Posts tagged ‘New Homes’

House building boosted by Help to Buy

House building has been a major beneficiary of the Government’s push to help more Britons buy their own homes, it has been revealed.

28.01.15 Crest Nicholson 1

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.


Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands

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.

January 28, 2014 at 11:02 AM Leave a comment

Tick off your solicitor

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, solicitors (or conveyencers) are a necessary part of the home buying and selling process. Good news then, for those who aren’t sure what to look for when it comes to choosing one.

The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), which launched in January and now has 100 members, recognises high quality legal services in the residential property market. Anyone buying or selling a home in England and Wales can look for a CQS accredited firm to handle the legal aspects of buying and selling a home.

Basically this is good news for those buying and selling because only firms who’ve undergone a robust and lengthy application process and are subject to ongoing monitoring get the CQS tick of approval.

“Anyone buying a home faces a crowded market of organisations offering conveyancing services making it difficult to identify genuine quality providers,” says Law Society president Linda Lee. “While choice in the market is good that does not necessarily mean the standards are all equal.”

May 6, 2011 at 11:40 AM Leave a comment

New builds are a homeowner’s blank canvas

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Built-in mod cons, excellent energy efficiency and improved security – it’s not hard to see why more of us are opting for the charms of a new build home.

Ask a new-build buyer and they’ll tell you their home came with all new fixtures and fittings so there’s less chance of being lumbered with faulty boilers or damp patches. Also, new-home builders tend to take account of changing living patterns and build houses in keeping with modern lifestyles: they know what a lot of us are discovering – that Victorian room layouts may no longer be appropriate. New home owners will also likely get peace of mind from the warranty on their homes and an easier buying experience, as there’s no chain when they lay their hard earned cash down on a new build.

The New Homes Marketing Board has come up with a list of top reasons to buy new:

1. A fresh start: new build homes are a blank canvas

2. The price is right: new builds tend to be priced competitively for a swift sale

3. Greener and cheaper: new builds are built to the latest environmental standards

4. Less chain, less hassle: no stressful waiting around for owners to move out

5. More for your money: new builds come with high spec standard features

6. Peace of mind: Many house builders provide a ten year warranty

7. Spoilt for choice: There are countless designs and styles to chose from

8. A wise investment: new builds make good economic sense

March 10, 2011 at 4:18 PM 1 comment

Ringo’s childhood home: Let It Be rescued says Starr

This is a legacy post from the 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 has come out as the knight in shining armour in the battle to save the Liverpool house where scouse hero and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was born.


Ringo Starr outside his childhood home at 9 Madryn Street

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.

Phil Coppell outside 9 Madryn Street

Save Madryn Street Campaign chairman Philip Coppell outside 9 Madryn Street

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.”

The former home of Ringo Starr: 9 Madryn Street

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.

Madryn Street

“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.”

The childhood homes of John Lennon – Mendips, in Menlove Avenue – and Sir Paul McCartney – in Forthlin Road – are popular tourist attractions run by the National Trust.

George Harrison’s Arnold Grove childhood home remains a private house.

January 4, 2011 at 6:13 PM 4 comments

Homes with Harry Potter appeal

The Galleries, Brentwood Essex

Inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts: The Galleries, Brentwood, Essex

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

If you’re anything like us, then watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the big screen has probably made you yearn for your very own stay in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While we can’t help you arrange a sleepover in the Gryffindor House common room, we can suggest a couple of properties which will appeal to anyone who’s fallen under the spell of Harry, Hermione, Ron, Hadrig or even the dastardly Dursleys.

Hogwarts lovers: The Galleries in Brentwood, Essex

These distinctive Grade II Listed buildings feature an array of Victorian Gothic architecture, reminiscent of Alnwick Castle – the medieval castle in Northumberland used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.

Currently being transformed by City & Country Group into a residential development, The Galleries in Brentwood are being painstakingly restored and have so far uncovered several gothic features, including decorative stonework, figurative carvings and gothic arched windows, which have all been kept and combined with contemporary architectural restoration.

The Galleries, Brentwood, Essex

Harry, Hermione and Ron would feel at home at The Galleries, Brentwood, Essex

As far as we know, The Galleries in Essex have never been home to a witchcraft school. Instead this impressive building first opened its doors in 1853 as a convalescent hospital. It’s now been converted into 100 high quality apartments and homes. There’s even a magnificent cloisters.

Prices start at £310,000 for a two bedroom apartment, £395,000 for a three bedroom apartment and £499,950 for a two bedroom duplex.

Other Harry Potter-inspired properties

For lovers of the Hogsmeade Station, the closest train stop to Hogwarts

Five-bedroom converted train station in Brough, East Riding of Yorkshire

Exterior of 5 bedroom house for sale in Brough

Exterior of converted railway station, now a 5 bedroom house for sale in Brough

This unique property in Brough, within easy striking distance of Hull, was built in 1880 and was officially in use by 1882. It’s an impressive conversion of a former railway station, which was transformed into a residence in 1963 after the line closed in 1960.

The kitchen of 5 bedroom house for sale in Brough

The kitchen inside converted railway station, now a 5 bedroom house for sale in Brough

It’s set within 7 acres of established ground and well located for the M62, Beverley, Hull and York. It’s on the market for £795,000 through Carter Jonas.

For lovers of the Dursley’s home at Number 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging

Three-bedroom house in New Haw, Surrey

Three bedroom house in New Haw

Harry wouldn’t mind living here: the three bedroom New Haw home

You could almost imagine Harry sending out Hedwig with a message from his bedroom on the second floor of this three bedroom house with driveway and pretty garden. Let’s be honest though, this modern semi looks a lot nicer than the Dursley’s mean old gaff. The shops, bars and restaurants of New Haw are within easy reach, while both West Byflett and Woking aren’t far away.

Three bedroom house in New Haw

Nicer than the Dursley’s gaff: Three bedroom house in New Haw is on the market for £279,950

The nearest station is West Byfleet which is on the direct line to London Waterloo. It’s on the market for £279,950 through Foxtons.


For lovers of Hagrids cottage at the edge of the Forbidden Forest

Coldharbour Cottages, Brightling Road, Robertsbridge, East Sussex

2 Coldharbour Cottages, East Sussex

A bit more genteel than Hagrid’s digs: These two Coldharbour Cottages are on the market for £795,000

We know Hagrid lives in only one rather diminutive cottage on the edge of the Forbidden Forest, but this pair of cottages surrounded by well stocked and private gardens in semi rural East Sussex certainly conjures up mystical possibilities. There are five bedrooms, three reception rooms and three bathrooms, but the gardens form a particular feature of this property and include stepping stone pathways interspersed with willow, bamboo and sycamore and there’s even a secret garden with a grape vine arbour.

2 Coldharbour Cottages, East Sussex

Poor Hagrid didn’t get an outside entertaining area

It’s off a country lane within easy access of Robertsbridge which has a mainline station and regular services to London Charring Cross. It’s on the market at £795,000 through Freeman Forman.

December 3, 2010 at 2:53 PM 5 comments

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