1. Thisismoney Message Boards: “Sanity returns – but at what cost?” wonders greybaby. I’ve often asked myself the same question, baby. Lively discussion of homes, mortgages and house prices from the best personal finance website in the business.
2. SingingPig: Don’t let the name put you off, it’s got nothing to do with farm animals! Busy and informative property forum that all landlords should bookmark.
3. 4homes: Need to share your passion for Kirstie, your devotion to Phil? This is the place to do it. Lots of practical discussion, too, about buying, selling, DIY, design. And, quite recently: MOLES!
5. LandlordZone: Active forum that gets down to the nitty gritty: deposits, evicitons, sub-letting, inventories … and whether a dehumidifier is tax deductible. Well? Is it?
6. FT Discussions: High octane discussion of editorially posted questions. The place to be if, like Ides_of_March, you can say this sort of stuff: “I think the rental situation is too far removed from the fundamentals of the K cycle to gain much of an insight.” Me too, Ides, me too.
7. Swarb Law Forum: Informative legal forum addressing landlord/tenant issues. “What about the duty to mitigate you keep banging on about?” Hairyloon asks Faithless … yeah, Faithless, what about that then?
8. Moneysavingexpert Forum: Very active forum with lots of chat about property. Searched in vain for “the drinks are on me” thread.
9. The Move Channel Forum: Big property focussed forum. Tenants & renting is the busiest thread at the moment, and Germanjulian is worried about “Draft Excluders and a weird landlord!”
10. DIYnot Forum: Ok, look, there’s a bank holiday weekend looming. Get advice first and take warning from their disasters thread: “Gas Pipe ARGGGHHHH!”. I_am_fubar reveals that “looking into how to plumb has caused me to have some rather odd nightmares about waking up and my walls have all washed away.” Don’t say you weren’t warned!
Have we missed any? If so, send us your recommendations.
Welcome to the Zoopla! blog
We’re delighted to be adding another channel for communicating with our customers – consumers, agents and all others with an interest in Zoopla! – as we continue to expand and innovate within the property market. In 2008 we focused on getting the business up and running, growing our team and developing the product. In a short period of time we:
- offered users FREE access to instant value estimates and sold house prices
- let buyers show interest in any UK home and owners test interest through TemptMe!
- created an environment where anyone can ask/answer questions about homes
- saw our user base grow significantly to over a million visits per month
- received over a million data contributions to our website from users
- won the First Tuesday award for the UK’s Most Promising Internet Company
- won the Web User magazine gold award for Best UK Property Website
We now list tens of millions of data points relating to home characteristics and property sales across the UK allowing our algorithm to estimate the current value of any UK home with impressive accuracy, especially during a uniquely turbulent market. Customer feedback has also been overwhelmingly positive so thank you to all who provided it.
So far in 2009 we’ve already enjoyed some exciting highlights. We have:
- raised £3.75m in venture capital to continue to develop our service
- added a further 5 million Land Registry sold house prices stretching back to 1995
- launched hundreds of thousands of listings of properties for sale and to rent
- helped users find local agents to assist them in the transaction process
- grown our audience to become the 5th most visited UK property portal
So what can you expect from this blog? From time to time we’ll update readers on new site features as they’re launched, draw your attention to interesting trends and statistics within the site, offer thoughts on issues pertinent to the UK property market and give you the inside track on developments within the business. So whether you prefer to stay in touch by registering for our monthly newsletter, following us on Twitter or keeping an eye on our blog, we hope that you continue to enjoy Zoopla!’s unique approach to online property.
Finally, if you have any feedback for us or ideas for how we could improve our service, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
This week’s graph is from the FindaProperty.com Rental Index for March.
The solid line shows the monthly change in rental values while the red dotted line shows the monthly change averaged over three months.
What’s interesting about this is the gradual slowdown in the pace of price falls, a trend matched by the slowdown in the amount of stock coming onto the market.
Both trends suggest that the rental market may be close to the bottom of the current cycle – it’s too early to call it yet, but it certainly interesting, and not without significance for the sales market.
Go to this page to read the full FindaProperty.com Rental Index for March.
What’s happening to rents in your area? Let us know using the Comment link below.
Street View, West End Lane, West Hampstead, zoom out to explore area.
[googlemap lat="51.545953" lng="-0.191283" yaw="64.45055327526023" pitch="1.7343253002398864" zoom="0" width="450px" height="300px" type="STREETVIEW"]West End Lane, West Hampstead, London NW6, UK[/googlemap]
After moving to London 18 months ago, I initially struggled to settle – a small town girl trying to find her place in the big city.
I tried my hand at living in the leafy suburbs of South West London and then I tried the hustle and bustle of Central London.
But, after a bit of soul searching, I happened upon West Hampstead…a great little pocket of North West London. Okay, our Head Office is based here, but regardless of that – I love it! Let me tell you why…
1. Peaceful: It’s a peaceful retreat from the clamour and chaos of the City. Don’t get me wrong, West Hampstead still gets busy. But, as soon as I step off the train after a hectic day at work I can feel the pace slow right down, take a deep breath…aaahhh, I’m home.
2. Connected: There are two train stations, one tube station and countless buses linking the jolly West Hampstead residents to the rest of London. You can be in Central London in 15 -20 minutes or South West London in 30 minutes!
3. Cafés & Restaurants: Spoilt for choice when it comes to cafes, restaurants, and quirky shops. I’m still working my way round all the scrummy places to eat and pubs with cosy fires and beer gardens.
Somewhere I can definitely recommend is Cini’s on Mill Lane. You can read my views on it at The Greene blog.
Or another great place to try is Little Bay, a lovely Bistro on Belsize Road – it’s fantastic value for money and has a truly unique ambience with an old fashioned Moulin Rouge, theatrical feel to it – you can even enjoy your meal from one of the balcony tables.
Ooh, I mustn’t forget to mention Elephant Walk on West End Lane –delicious Sri Lankan curries…yum! Or if you’re happier cosying up at home with a takeaway, then The Bombay Bicycle Club is divine – a nice comfy Indian treat.
4. The Heath: Just up the road, you have Hampstead Heath… ideal for long country walks, whether it’s crisp and frosty or bright, beaming sunshine.
Then, you can pop along to Hampstead with its old fashioned boozers, independent cafes and funky boutiques.
One of my personal favourite places to visit whilst here is the Freemasons Arms on Downshire Hill. Unless it’s a Sunday, then I’ll be tucking into a mouth watering roast in the humble surroundings of the Holly Bush on Holly Mount.
5. Regents Park: Heading in another direction, not too far away, you have Regents Park. There are beautiful landscaped gardens, a boating lake, an open air theatre and lots of little cafes to visit along the way.
6. Architecture: The architecture in West Hampstead takes you back a few years. Hints of Art Deco London are scattered about on the tree lined avenues that hark back to a proud and affluent era, where you can imagine horses and carts, ladies with parasols and top-hatted gentry promenading in the last rays of the evening sun.
7. Mansion Blocks: Mixed in with that there are striking, red brick mansion houses that demand attention. They’re not only compelling to look at from the outside, but offer huge space and comfort from inside also. Alexandra Mansions, Malborough Mansions and Lyncroft Mansions are prime examples of these imposing buildings. Read more about these at The Greene blog.
8. Mix of People: There is an eclectic mix of people living in West Hampstead, which makes it an appealing place for anyone to live. I’ve noticed, though, that it’s mainly ambitious young professionals – which is what attracted me, to be honest.
Well, there’s some food for thought. If you haven’t already fallen in love with the place, I’m sure I could chew your ear off for half an hour over a coffee in one of the quirky cafes on West End Lane.
Probably in Le Brioche or Café Plus sipping a coffee and tucking in to some scrambled eggs on toast!
It’s been a busy old week here at FaP Towers.
Yesterday we had the launch of the McDonald’s Best Chance Monopoly – we’re sponsoring the two £300k prizes to buy a home.
Today we’re very happy to be partnering Google in the launch of their innovative Street View addition to Google maps.
Street View allows you to view and navigate 360 degree street-level images of 25 UK towns and cities.
We’ve been busy checking it out all morning and we have to say – it’s awesome!
But don’t take our word for it – take a look for yourself on this sample property ad.
Look for the yellow “Pegman” icon on the right-hand side of the property description and then click “Show Street View” to display the pop-up map page.
Click pic for details
Here’s a video of how Street View works, followed by one on privacy and how to get Google to remove an image.
We’ve been asking our users what makes a home?
As you probably know, pretty much everyone in Ireland lives in either a castle or a cottage, so to celebrate this undisputed fact, here are some castles you can currently buy there.
Most of them are of Norman provenance, and they obviously weren’t big on floor-to-ceiling windows, the Normans.
But if security was your main concern, and you’d always wanted a balcony from which you could pour boiling oil on marauding locals, they were the lads to go to.
Grand Designs: it was very different back then!
Click the pics for full details
Thanks to our research team for this week’s graph, which comes from MyHomeLife, their regular consumer survey.
Most people think the market will bottom out before, or by, autumn of this year.
Do you agree? - send us your views using the Comments link below.