club, currently in an impressive fourth place in the Premier League after the first two weeks of the season!
The new TV and radio ads will be seen and heard throughout prime-time on a broad range of national TV channels and radio stations, with print ads running across various national newspapers. The campaign, dubbed ‘Talking Houses’ features three animated houses in three different adverts discussing the property market and the benefits of Zoopla.
Giving life to the houses are the voices of well-known British actors Jim Broadbent (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Harry Potter), Doon Mackichan (Smack the Pony) and can you recognise the third voice…with property market expert Phil Spencer’s voice at the end of each ad.
We hope you like them. Let us know what you think in the comments box below or find us here:
Retro cool or in need of modernisation?
What do you think – leave your comments below…
Before TOWIE there was Footballers’ Wives – the glossy TV drama that turned the spotlight on the Beautiful Game – albeit a stylised version complete with love-triangles, brassy clothing, fast cars and glamorous Home County homes.
And as you might imagine, it’s heavy on the luxury – think indoor pool, gym, 10 acres of grounds, a stable block and four reception rooms.
The six bedroom home in Elsenham, Hertfordshire is owned by Shenda and Richard Maher. The home was completely rebuilt 10 years ago and is now decorated in an antique French-style.
Shenda Maher says the sumptuous drawing room might look familiar to fans of the TV series Footballers’ Wives because it was a regular backdrop to the show.
“It looked even grander on the television but it is such a beautiful room,” she said.
And while Maher says her property is a family home at heart, she concedes it can lend itself to a WAG lifestyle – there’s an indoor pool, gym and spacious dining room that’s suited to dinner parties and entertaining.
“We have a massive dining table and at Christmas we have the family over. We play music and then sit around drinking cocktails at the bar before dinner.”
But Elsenham House isn’t the only property with football connections that’s currently on the market.
Daily Star chief sports writer Brian Woolnough is also selling his contempory five bedroom home in Webridge Surrey for £1.5 million through Hamptons International.
The home, called The Stradbury, is gated and part of the Whittets Ait development – a private island half a mile from Weybridge town centre that overlooks the river from a large private terrace.
1. Introduction of a 7% stamp duty land tax on £2m+ homes
The Government decided to exclude an annual mansion tax levy from the Budget, but from Midnight tonight, a new Stamp Duty Land Tax rate of 7% to be introduced on property for sale over £2 million
Here’s our view: “The UK already imposes the highest property taxes in the world, as a proportion of GDP, with the top-end of the market bearing the biggest burden. The introduction of a penal 7% stamp duty rate on properties purchased at over £2m is flawed and misguided in our view. The expectation that this new rate will generate £1.5bn is at odds with our research which shows that had this 7% rate been in effect over the last two years, it would have only generated £634m in revenue. And with 77% of properties sold over £2m in London this is as much a tax on Londoners as it is on the wealthy.
“This move will not only affect the wealthy but is likely to have an adverse impact on the entire property market. We’re likely see a slump in activity from buyers at the top level and this will have a knock-on effect all the way down the chain. And whilst the government has stated that it wishes to crackdown on stamp duty avoidance schemes, this new rate is only likely to encourage the wealthy to find even more ways to avoid paying it. Unfortunately, the economics of this hike don’t measure up to the populist moves behind it.”
Regional breakdown of properties sold over £2m in the last two years
|Region||Av. sold price – last 2 yrs||No. of £2m properties sold|
|East of England||£2,494,688||90|
|North East England||£2,683,333||9|
|North West England||£2,690,353||43|
|South East England||£2,794,706||509|
|South West England||£2,657,855||76|
|Yorkshire & The Humber||£3,775,000||2|
London Borough breakdown of properties sold over £2m in the last two years
|London boroughs||Av. sold price – last 2 yrs||No. of £2m properties sold|
|City of London||£2,330,000||3|
|Hammersmith & Fulham||£2,922,685||139|
|Kensington and Chelsea||£3,640,483||672|
|Kingston upon Thames||£4,055,571||14|
|Richmond upon Thames||£2,735,335||106|
2. Stamp duty avoidance clamp down
Ahead of this budget, Chancellor George Osborne confirmed he will be “coming after” stamp duty avoidance with “aggressive” new measures in this week’s Budget.
He has confirmed: 15 per cent charge on transfers of £2m plus homes into corporate ownership
Here’s our view on the Government’s move to clamp down on stamp duty avoidance: It’s difficult to argue against a clamp down on stamp duty avoidance as, for the vast majority of people, stamp duty is an unavoidable truth that comes with the territory of home ownership. But knowing that some buyers are able to avoid it through various financial means is a difficult pill to swallow. Ensuring the Treasury is in receipt of all the tax due on all UK property transactions will help avoid a situation in the future where additional property levies are needed to make up the fiscal short-fall. However, policing the clampdown will be difficult and there are no guarantees that some transactions won’t slip through the net. There is no doubting the Government’s intention, but it remains to be seen if this will be an effective measure.”
3. Changes to first-time buyer stamp duty regulations
This was not mentioned in the Budget, however…
In 2010 the Government removed stamp duty for First Time Buyers on transactions up to £250,000 in a bid to spark sales and get chains moving. Two years later the 1% stamp duty tax will return (this Saturday 24 March) for property for sale purchased between £125,000 to £250,000. This was not mentioned in the Budget, but is confirmed here.
Here’s our view: “As a proportion of GDP, the UK already has the highest property taxes in the world. But stamp duty for first-time buyers, in revenue terms, is the fiscal equivalent of a mosquito on a rhino’s back. The Government believes the stamp-duty holiday has not been significant in encouraging first-time buyers into the property market and that is why they are scrapping it, but there are a number of other factors which have prevented the surge of buyers the government was originally hoping for. High inflation, low savings rates and strict lending criteria have all contributed to low first-time buyer numbers, but these are starting to ease. Inflation is falling, and lenders are becoming more flexible in their criteria so now is not the time to throw another obstacle onto the tracks.
“Over the last two years the taxman has missed out on just £650m from first-time buyers who have bought within the £250,000 threshold but the 5% rate on properties over £1m, introduced at the last budget, has pretty well covered this shortfall netting nearly £550m in just twelve months. Given the importance of first-time buyers in providing the first link in the property chain, the government should be doing everything possible not to deter these buyers and allow them to energise the rest of the market. This will lead to a higher levels of activity further up the property ladder and, in turn, higher tax revenues to bolster the Treasury’s coffers. However, it appears that the Government is focusing on a short-term strategy and while initiatives such as the NewBuy scheme are intended to compensate, in reality this will only help a small number of buyers and do little to assist the property market as a whole.”
Just over a year ago we gave you the ability to search property listings on Zoopla.co.uk by any keyword you want. That’s right, any keyword relevant to your property search that are mentioned in the property for sale or to rent details – garage, studio, parking and so on.
Since we launched the feature, the feed back has been great, so we thought we’d start to share with you some of the keywords that those hunting for property are currently looking for.
Don’t forget, you can also use the feature to search for exact phrases by using quotation marks e.g. “double garage”, or to exclude a term you can prefix it with ‘-’ e.g. -studio.
Here is a little more on the Zoopla keyword property search
Top 10 property search keywords – April 2011
|Rank||Property Buyers||Property Renters|
|7||Land / Acres||Rural|
Source: Zoopla.co.uk – April 2011