Download our new android app now

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Looking for a new home, but don’t have an iPhone? We’ve got some good news for you: is pleased to announce the launch of our new android app.

Whether you’re buying, renting, selling, letting or browsing, you can now search for a home on the move with our new app.

Use your GPS functionality to see which properties are nearby, contact agents directly or just save them to browse in more detail later. There’s lots to like about this app - why not download it now?

October 25, 2011 at 2:26 PM

REVEALED: Inside the Junior Apprentice house

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This year’s Junior Apprentice has been rebranded as the Young Apprentice, but the compulsive viewing and competitive element still remains. Quick synopsis for those who may not be avid viewers – a group of 16-17 year olds are put through their paces by Lord Sugar as they compete in various tasks to prove themselves worthy of a £25,000 prize that will help them up the career ladder.

In case you didn’t know, we’re a little curious here at Zoopla and more interested in the property side of things. Earlier this year we revealed where The Apprentice (Junior’s big brother) house was located –  and we’ve struck gold again thanks to the Zoopla Property Archive and bring you the Junior Apprentice house which is located on Hamilton Terrace, London, NW8 where average property values are £1,591,377.

It’s a significant property that’s had a serious refurb a few years ago. No expense has been spared on the refurbishment which provides 6,900 sq ft / 641 sq m of exceptional living space and features a 110 ft south west facing garden. What is interesting is that according to the Zoopla Property Archive we are able to tell you that the property was listed for sale back in February of this year with a hefty £15,750,000 price tag. What we’re not sure of is whether it actually sold – we’ll try and find out.

The property features include:

Lower Ground - His & hers studies, Kitchen/Breakfast area, Cinema, Sitting Room, Laundry

Ground Floor - Dining Room, Drawing Room, Sitting Room, Wet Bar (can anyone help us with that), Staff bedroom (ensuite), Garage

First Floor - Dressing Room, walk in wardrobe, Sauna, Master Bedroom with balcony

Second Floor - Four bedrooms – all ensuite

So, what do you think of the property? Let us know in the comments below.

October 25, 2011 at 12:50 PM 3 comments

Britain’s cheapest home and other house price stories

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

There’s a lot of talk about house prices this morning, and not just the indices type that tracks average asking or sold prices.

Firstly, we have the story about Britain’s cheapest home. The run-down home in the Welsh village of Maerdy in the Rhondda Valley is going under the hammer in two days time with an expected price of about £7,000 – less than most cars cost.

The auctioneers are being a little sketchy about the state of the place as they haven’t been able to gain access due to “safety reasons”, reports the Daily Mail. In any case, it could be a good buy for an investor who, if they can afford to fix it up (estimated to cost between £25,000 and £50,000), may be able to rent it out for up to £400 a week.

The Guardian also has an interesting story about a blog written by buying agent Tracy Kellett (first hosted on her own blog) in which she calls on vendors to be realistic about prices. She says vendors should accept reasonable offers now – or expect a lower one (or none) in the next year. And if there’s been no interest in a home after two weeks, vendors should drop their prices (or not expect any house-selling joy until at least February).

She makes a good point. We’re in a challenging market at the moment, which means buyers in many areas are thin on the ground and vendors, therefore, need to be aware that the longer a property stays on the market the lower the achieved asking price is likely to be.

Take a look at the graph below, based on historic Land Registry figures, which illustrates Kellett’s point very well. It shows time on market versus percentage of asking price achieved and the direct relationship between the two. If there’s ever been a better advertisement for sellers to be realistic about price then we’d like to see it.

October 25, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Heather Mills house is for rent … or for sale

Just when you thought celebrities were different to us common folk comes the news that they’re just the same – especially when it comes to property.

Its can be tough market at the moment, which means that selling (and buying) can take more time, which in turn means some sellers are rethinking their property decisions. We saw this back in 2008 and 2009 when the market turned. That time around it led to the rise of the accidental landlord – home owners wanted to sell, but ended up becoming landlords because it was easier – and possibly more lucrative to wait out the market before inking their signature on a sale.

Turns out, Heather Mills may be having a similar idea with her Arts & Craft-style home in Robertsbridge, East Sussex, which she bought following her 2007 divorce from Sir Paul McCartney.

 The eight-bedroom home, set on 15 acres of woodland with its own formal gardens, equestrian centre, swimming pool and separate annex, is on the market for £3.9 million through The Country Property Group. But it’s also available to rent for an eye-watering £7995 per calendar month through Savills.

Ms Mills has even left the door open for the new tenants to rent it furnished.

The home is within a mile of Robertsbridge station, which can have you deposited in central London within an hour and 20 minutes. The village itself may look like one of England’s quaintest, but the reality is that this corner of the South East boasts more than a handful of celebrities who call it home – Lisa Marie Presley has a home down the road in East Grinstead, while Davina McCall’s rambling Grade II listed mansion is in Wadhurst.

Not bad for an accidental landlord.

October 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Rising Rents: Putting a squeeze on tenants

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

There’s been a lot of talk over the past few weeks about the impact of rising rents on British households. Last week’s Shelter report into renting made for disturbing reading – especially its findings about affordability in relation to private sector housing.

Rising rents are forcing more of us to live in shared rental homes for longer

Now, new figures from the quarterly Rental Index are shedding more light on the squeeze as average asking prices of a home to rent climb to their highest level ever.

Here’s the detail: the average monthly rent rose by 1.6% in September, taking the typical asking price of a rental property to £890 per month, the highest price ever recorded by the index.

This increase means that a typical renting household can expect to spend almost half, or 46.2%, of its monthly net earnings on accommodation.

As you’d expect, households in London are under massive rental pressure. While the capital has the country’s highest take-home earnings (at £2,721 per household, per month, according to Department of Work and Pensions figures), the typical monthly rent has now passed the £2,000 mark (£2,075), which means the cost of renting now accounts for three quarters of average monthly net earnings (76.3%).

The most affordable place for renters is Yorkshire and the Humber where average asking rents now accounting for 35.3% of average household net earnings. Wages in the region are 39.1% lower than in the capital, but this is more than offset by the country’s best value rental accommodation – the average rental property is on the market for £584 per month.

These increases are alarming. But they point to a wider problem in the housing market and are being directly impacted by a bottleneck in the first-time buyers’ market, which is having a knock-on effect on all other levels of the property ladder who are then “stuck” where they are.

The result is that a place of one’s own is becoming simply unfeasible for a lot of people – young and not so young – and rising rents and curtailed mortgage lending is forcing more of us into shared rental accommodation: a living situation we’re staying in for longer.

The other side of the coin is that landlords are obviously benefitting from a hot rental market – and the latest rental index has found the average rental yield rose to 4.9% – the highest ever level across the country in September.

Landlords are also letting their properties faster. At the moment it takes nine days less than it usually has over the past few years for a landlord to find a new tenant, meaning supply is still lagging behind demand, and prices are likely to continue to rise in the near future.

See rental affordablity in your region:

Region Average rental asking price Average monthly wage income* Rent to earnings ratio
London £2,075 £2,721 76.3%
South East England £1,163 £2,343 49.6%
South West England £855 £1,748 48.9%
Wales £628 £1,540 40.8%
West Midlands £668 £1,686 39.6%
North West England £641 £1,640 39.1%
East of England £819 £2,102 39.0%
East Midlands £629 £1,663 37.8%
North East England £587 £1,571 37.4%
Scotland £670 £1,816 36.9%
Yorkshire & The Humber £584 £1,657 35.3%
UK £890 £1,924 46.2%

Read the latest full Rental Index:

October 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM

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The Zoopla property blog is maintained and edited by the Web Content Editor @ Zoopla Property Group Ltd Myra Butterworth.


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