Purple, not fifty shades of grey in the bedroom

You might think grey is the new blue at the moment as author EL James’s racy novels take the world by storm and ‘fifty shades of’ enters the sexual lexicon.

But research by online retailer Littlewoods.com has revealed that in reality (rather than fantasy) purple is the leading turn on for couples when in their bedrooms, if interior decoration is anything to go by.

In a saucy piece of research the company asked 2,000 adults how many times they had sex a week and the dominant colour in their bedroom. Those enjoying the most regular love making have purple bedrooms (3.49 times a week on average) followed by red (3.18), sky blue (3.14), pink (3.02) and black (2.99).

And to hammer the point home, so to speak, interior design Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen has chipped in to point out that he’s “for years been telling British homeowners  that a beige bedroom makes for a beige sex life”.

But do British homeowners really go for purple in a big way? Here are six of the best purple bedrooms for sale at the moment.  If they take your fancy and a viewing follows, do tell them where you saw it for sale – you know, that purple property website.

1. Three bedroom semi in Glasgow, £160,000

2. Four bedroom house in Wolverhampton, £227,000

3. Four bedroom house in Preston, £199.950

4. Four bedroom bungalow, Isle of Lewis, £175,000

5. One bedroom flat in Leicester, £124,995

6. Three bedroom flat, Sydenham Hil, London, £179,950

September 4, 2012 at 3:10 PM Leave a comment

Zoopla launches its biggest marketing campaign yet

This weekend we are launching our biggest ever advertising campaign with a brand new multi-million pound national TV, radio and print campaign. This follows the recent launch of our multi-year sponsorship of West Bromwich Albion football club, currently in an impressive fourth place in the Premier League after the first two weeks of the season!

The new TV and radio ads will be seen and heard throughout prime-time on a broad range of national TV channels and radio stations, with print ads running across various national newspapers. The campaign, dubbed ‘Talking Houses’ features three animated houses in three different adverts discussing the property market and the benefits of Zoopla.

Giving life to the houses are the voices of well-known British actors Jim Broadbent (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Harry Potter), Doon Mackichan (Smack the Pony) and can you recognise the third voice…with property market expert Phil Spencer’s voice at the end of each ad.

We hope you like them. Let us know what you think in the comments box below or find us here:

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August 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM 2 comments

Top Ten: Cut price homes for sale

Research we published recently showed that the number of homes for sale featuring a  reduced asking price was on the increase, a softening of the market that is partly seasonal, partly driven by the still weak economy and, some say, not helped by the ongoing Olympics.

Overall asking prices are being reduced by £19,000 or 7.6% and the proportion of homes on the market to have been reduced is 37%, an increase from 34% a year ago. But while the most severe discounts (on average) are in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where house sellers have had to cut their asking prices by 9.6% or £18,888 some people are going to extreme lengths to attract buyers and cutting their asking prices savagely.

We’ve tracked down the properties across the UK that have been reduced significantly since they went on the market, some by up to £50,000 and in one case by a jaw-dropping £400,000.

1. Shirley Hills, near Croydon, Surrey
First on the market for: £2.75m
Now for sale at: £2.35m
Reduction: £400,000 or 14%

Tell more more: This gorgeous six bedroom Georgian-style mansion with large and immaculately tended gardens and a three-port garage is in one of few patches of serious greenery close to London but well connected by train, to be found in the Addington hills to the east of Croydon.

2. Penthouse apartment, Formby, near Liverpool
First on the market for: £795,000
Now for sale at: £595,000
Reduction: £200,000 or 25%

Tell me more: Formby is one of Liverpool’s more upmarket seaside dormitory towns and prices locally reflect it’s popularity with the city’s more well heeled residents. This three bedroom apartment, which is on the top floor of a modern development in the centre of the town, has been lavishly furnished throughout.

3. Period-style house in the Surrey countryside
First on the market for: £1.45m
Now for sale at: £1.25m
Reduction: £200,000 or 13.7%

Tell me more: A large neo-Elizabethan house on the fringes of Addington Golf Course in the Surrey countryside between Addington and Keston. The property includes a two-port garage as large-ish garden out the back built for partying – it’s accessed from a pool room with a bar.

4. Surburban mansion, Roundhay, Leeds
First on the market for: £1.595m
Now for sale at: £1.449m
Reduction: £146,000 or 9.1%

Tell me more: If you’re after an executive home with plenty of upmarket clout in Leeds then head for Roundhay, arguably one of the city’s most  expensive and exclusive neighbourhoods. This seven bedroom mansion has been built with the region’s distinctive yellow stone and it’s owners are keen to sell, both dropping its asking price substantially and offering it up for part exchange.

5. Modern house with six bedrooms in Surrey
First on the market for: £1.895
Now for sale at: £1.795m
Reduction: £100,000 or 5.2%

Tell me more: A modern home which could be called Canadian in looks and like it North American counterparts features huge rooms and a large garden out the back. It’s in the countryside between Croydon and the Kent county border and appears to be part of trend in the area for large asking price reductions – it’s the third on our list.

6. Cute cottage, Woolpit, near Bury St Edmunds
First on the market for: £475,000
Now for sale at: £399,000
Reduction: £76,000 or 16%

Tell me more: Woolpit is a small village in the heart of the Suffolk countryside about ten miles east of Bury St Edmunds. This wobbly-beamed cottage, which has bits dating back 600- years, has four bedrooms and a glass paneled conservatory at the back.

7. Wing of a Victorian detached house, Turton, near Bolton
First on the market for: £475,000
Now for sale at: £399,950
Reduction: £76,000 or 16%

Tell me more: This mid-Victorian property in upmarket Chapeltown on the northern fringes of Bolton in Manchester is one of three properties created within this four-storey detached house during the early noughties. This ‘wing’ includes four bedrooms and a small orangery-cum-dining room.

8. Terraced side street home, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
First on the market for: £595,000
Now for sale at: £525,000
Reduction: £70,000 or 11.7%

Tell me more: If you like living on an unspoilt winding street packed with mid-Victorian homes then this four-bedroom family home is ideal. Within Hatfields’ old heart close to the railway station, it should have been snapped up by a London commuter.

9. Seaside house, Deal, Kent
First on the market for: £475,000
Now for sale at: £425,000
Reduction: £50,000 or 10.5%

Tell me more: Deal is one of the south coast’s forgotten seaside paradises. It’s whitewash stuccoed esplanade’s properties arebeautiful enough but the sea, which washes up close to the coastal road running along it, makes for an eyeful at high tide. This four bedroom terraced house on the seafront has been tastefully decorated and would make an ideal holiday home.

10. Two-property equine estate near Kings Lynn
First on the market for: £650,000
Now for sale at: £600,000
Reduction: £50,000 or 7.6%

Tell me more: You might expect this property to have been snapped up, or should we say be a galloping sales success. t’s near the area’s fashionable (and celebrity rich) town of Downham Market plus the price includes a period farmhouse, a 1970s bungalow, several barns, more outbuildings than it’s practical to list here, an outdoor school and several stables.

August 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM Leave a comment

Worried about being snapped in Vegas? Luxurious UK properties with hot tubs fit for a prince!

During the 1980s the alfresco ‘hot tub’ was an American import largely ignored as mildly naff, unhygienic and beloved of those with a need to bathe outdoors year round, whatever their neighbours thought.

But today huge leaps in technology, quality and public attitudes have transformed these bubbling tubs into a desirable home feature helped by their frequent appearance on TV programmes such as Footballer’s Wives and The Only Way is Essex.

Research out recently revealed how they are now considered the ultimate status symbol by 69% of us, followed by US-style fridges, walk-in wardrobes and room-to-room sound systems that play music all around your home.

Such saucy communal bathing does not please everyone. BBC Gardener’s World magazine last week reported that its readers  for the first time listed hot tubs as an irritation, only slightly less annoying than blaring TV and radios, late-night parties, screaming children, power tools and house alarms.

Nevertheless sales of hot tubs are rising year on year despite the recession and Zoopla’s property listings are increasingly full of homes with a hot tub. Some two percent of all homes for sale in the UK feature one and there are an estimated 250,000 out there, bubbling away.

Here are the top five most luxurious for sale today, found using the Zoopla keyword search.

1. Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset – £2.5m

Properties with hot tubs

Canford Cliffs is the next best thing if you don’t want to pay the astronomical prices in nearby Sandbanks, which would comfortably double the value of this house. What many of the celebrity houses there won’t have is the vast footprint of this six- bedroom property, which comes with a tennis court, swimming pool, next to which is a large hot tub set into the ground.

2. Lower Parkestone, Poole, Dorset – £1.75m

homes for sale with hot tubs

This eight bedroom house was built unwittingly to fit the list of popular must-haves detailed above. Not only does the back patio area feature a bubbling wooden hot tub but it has a walk-in wardrobe too and, for good measure, a Swedish-style sauna in the garden.

3. Stibbington, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire – £995,000

homes with hot tubs

This house just HAS to have been built by a Scandinavian or Canadian. Wood is the dominant theme inside and out, and its low-rise design, high arched roof and acres of glazed glass would make a perfect location for an episode of TV show Wallander, whose detective might also appreciate the indoor hot tub, which sits within an island of timber.

4. Hunsdon, Ware, Hertfordshire – £1.25m

homes with hot tubs

This  four-year-old house is owned by Simon Belofsky, one of Britain’s leading songwriters fresh from his collaboration last year with former S’Express singer Sonique. His home features the kind of understated modernism you might expect of a music biz ‘name’, except in the master bedroom, which features a huge hot tub. More conventional leisure pursuits on offer include a pool in the garden and a vast, wall mounted flatscreen TV in the lounge.

5. Rose Cottage, near Tintagel, Cornwall – £385,000

hot tubs in homes

At first this compact but gorgeous cottage overlooking a small eye catching valley floor seems like many of the houses on the narrow road that winds down to a popular local beach and coastline walk. The rear of the property enjoys extraordinary views over this gap in the coast and the stream that gurgles down it, particularly if you’re sat either on its wooden patio or,  in the garden, while sipping a Bacardi within the raised wooden hot tub.

August 22, 2012 at 2:04 PM Leave a comment

Dream start to Zoopla sponsorship of West Brom

The sponsorship of Premiership club West Bromwich Albion by Zoopla.co.uk kicked off in spectacular fashion on Saturday when ‘the Baggies’ comprehensively defeated Liverpool at their Hawthorns stadium by three goals to nil.

A near capacity crowd of 26,000 watched Steve Clarke’s team get their season off to an ideal start as Zoltan Gera, Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku scored while wearing this season’s new Zoopla-emblazoned strip and surrounded by Zoopla’s distinctive purple hoardings.

West Bromwich Albion Zoopla

West Bromwich Albion fans celebrate one of the three goals scored against Liverpool at Saturday’s match at the Hawthorns.

The sponsorship deal, which runs until at least the 2014/15 season, also includes Zoopla logos on official club merchandise, across its website, on match tickets and programmes and of course on interview backdrops for post-match TV interviews.

Jonas Olsson West Bromwich Zoopla

West Bromwich Albion defender Jonas Olsson wearing this season’s strip.

But as well as being the principal sponsor of the club, much more was on offer during the Liverpool game.

At half time three Baggies fans kicked for a chance to win either £1,000 or a house if they could place a ball through one of three openings in the Zoopla Halftime House while former team player and now youth coach Darren Moore (pictured, below) also had a go. To register to have a go in this challenge at each home game, visit the Zoopla Halftime House Challenge page.

Darren Moore West Bromwich Albion Zoopla

Former West Brom player Darren Moore tries the Zoopla Half Time House Challenge during the Liverpool game on Saturday.

Also, Zoopla announced it is supporting the Albion Foundation, a charitable trust set up to work with West Bromwich Albion to help regenerate the local community through sporting, educational and health initiatives and activities.

Zoopla has pledged £50,000 to the foundation over the next two years as well as additional donations each game depending on the team’s performance via Zoopla Golden Goals.

This was launched at the Liverpool game too. Every time the team scores at home or away Zoopla will donate and additional £1,000 split half with the foundation and half with five key local charities. For starters, on Saturday, £3,000 was raised when the team scored its clutch of goals.

August 21, 2012 at 1:52 PM 4 comments

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