For this week’s instalment of our blog series we turn our attention to the mighty land of Scotland. We’ve tracked down the oldest inhabited home (which is in fact the oldest in the series) and compared it to one of the newest from Barratt Homes.
OLDEST: Traquair House – built: 1107
Traquair House is almost a castle, it’s so crenelated but despite a 900-year-long history the place is in good nick. It officially dates from 1107, when Alexander I signed a royal charter within it walls, but historicans reckon it could be much older.
Picture Source: Traquair.co.uk
Taking a peek into this property is like stepping back into medieval times. Traditionally used as a hunting lodge for the Kings and Queens of Scotland, Traquair is now a unique piece of living history, having played host to many poignant British figures throughout its existence, including Mary Queen of Scots, whose bed can still be seen by visitors.
Traquair was very nearly destroyed in the 18th Century, but luckily for us survived to tell its tale.
Today it’s inhabited by the 21st Lady of Traquair, her husband, and their three children, and is likely to be worth millions. If it ever comes up for sale the brochure will be fat with descriptions of its rich history, endless rooms including a chapel and brewery.
NEWEST: Osprey Village – built: 2009
Fast forward nearly a millennia to modern day homebuilding in Scotland and you’ll find these new homes for sale in Osprey Village, Aberdeenshire.
Built in the prosperous town of Inverurie – which like Traquair has a history reaching back over 1,000 years – Osprey Village balances rural living with city life – the great Scottish city of Aberdeen just a 16 mile drive away.
The history of the area has been sympathetically considered in the design of the Osprey Village houses, whose exteriors are clad in locally sourced Darlstone, and sit in the rolling green hills of the Scottish countryside.
Built with families in mind, the new development in Inverurie offers a wide range of ‘Premier Collection’ three to four bedroom house styles.
More modest than Traquair House, yet infinitely more affordable, the properties come with a price tag of between £215,000 and £323,995.
For more details visit Barratt Homes.
With the annual Cheltenham Race Festival starting today, we’ve got five properties to spend your winnings on that are located near to other racecourses in the UK.
Admittedly, you’d need to win big to afford these!
Cheltenham Racecourse,Cheltenham, Glos
Average home value in Cheltenham: £243,465
Property for sale in Cheltenham
Thirsk Racecourse, Thirsk, North Yorkshire
Average home value in Thirsk: £217,206
Property for sale in Thirsk
Sandown Racecourse, Esher, Surrey
Average home value in Esher: £670,495
Property for sale in Esher
Carlisle Racecourse, Carlisle, Cumbria
Average home value in Carlisle: £136,283
Property for sale in Carlisle
Exeter Racecourse, Exeter
Average home value in Exeter: £219,508
Property for sale in Exeter
Our latest research shows UK housing affordability is at its highest level since 2003.
Affordability rates have improved substantially over the past couple of years as a result of lower mortgage rates and falling house prices that have now begun to stabilise. We are at levels of affordability not seen in the UK housing market for almost seven years which potentially makes it good time to buy, especially if current low interest rates can be locked into to account for any rate increases that may happen later this year.
- UK housing market affordability reaches seven-year high
- 58% of homes now affordable up from just 34% three years ago
- Property prices now more affordable than at any time since in 2003
- Average UK income earner can afford to buy 58% of UK properties
- Bradford most affordable market in UK, London least affordable
- Over the past 10 years, affordability levels reached their highest point in 2002 at 66%
- The current levels were last seen in 2003 when the affordability rate was 56%
- Bradford – four out of five homes (82%) are affordable
- Hull second most affordable with 81% of homes now deemed affordable
- Stoke-on-Trent (80%), Birmingham (78%) and Coventry (78%)
- London least affordable housing market – less than one-third (32%) of homes are affordable (11% in 2007)
- Southampton (44%), Bristol (53%), Norwich (58%) and Leicester (59%) were among the five least affordable markets in the UK
We calculate the affordability rate using median incomes and average house prices in each geographic area along with prevailing mortgage rates. It judges a home to be ‘affordable’ if one-third of the median income is sufficient to cover mortgage repayments. In 2002 using one-third of income to meet mortgage repayments allowed a purchase of £118,934 whereas today, given the current low financing costs and increased incomes, the same proportion of income finances a purchase of £188,423.
Housing market affordability rate in key UK markets
|City||Average Value March* (£)||March 2010**||3 Years Ago**||5 Years Ago**||7 Years Ago**||10 Years Ago**|
**Calculated by Zoopla.co.uk as the proportion of properties where a third of median income in the selected market would be sufficient to cover mortgage repayments, based on prevailing mortgage rates and a 75% LTV mortgage payable over 25 years.
In 2007, when house prices and mortgage rates peaked, affordability rates nationally fell to record lows of 34%, resulting in the subsequent correction over the past couple of years to the more sustainable level of 58% currently. Across the UK, affordability rates vary greatly by area with the most affordable markets generally in the north and the least affordable in the south, despite the higher income levels.
Following on from our seafood flavoured Five to View, this week’s theme is properties with fishing lakes.
We’ve cast our net across the country and found some tantalising catches, including one beauty which some of you may recognise from Grand Designs.
It must be the season for it, because there were plenty of fish in this particular property sea to choose from – here are our favourite five:
(Click on pics for more images & full property details)
1. LOCHSIDE LUXURY (as featured on Grand Designs) –
2. PRETTY KETTLE OF FISH –
3. WHAT LURKS BENEATH
4. SALMON PINK
5. (RELATIVELY) CHEAPSKATE -
Following on from yesterday’s Google Street View post it’s now official – Google have added your street to its Street View service in Google Maps, by adding over 238,000 miles of new imagery covering almost all of the UK.
Did you clean the car, mow the lawn, paint the house? Was it sunny they day they came to visit, or perhaps you were snowed in?
Here’s a random selection of places below, but we’d be happy to post more, so leave your suggestions below and we’ll post them.
Check out Google Street View when searching for your property on Zoopla.co.uk