Posts tagged ‘New Homes’
House building has been a major beneficiary of the Government’s push to help more Britons buy their own homes, it has been revealed.
House builder Crest Nicholson reported a 40 per cent rise in full-year, pre-tax profit, completing more than 2,000 homes during the year.
It also suggested demand looks set to continue, with so-called ‘forward sales’ – home sales that have been reserved with deposits – at almost £330m mid-January, up 51 per cent on a year ago.
It follows the introduction of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, announced by the Chancellor almost a year ago, to help those with a small deposit of as little as 5 per cent to buy or move home.
Stephen Stone, the company’s chief executive, said: “Government initiatives to assist purchasers in buying a new home have undoubtedly stimulated activity in the industry and we are playing our part by increasing production where possible.”
He explained private home completions were up 35 per cent during the year and that almost 600 reservations were under the Help to Buy scheme.
The ‘equity loan’ phase of Help to Buy is only available on new build homes and offers a Government loan of up to 20 per cent, interest free for the first five years.
The equity loan scheme was due to last three years, but the scheme is proving so popular that fears have been expressed that the Government loans allocated to the scheme could run out within the next 12 months.
Elsewhere, a spotlight has also been thrown on taxpayer funds – but this time, those given to the Queen.
The Public Accounts committee criticised the Royal Household for mismanaging its finances.
Chairwoman Margaret Hodge said there was “huge scope for savings” on the annual £31m of taxpayer funds given to the Queen to spend on official duties.
She suggested that Buckingham Palace should open its doors to more paying visitors when the Queen is not in residence to fund improvements to the royal estate.
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.
I wonder if housing minister Grant Shapps is scratching his head at the millions of Beatles fans who’ve just learnt his name?
Shapps’ gain has been English Heritage’s lose, however, after the conservation body ruled that the Victorian Terrace at 9 Madryn Street, in which Starr lived for four years after his birth, would not be put under a preservation order despite its association with the Beatles drummer.
Liverpool City Council is planning to bulldoze more than 400 homes, including 9 Madryn Street, early this year as part of a planned housing renewal of the so-called Welsh Streets area of Dingle, which they claim is so run down it cannot be saved.
Fighting the planned demolition is the Save Madryn Street Campaign (SMS), who say Starr’s childhood home is central to the million pound Beatles tourism industry and a key cultural site in Liverpool.
And they’ve certainly had a win this week when Shapps came out in their support. Now the housing minister has written to Liverpool City Council calling for a temporary reprieve and labelling the house a “culturally important building”.
“That is why, before a single bulldozer rumbles along Madryn Street, I want to ensure that every option has been considered,” Shapps said.
“It is right that the people of Liverpool themselves decide whether they want Ringo Starr’s house to be demolished or to Let It Be.”
Beatles tourism guide and SMS chairman Philip Coppell welcomed Shapps comments, but warned the fight wasn’t yet over.
“We are not home-and-dry yet, but it’s a cause for celebration that the bulldozers will be held-off for the time being so that a fresh look can be taken by all concerned.
“There is no real prospect of building new homes on the Welsh Streets in the current economic climate.
“The money and demand is just not there to make that happen, so it would be absolutely crazy to go ahead and demolish Madryn Street just to grass it over.”
Coppell says there’s the potential for thousands of tourists to visit Ringo’s home every week because of its significance for Beatles fans.
“It is a real asset to the city and much more could be made of it. We envisage a hotel, holiday apartments and a visitors’ centre in Madryn Street.”
Meanwhile the support from dedicated Beatles fans continues to grow, including from the man himself who is quoted on the Save Madryn Street Campaign website calling for the Victorian property to be “done up” rather than knocked down.
A facebook page set up by the campaign is attracting comments from Beatles fans around the world who are agitating for the home to be preserved. One comment from Barry Smith, who recently went on a Beatles bus tour of Liverpool which included Madryn Street said: “It would be madness to demolish this attraction – if it was anywhere else in the world they’d be renovating it and promoting it.”
George Harrison’s Arnold Grove childhood home remains a private house.