Dick and Dom aid Shelter’s Campaign to get Children permanent homes!

Well, I never.  In all the months we’ve been scribing away on Winging It, I don’t believe we’ve ever made mention of kids’ TV duo, Dick and Dom.

Until now, that is, when they’ve popped up twice in two days.  Spooky.

dick-dom

First up, Nigel name checked their hit series Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow in his blog praising the much maligned one-storey property type.

And now I’m about you tell you all about the boys’ latest role as the faces of Shelter’s HomeTime! campaign.

Or rather, I’m going to quote the lads themselves, who know much more than I do about the ins and outs of it all. Over to you, Dick and Dom:

“Can you imagine growing up without a home to call your own? Well, for thousands of children in Britain that’s a daily reality.

“HomeTime! offers your class tons of wacky ways to raise money for Shelter’s important work to end the housing crisis – like coming to school in your slippers, or even dressed like your Mum and Dad. Go mad, and make a difference!”

If you know any kids who might want to get their school involved, more details are available on the HomeTime! page of the Shelter website.

January 6, 2010 at 11:47 AM Leave a comment

81% of home-owners expect home values to rise in first half of 2010

This time last year, confidence in the property market was at rock bottom and the outlook was bleak. But, a year is a long time in the housing market and, whilst the recovery is still in its infancy, optimism is now back to levels not seen since the credit crunch began in 2007.

The shortage of homes for sale has prevented any improvement in transaction levels over recent months, but with increased confidence amongst owners about putting their homes on the market to match the pent-up demand from buyers, means we could see a welcome boost to the recovery of the housing market.

In our latest Zoopla.co.uk Housing Market Sentiment Survey four out of five UK homeowners believe that property values are set to rise over the first half of 2010. This is a marked turnaround from just one year ago, which marked the low point for housing market confidence, when only one in five homeowners was optimistic about the house price outlook.

Here’s a snapshot from the results above:

What will happen to values over the next 6 months?

Of the 10,732 respondents to the survey (of which 9,938 were home owners), 81% expect that home values will rise, with only 10% expecting values to fall over the next six months. The average growth predicted amongst those surveyed is for house prices in their area to increase 5.4% over the next six months whilst, somewhat unrealistically, they expect their own home value to rise by 5.7% over the same period.

Compared with 3 months ago, is it easier or harder to get a mortgage now?

Confidence alone is not enough to boost activity in the housing market and much depends on the availability of mortgage funding. 75% of those surveyed claim that it is no easier now to get a mortgage than three months ago, placing the onus on lenders to work to increase confidence and help further lift the transaction volumes.

What signs would make you think the property market is improving?

Homeowners  signalled in the survey that the clearest indicator to them of a property market recovery would be evidence of greater market activity in their local area – both in terms of more properties on the market for sale and more transactions taking place.

Which of the following, if any, will you do over the next 6 months?

Homeowners also indicated an intention to improve their properties in the coming months. 42% of homeowners stated they would be embarking on home improvements over the next six months, which may signal a greater willingness to get homes ready to put on the market.

Please feel free to share and use these findings, all we ask is that you credit the source as the Zoopla.co.uk Housing Market Sentiment Survey.

Find out what your home is worth on Zoopla.co.uk

January 6, 2010 at 9:35 AM Leave a comment

New Bungalow Developments aim to renovate the traditional view

Derided by the young, scoffed at by architects and used by comedians to raise a laugh; the bungalow has endured years of abuse despite promising beginnings as a chic but affordable ‘country home’.

The bungalow concept, imported in the late 19th century from India by ex-colonialists seeking an alternative to the drab brick of industrialised Blighty, was originally supposed to be a light, airy but single-storey dwelling.

A typical 1930s bunglow in Britain's seaside retirement capital, Eastbourne

A typical 1930s bungalow in Britain's seaside retirement capital, Eastbourne

The idea caught on. Soon whole bungalow villages and towns were being built along Britain’s coastline – the best-known being Shoreham-by-Sea in Sussex. And literary praise followed – in 1906, War of the Words author HG Wells described bungalows as “a fashion with a certain Bohemian-spirited class”.

But attitudes are very different now. Mostly regarded as a favoured home of the retired or those with little taste – John Major was sniped at for being raised in one – many comedians also now use them to score an easy laugh.

Examples include Peter Kay’s 2003 Mum Wants a Bungalow tour, the long-running Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow routine on TV and John Hegley’s derogatory Luton Bungalow song.

But a developer in Cheshire is making a last-ditch attempt – and some might say a brave one – to haul the badgered bungalow out of the fashion-free gloom and into the bright lights of architectural chic.

Hillcrest Homes is building a £1.75 million example in Alderley Edge – Cheshire’s jewel in the ‘Golden Triangle’ crown – called Chantreys.

Everything but gold taps have been added in a bid to throw off the ‘boring bungalow’ image including a luxury indoor swimming pool, a two-storey ‘wing’, Villeroy and Boch bathrooms, an upmarket Poggenpohl kitchen, sauna, as well as four bedrooms and a study.

A sizeable bill for a bungalow - Hillcrest Homes's £1.75m Alderley Edge newbuild

A sizeable bill for a bungalow - Hillcrest Homes's £1.75m Alderley Edge newbuild

“Chantreys draws more parallels with the Australian or American intepretations of ‘bungalow’ than the British,” says Mike Kennedy of Hillcrest. “It is glamorous, innovative and very stylish.”

January 5, 2010 at 3:13 PM 1 comment

FindaProperty flies off with a gong

It is normally the chunky click of a mouse that determines which websites can claim to be at the top of the online leagues, rather than X-Factor style votes.

For it is these clicks, driven by the millions of people who visit websites every day across a huge spectrum of online activity – from anagram solvers to xylophone sales – that create the juicy data needed by number crunchers to rank websites with.

logo_woty1So it makes a change when sites are instead sized up by their users and here at FindaProperty.com we’re proud to have won the UK’s favourite property portal gong following a vote by 850,000 people for the 2009 Website of the Year awards.

And we are in illustrious company too. Other winners include ITV.com, Arsenal.com, BBC.co.uk and Topgear.com.

For a full list of the winners go to: www.bit.ly/82Rum2

January 4, 2010 at 7:00 PM 1 comment

Graph Of The Week: Winners & Losers In 2009

January 4th already?! Yikes, where does the time go?

To mark the passing of the year, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the property market’s winners and losers in 2009.

And this being January, we’re serving up two graphs for the price of one … the regional risers and fallers and the best and worst of ten major cities.

The most obvious trend in the data is the stark North/South divide: London and the South East did best at regional level; and coastal powerhouses Brighton and Southampton did best at city level.

And the worst city and region? Sorry, homeowners in Greater Manchester and Scotland (but rejoice first-time buyers!), prices dipped by 10.1 per cent and 12.2 per cent respectively.

2009regions

2009cities

January 4, 2010 at 5:35 PM 2 comments

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