The world of sponsorship went to a weird place this week after a mobile phone company offered to pay £250 to anyone prepared to officially include the firm’s name in their house address.
Talk Talk, which is offering the money to homeowners in return for the ‘naming rights’ to their property for a year, enjoys a high profile at the moment as the main sponsor of TV show The X-Factor.
Despite such glamorous connections, it is hard to imagine that this relatively small sum could persuade anyone to make such a toe-curling commitment.
But as Britain endures a severe recession, some households are evidently happy to oblige and the first family to sign up has already taken delivery of their new nameplate.
They are Elaine and Darren Snow from South Croydon (pictured), who have renamed their neo-Georgian pile ‘Talk Talk Towers’ – perhaps an ironic moniker given the number of mobile phone masts that have sprung up all over the UK.
But the company is playing it safe. Only five variations on a theme are permitted, including Talk Talk Towers, Mansions, Home, House and the peculiar @ – for example, TalkTalk@37 Acacia Avenue.
And who would blame the company? What if their name were to be inserted into Dun’Roaming, for example, or if a customer took revenge on the firm for perceived wrongs with Talk Talk Forge?
2008 was undoubtedly a torrid year for homeowners. But, property prices have stabilised this year, rising gradually since April after a fairly weak first quarter.
We are still a long way from the values seen before the recession took hold, but the housing market has not worsened in 2009 as some had feared and recovery signs are starting to appear.
As 2009 draws to a close, British homeowners can let out a little Christmas cheer compared to this time last year as home values across the nation have risen by £39.1 billion in 2009. Whilst the increase is modest, it is a massive improvement over 2008 when British property values fell £811.3 billion, according to our research.
However, with the total value of the British residential housing stock now standing at £5.3 trillion, up marginally on one year ago, it still remains over three quarters of a trillion pounds below its peak of £6.1 trillion in late 2007. The average home in Britain is now worth £205,591, up £1,517 (0.7%) from one year ago, a daily gain of £4 for the average property. This is in stark contrast to 2008 when property values fell by £31,355 (13.3%) on average, equivalent to a daily loss of £86 per home.
Property prices in England have climbed 0.9% over the past 12 months, having fallen 13.9% in 2008. Scottish values have also risen in 2009 by 0.6% to an average of £156,905 up from £155,597 at the end of last year. However, the property market in Wales is yet to rebound and has seen average values drop a further 2.5% (£3,866) in 2009 on top of the 13.2% decline in 2008.
Property value changes in 2009
|Country||Value change %||Value change £||Avg. value today|
Homeowners in Gloucestershire have had the biggest cause for celebration in 2009 as average property values have risen 3.8% over the past year to a current average home value of £229,945. At the other end of the scale, there is far less to cheer about in Merthyr Tydfil where the property values suffered the largest loss in 2009, falling 6.2% to a current average value of £94,132.
Property value changes by type in 2009
|Property Type||Value change %||Value change £||Avg. value today|
Best performing towns in 2009
|Town||Value change %
|Value change £
|Avg. home value
|Downham Market, Norfolk||8.1%||£12,380||£164,535|
Worst performing towns in 2009
|Town||Value change %
|Value change £
|Avg. home value
|Liversedge, West Yorkshire||-12.9%||-£20,206||£136,172|
… or more specifically, PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise.
In their own words this is:
“ … an inviting, luminous hue … Combining the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green, Turquoise evokes thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a languorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of well-being.”
Indeed it does, especially if you own a property like one of these seaside beauties:
The full list of category winners can be seen here.
This year, 259 websites were nominated over 18 categories. More than 800,000 votes were cast between November 3 and December 8 and other winners include: Boots, Abbey, BBC and Google.
So, a BIG THANK YOU to all who voted for us.
Here’s a little more about the awards:
The Website of the Year awards are the largest annual ‘people’s choice website awards and are organized by MetrixLab since 2004, the global Online Market Research company that specialises in the areas of New Product Development, Brand Communication, E-Business Performance and Satisfaction Research.
I didn’t think the MPs’ expenses scandal could get any better (or worse) than Douglas Hogg’s moat and Sir Peter Viggers’ ornamental duck house.
But the latest noses-in-the-trough revelation – a £20,700 claim by Quentin Davies for repairs to the bell tower on his stately home – makes Hogg and Viggers look like dabbling amateurs.
Houses with bell towers, you might think, are a fairly rare phenomenon, but a quick trawl of FindaPropetry.com has turned up some fine examples.
So here, in case you’re thinking of standing for parliament next year, are some properties with this delightful, if high-maintenance, feature.
Just be sure you have a full survey before you buy, because if problems do arise you may, in future, find it difficult to get the tax payer to foot the bill.
(Click on pics for more images and full property details)