The Google cars have been busy filming the UK’s streets to bring improved availability of its Street View service in Google Maps, by adding new imagery covering almost all of the UK.
Here’s our view (sorry!) on Google Street View:
“Google Streetview is a great tool that has been integrated into our website since it first launched last year. Being able to offer street level imagery for the whole of the UK is an invaluable feature for our users as they search for homes to buy or rent and do their research on current home values and recent sold prices. Zoopla.co.uk is all about providing useful tools to our users help them make better informed property decisions and Google Streetview is an important part of that mission.”
Google say that around 238,000 miles of public UK road imagery will be available from tomorrow covering places as far North as Shetland and as far South as Penzance; from Pembrokeshire in the West of Wales to Ipswich in the East of England or over the sea to Northern Ireland and many places in between.
We’ll bring you images from the far-flung places above as soon as Street View is live.
On Monday Google revealed the winners of its ‘Britain’s Best Streets’ Award.
It might seem odd that we are only reporting 2009 now, but because of the Land Reg lag it is only now that we can look at the full set of data for the WHOLE of 2009.
2009 was a tale of two very different halves for the UK property market. The first half of the year was pretty poor coming off a year of transaction volumes at historic lows. The second half of the year was a different story as sales started to bounce back strongly, particularly in the south where buyers returned to the market as prices became tempting and to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.
• 61% of last year’s total sales transactions occurred in last 6 months
• Number of properties sold in second half of 2009 up 35% on 2008
• Houses prices up 4.7% in last half of 2009, a gain of 2.5% for year
The figures reveal the extent of the property market turbulence last year. While property sales in Britain in 2009 were 6.8% lower than a year earlier, it was very much a year of two halves. The number of properties that changed hands in the first 6 months of last year (273,015) was down 36.9% on 2008 but the second half of 2009 showed a 34.6% surge in sales transactions (421,732) compared to the last half of 2008.
While home values in Britain managed a gain of 2.5% over 2009, average house prices fell 2.2% over the first 6 months of the year (from £205,607 to £201,067) before recovering in the second half by 4.7% to reach an average value of £210,661 by the year end. One of the biggest factors in the house price rebound in the second half of last year was the recovery in market activity with increased transaction volumes leading to higher property prices.
Transaction volumes were particularly strong in the fourth quarter of 2009, up by double-digits in all regions compared to 2008 with the exception of Scotland where sales levels have been slow to recover and were up only 8% in Q4 09 versus the previous year and were down 33% for the full year 2009, compared to a decline of only 1% in England and 12% in Wales.
|Country||1H 2009||1 YR Change||2H 2009||1YR Change||Total 2009||Total 2008||1YR Change|
To celebrate a year of Google Street View, Google asked the nation to vote for what they thought were the most picturesque streets in Britain.
Google’s criteria for street-selection stated that:
“The winning street should be uniquely British and visually charming. It could be vibrant, full of character, diverse, walker-friendly or architecturally interesting.”
…and Ed Parsons from Google said:
“The Google Street View Awards are aimed to celebrate the many fantastic streets that Britain has to offer, and the results reveal a diverse cultural landscape of food, fashion and beauty that puts the winning towns firmly on the map.”
More than 11,000 people voted for their favourites after the streets were short-listed by a panel of experts.
The top three streets, in order were:
Google Street View Most Picturesque Street Shortlist 2010
|Street||Area||Average Value March 2010|
|High Street||Chipping Campden||£683,525|
|New College Lane||Oxford||£337,413|
|Brunswick Square||Brighton and Hove||£274,315|
|Main Street||Isle of Mull||£146,835|
Celebrity chef Rick Stein is credited with turning the Cornish town of Padstow into a household name over the past few years – and some wags have even renamed the town Padstein.
Having chosen it as the location for his mini-empire – which includes four restaurants, a bar and a cookery school – Padstow’s tourism has subsequently benefited, as have its property prices.
But word on the Cornish streets is that Falmouth is next in line for a similar rise to fame and potential fortune. Why? Because Stein’s latest venture – a Fish & Chip Restaurant and Oyster Bar – is due to open in the town’s Discovery Quay next month.
So before Falmouth is besieged by seafood fans, and house prices grow as fast as anglers’ tales, here are five plaices (sorry, couldn’t resist!) to view:
(Click on pics for more images & full property details)
1. CATCH OF THE DAY
2. TOP DECK
3. FISHERMAN’S FRIEND
4. MY VIEW IS THIS BIG
5. SOLE STOREY PROPERTY
If there’s one thing many of us forget about the housing market, it’s the huge history that many homes can claim, sometimes dating back to the times of William the Conqueror.
Some 20 per cent of properties listed on FindaProperty.com have historic track records, be they Tudor, Elizabethan, Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian homes – and in total, some 340,000 properties across the UK have Grade I, II*or II listed status.
So given our long experience of being a nation of bricks and mortar, how have our homes changed over the past 860-odd years?
For the first in our new blog series, we track down Britain’s longest continually inhabited home and compare it to one of the newest, from David Wilson Homes, to see how they measure up.
OLDEST: Saltford Manor – built: 1149
After months of research by Country Life magazine it was revealed in 2003 that five-bedroom Saltford Manor in Somerset was Britain’s oldest inhabited address.
According to architectural historian, Dr John Goodall, the property has been a home since before 1150 – narrowly pipping Horton Court in Gloucester (built in 1150) and Hemingford Grey in Cambridgeshire (built in 1160) to the post.
Saltford Manor is a solidly Norman affair and includes a typical ornate window in its main bedroom and an arch etched with diamond markings similar to one found at Hereford Cathedral – built in 1148.
The house was considerably beefed up during the Medieval period but left alone by the Georgians and Victorians although at the moment it is decorated to very contemporary tastes rather than historic ones.
“You get a wonderful sense of history,” says owner James Wynn. “I can look at Norman, Tudor and 17th century architecture before I brush my teeth.”
NEWEST: The Domus development – built: 2009
In stark contrast to Saltford Manor, the 26 designer properties for sale at the Prince of Wales-endorsed Domus development near Upton in Northampton (by new homes developer David Wilson Homes) are some of the newest to be built thus far in Britain’s homes history, and are often quoted as being one of the greenest, along with the BedZED development in Beddington, South London.
All the properties within Domus (formerly called Aspect) have been built with today’s eco-aware buyers in mind and include environmentally friendly water drainage systems, heating and hot water supplied by solar panels, built-in three-bin recycling in their kitchens and safe bike stores to encourage cycling.
If living the Vida Moderna is more your bag (and more affordable, given Saltford’s likely £900,000+ price-tag) then there are five properties remaining for sale at Domus, varying in price from £299,000 to £449,000.
For more details visit David Wilson Homes.