HIPS SUSPENDED WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT

Following on from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats releasing their ‘Coalition Agreement’ document on 12th May which confirmed, under the Environment section (pt 6), that “Home Information Packs (HIPs) are to be scrapped and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) retained” mass confusion set in and home owners, agents, Lawyers and HIP providers each reacted in their own way – some of the comments can be read here.

The main points for debate surrounded the absence of any time scale, resulting unemployment and the legal issues facing home owners and estate agents.

Well, the Government has acted pretty quickly (eight days) and fulfilled their manifesto and confirmed today that HIPS have been suspended. This was announced at a press conference held at Bullman Booth estate agents in Battersea, London.

Full press release on Communities and Local Government website.

This should now banish any second thoughts or delays from home owners who were waiting in the wings to sell their property.

CLG Secretary of State Eric Pickles said:

“HIPs are history. This action will encourage sellers back into the market and help the market as a whole, and the economy recover.”

Housing minister Grant Shapps said:

“This is a great example of how this new Government is getting straight down to work by cutting away pointless red-tape that is strangling the market. Rather than shelling out hundreds of pounds for nothing in return we’re stripping away bureaucracy and letting home owners sell their properties.

“But we’re also showing our commitment to a greener housing market by keeping Energy Performance Certificates and making them more relevant in helping buyers make informed decisions on the energy costs of their new home.”

Here’s our comment on the situation from our Commercial Director, Nick Leeming. Do let us know your thoughts on the situation using the comment box below.

“There were serious concerns that a delay in the scrapping of HIPs would harm the housing market by deterring would-be sellers from putting their homes on the market. But the government has responded quickly and the imminent suspension of HIPs will banish any second thoughts from homeowners. The writing was always on the wall for HIPs. The packs did not contain all the key information buyers and solicitors would need and sellers were always reluctant to incur additional costs – particularly during the economic downturn when there was no guarantee of a sale completing. The inevitable job losses are unquestionably a bitter blow for those who paid considerable amounts to train as home inspectors. The hope is that the demise of HIPs will boost the housing market recovery and, in turn, create further employment in the sector.”

Please feel free to use Nick’s comment above; all we ask is that you credit the source as Nick Leeming, Commercial Director, Zoopla.co.uk and link to Zoopla.co.uk.

May 20, 2010 at 9:24 AM 3 comments

Zoopla.co.uk Property Rich List 2010


The Zoopla.co.uk Property Rich List 2010 lifts the lid on the most exclusive places in the country to live. The past 12 months has seen house prices in the leading areas of the country rebound at a far faster rate than the average, contributing to a widening of the North-South divide.

Here are some of the key findings:

• W8 named UK’s most expensive postcode – average house prices of £1.5m up 9.4% (£134,000) in last 12 mnths

• Most Expensive Street – Kensington Palace Gardens, home to country’s richest Billionaires.

• 1,414  streets in London with average property prices over £1 million

• London unsurprisingly most expensive area, NE Lincolnshire least expensive

Once again, topping the list of the Most Expensive Streets in the country is Kensington Palace Gardens, where the average property will set you back a cool £18 million. Also known as Billionaires Row, this exclusive gated street is home to royals from Saudi and Brunei and billionaires from Russia and India, including Britain’s richest man, steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.

As expected, London dominates the rankings as property prices in the capital have rebounded sharply over the past year and are now well up from the 2008 lows. Virginia Water in Surrey, where the average property is now worth £920,000, is the only area outside London to make the Top 10 Most Expensive Postcodes.

Where’s your nearest Millionaires Row?

Find out here

In addition to W8 (Kensington), only four other areas in the country can lay claim to being Million Pound Postcodes – SW7 (Knightsbridge) and SW3 (Chelsea) where average house prices are just under £1.3 million, W11 (Notting Hill) where buying the average property will leave you with a few quid change from £1.2 million and SW10 (West Brompton) where the average pad will cost you just over £1million.

The number of Golden Streets in London now stands at 1,414. Outside the capital, the places with the highest number of Golden Streets are Guildford (47), Richmond (44) and Leatherhead (40).

Outside London, topping the list of Most Expensive Areas to live are Windsor & Maidenhead where average property prices are now £393,000 followed by South Gloucestershire (£367,000) and Surrey (£348,000). At the other end of the scale, North East Lincolnshire and Hartlepool lead the list of Britain’s Least Expensive Areas with average house prices of under £120,000.

Top Ten Most Expensive Postcodes

Rank Postcode Avg. Value May 2010 12 Month Change (£) 12 Month Change (%)
1 W8 (Kensington) £1,553,770 £133,601 9.41%
2 SW3 (Chelsea) £1,292,193 £132,578 11.43%
3 SW7 (Knightsbridge) £1,285,834 £123,301 10.61%
4 W11 (Notting Hill) £1,093,591 £95,851 9.61%
5 SW10 (West Brompton) £1,019,443 £83,323 8.90%
6 GU25 (Virginia Water) £920,138 £74,457 8.80%
7 SW13 (Barnes) £893,884 £77,884 9.55%
8 NW3 (Hampstead) £881,392 £67,235 8.26%
9 NW8 (St John’s Wood) £831,362 £55,072 7.09%
10 SW5 (Earl’s Court) £782,518 £76,497 10.84%

*Source: Zoopla.co.uk

Full Property Rich List Rankings

Please feel free to share and use these figures; all we ask is that you credit the source as the Zoopla.co.uk Property Rich List 2010 and if possible link to Zoopla.co.uk/richlist

May 18, 2010 at 9:39 AM Leave a comment

Jamie Oliver’s old pukka pad is for sale

about me

Image taken from Jamieoliver.com

Fancy yourself as a bit of a chef? Got a spare £1,195,000?

Well the Naked Chef’s (aka Jamie Oliver) old pad is for sale. Remember when he first graced our TV’s in ’98/’99? Well this is where the Naked Chef series was filmed.

It’s a stunning architect-designed three bedroomed house and offers a truly unique living and entertaining space.

Set over four floors (with roof terrace) and is placed in a sought-after location behind the hustle and bustle found on Upper Street.

The property has underfloor heating throughout, a large reception room, kitchen/dining room with gorgeous spiral staircase (the one he used to slide down!) and three sumptuous bedrooms (one with en suite).

Swan Yard is ideally placed for the excellent selection of shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars on fashionable Upper Street, with the stunning green open spaces of Highbury Fields close at hand. Transport links include Highbury & Islington Station (National Rail and Victoria Line) supplying a superb quick journey into central London and the West End.

View the property for sale on Zoopla.co.uk

Properties for sale on Zoopla.co.uk

May 14, 2010 at 3:37 PM 1 comment

CONFIRMATION: Grant Shapps Housing Minister

Grant Shapps, the Conservatives’ former shadow housing minister,  has confirmed, via his twitter page last night, that he has been appointed Minister of State for Housing.

It is understood that the role no longer has Cabinet status and therefore, unlike his Labour predecessor, he will not attend Cabinet meetings.

Is this, coupled with the time it took to make the appointment, an indication as to where housing is on the list of priorities?

Let us know your thoughts below.

A full guide to Cabinet members can be found here.

About Grant Shapps

Previous positions held

MP for Welwyn Hatfield, May 2005 –

Vice-Chairman of Conservative Party Campaigning, Dec 2005 -

Shadow Minister for Housing, June 2007 – May 2010

Proudest political achievement

Founding the Conservative Homelessness Foundation

Interests outside of politics

Aviation (holds a pilot’s licence)

Family life

Married to Belinda

Three children: Hadley and twins, Noa and Tabytha

Information taken from the Conservatives website

May 14, 2010 at 8:01 AM 1 comment

Five to View: Property in Witney

As David Cameron takes up residency in Downing Street, we take a look at the housing market in his constituency of Witney.

Before Dave, the Oxfordshire town’s main claim to fame was the high quality woollen blankets it has produced for several hundred years.

Now, however, its name will be forever wrapped up with that of the UK’s latest prime minister - only time will tell whether this new association will prove to be quite so cosy and long-lasting as Grantham’s was with Margaret Thatcher.

Here’s our pick of properties in Witney:

(Click on pics for more images & full property details)

1. Cabinets minister

Witney house for sale at £1,750,000 (Savills 0843 2810 956)

2. This red has to go!

Witney house for sale at £1,500,000 (Knight Frank 0843 2811 227)

3. White house

Witney house for sale at £975,000 (Savills 0843 2821 775)

4. True blue

Witney house for sale at £795,000 (Savills 0843 2821 775)

5. Ivy league, UK style

Witney house for sale at £540,000 (House Network 0843 3635 806)

May 13, 2010 at 11:54 AM 3 comments

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