This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.
It sounds more science fiction than bricks and mortar, but Britain is to get its first ever floating home after planning permission was granted to a house that rises with flood waters.
The amphibious home – to be set just 10m from the water’s edge – is to be built on an island on the banks of the Thames close to Marlow in Buckinghamshire. It’s considered a major breakthrough for architects and designers who have been trying to find ways to mitigate the risk and damage of water in flood-prone areas.
The modern 225 sq ft home, designed by London-based Baca Architects, will rest on fixed foundations but whenever a flood occurs the entire building will rise up in its dock and float, buoyed by the floodwater.
While the house will be a modern, highly-insulated, low energy building, including large high-performance windows, the architects have ensured that it is also sympathetic to the Conservation Area in which it is set. It will have pitched roofs and a chimney to complement the irregular roofline of neighbouring homes and an overall footprint that is no larger than the existing property.
The garden will act as a natural early warning flood system, with terraces set at different levels designed to flood incrementally and alert the occupants well before the water reaches a threatening level.
“The planning process obviously took a bit more time than some applications, involving our team in extensive consultations and cooperation with the local authority,” said Richard Coutts, director of Baca Architects. “From the outset of the design process we sought expert advice from the Environment Agency to determine the most appropriate construction model to mitigate flood risk on the site; and provide a safe dwelling, sympathetic to its setting, and fit for the challenges of the 21st Century.”
As you’d expect, building an amphibious home isn’t for the financially wet – the architects say it currently costs around 20% to 25% more than a similar sized house.
According to our latest price reduction research, over a third (36.7%) of UK properties for sale currently have been reduced in price at least once since first coming onto the market. The average discount off the original asking price being offered by sellers across the UK on these homes now stands at £19,580 (7.5%).
The current average discount of £19,580 is a new high indicating that sellers have come to terms with the market realities. Pricing correctly remains key when selling a home and whilst there is a shortage of sale stock currently, buyers are more discerning and more informed than ever before. Serious sellers must do their homework and follow the advice of their agent before settling on an asking price – otherwise they may well find their property on the market for longer than they’d hoped.
The average discount on price-reduced properties on offer today is over £1,000 more than this time last year when it stood at £18,475 (7%). Homeowners have slashed huge sums from their original asking prices in an attempt to attract buyers. The total amount reduced from the asking prices of all properties currently for sale across the country stands at £2.5 billion.
Top tip: We have a unique tool on Zoopla.co.uk that lets you sort search results by those that have been most reduced in price, highlighting potential property bargains across the UK.
Price reductions in 50 key British cities/towns
|Rank||Location||% of Homes on Market Reduced||Avg. Price Reduction (%)||Avg. Price Reduction (£)|
Source: Zoopla.co.uk (February 2012)
Full press release can be found here
Legend has it that the famous scene in Women In Love where Oliver Reed wrestles naked with Alan Bates in front of a roaring fire was actually filmed in Reed’s Surrey home Broome Hall.
The actor, who died in Malta in 1999 while filming Gladiator, bought the 54-bedroom Grade II listed home in Coldharbour in the 1970s and lavished buckets of money on its renovation – apparently taking any film work offered in order to fund the work on the home, which dates back to 1750, although most of the property is late Victorian.
Reed, who was as famous for his excessive drinking as he was his acting in films like Castaway, The Three Musketeers and Oliver!, wrote in his autobiography: : “As soon as I set eyes on Broome Hall, I fell in love with it and decided to buy it there and then.” As you’d expect, the actor hosted some famous faces at the property over the years too – including actor Steve McQueen and The Who’s Keith Moon.
Reed left Broome Hall in the 1980s and the property was bought by a developer who converted it into apartments, one of which is now for sale.
An apartment is probably slightly understating this home, which is more like a wing of Broome Hall – it’s large at 1969 sq ft, has three bedrooms, a large living room and dining room, while the upstairs breakfast room overlooks a courtyard. The apartment also comes with a separate half an acre paddock with a stable block and double garage.
And even though Reed left Broome Hall more than two decades ago, the new owners will probably come across stories of the actor’s local exploits. For instance, The Telegraph reported that Reed was apparently banned from his Coldharbour local after coming down the chimney naked shouting: “Ho Ho Ho I’m Santa Claus”.
Ever wondered why you didn’t end up an actor, musician or talented footballer. Part of the reason might be connected to the home you grew up in, or more precisely, where it was situated.
New research by FindaProperty.com looked at where Britain’s top celebrities were raised and found certain areas are hotspots for breeding celebrity success, with some specific regions producing some very particular talent.
Those who grew up in homes in London are 80% more likely to find fame than people born anywhere else. Specifically, Hammersmith in West London is a hotspot for film stars, with Hollywood stars Alan Rickman, Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Grant all growing up in the area. Fans of soap operas could do worse than move to a home in Bury in Greater Manchester, which has produced a string of actors currently starring in Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Emmerdale.
Manchester also has a strong tradition of producing rock bands, with Oasis (Burnage), Joy Division (Salford), Elbow (Bury), The Smiths (Manchester) and the recently reunited Stone Roses just a few of the bands providing inspiration for aspiring rock stars across the city.
When it comes to current chart music, North London is the UK’s centre with Adele, Eliza Doolittle and X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos all hailing from the area. North London is also a good place to look for future X Factor winners, with Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke both spending their early lives in homes in Islington.