Posts tagged ‘uk’

Top 10 #propertyoftheweek Picks


1. Something a bit different at no.1 this week – a houseboat:

2. A popular listing this week – a £2M ‘Total Wreck’:

3.  Who doesn’t love a view:

4. New build with immaculate finishes:

5. A great cottage:

6. Love the spiral staircase:

7. For the big kitchen:

8. Yes we do fancy a game:

9. We do like a London view:

10.  Our own pick:

Send us a link via Twitter to your #propertyoftheweek featured on Zoopla and our pick of the Top 10 will feature on this blog every Friday.

October 11, 2013 at 3:37 PM Leave a comment

Why is renting so expensive?

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

How much do you spend on your monthly rent? And if you’re no longer a renter, how much did you pay the last time you had a landlord or letting agent to keep happy? Unless it was a very long time ago, you probably spent a pretty penny and certainly more than you wished you had. So spare a thought for those who rent now, especially the growing numbers of single-person households living in small homes.

That’s because the latest Rental Index reveals the cost of renting a flat has reached an all-time high. Rental asking prices for studio flats have increased by nearly 7% in the past year to reach an average £718 a month, while one-bedroom flats increased by 2.5% to a record £660 per month.

It’s all smiles when you get the keys to your new rental home, but affording the monthly rent isn’t always so much fun

Overall, asking rents have increased in the first quarter of 2012 and are now at £868 per month, 1% up on the same time last year, but below the record high of £890 in September 2011.

But it’s the proportion of take home income spent on letting a home that brings the renting story to life.

Tenants are now spending on average 38%, or £10,416, of their typical £27,242 net salary on rent. In London, it’s even more – households spend 71%, or £25, 824, of their average £36,384 net income on paying rent. Or think about it another way – the average rental household in London spends nearly as much on their rent in a year as the average UK household takes home as income.

There’s an important regional story here too. Renters in South East England spend the next highest proportion with 42% of take-home income going on rent; in the South West it’s 39%; in the East of England it’s 33%; and in the West Midlands, Wales and the North East it’s 32%. Those in Scotland spend 31% of their take-home income on rent; in the North West and Yorkshire it’s 29%; and in the East Midlands it’s 28%.

But what’s causing this? Quite simply, rents have risen because of stricter lending rules which have made it harder for aspiring buyers to get a foot on the property ladder. As a result, less of us are buying, more of us are renting and the increased demand for homes to rent have forced asking prices up. The good news is that mortgage lending was 30% up in March compared to January, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

And while some of that increase is down to buyers scrambling to complete their sales before the end of the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers, it’s still a good sign. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for the trickle down affect on rents.

May 22, 2012 at 10:45 AM Leave a comment

The UK is Europe’s most expensive place to flatshare

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

It used to be that you could safely assume that everyone who was sharing a flat was paying less than those who rented a home alone, or paid a mortgage. Now new research is putting that claim to bed.

Whose turn is it to do the washing up? We’re paying more than anyone else in Western Europe to live in a flatshare

The UK is the most expensive country in Western Europe when it comes to flatsharers, who pay on average £360 per month, or five per cent more than their European counterparts. The research is based on analysis of 33,000 UK, French, Italian and Spanish rental properties by

The average rent in the UK is 56 per cent higher than what it is in Spain, where the average room costs £230 per month. France is the second most expensive country for renters with an average room rent of £342 per month, while in Italy, rents are £282 pcm, 22 per cent cheaper than in the UK.

“Flatsharers in the UK face much higher bills at the end of the month than their European counterparts,” says Jonathan Moore of “The combination of unaffordably high house prices with the ongoing lending crunch in the UK is leaving hundreds of thousands of frustrated buyers dependent on rental accommodation.”

Moore estimates that nearly 100,000 people have started sharing flats in the past year and this demand is driving up the cost of flatsharing.

And while flatsharing remains a right of passage for students and the recently qualified, it now seems the days of roughing it in a sharehouse when you’re a bit older in order to save for other things, may soon become an unaffordable thing of the past.

What next? Moving back in with the parents and paying board?

November 23, 2011 at 4:57 PM Leave a comment

Could Abramovich be eyeing a Kensington Palace Gardens home?

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

Rumours abound at the moment of a sale on Kensington Palace Gardens, one of London’s most exclusive streets. Dubbed “Billionaires’ Row”, Lakshmi Mittal, the UK’s wealthiest man, owns property on this tree-lined park-side road, as does Foxtons’ founder Jonathan Hunt and the Saudi royal family. So we sent writer Jessie Hewitson to dig a little deeper.

Houses here have very rarely come onto the market – until now. According to sources, Belgian hedge fund manager Pierre LaGrange and his wife Catherine have put their million-pound pad up for sale. LaGrange is co-founder of GLG Partners, one of the most successful hedge funds in the country. This year’s Sunday Times Rich List placed him at #201, with a fortune of £331 million.

The rumoured price tag for the Kensington Palace Gardens property is £30 million, which will boost LaGrange’s personal fortune still further. Its unusually long Land Registry report shows that the 10-bedroom house was bought for £19 million in 2004, and despite being a house it is leasehold, with 118 years left to run. The Crown Estate (i.e. the Queen) owns the freehold and the ground rent is predictably steep: in 2004 it cost £10,000 a year, but according to the Land Registry report this could rise to £160,000.

The house sale coincides with the office-relocation of an even wealthier businessman: Roman Abramovich, who has moved his headquarters from Chelsea to Knightsbridge, close to Kensington Palace Gardens. As a result property industry insiders have been speculating that the Russian oligarch may be aware of the sale and is taking a strong interest.

If he is interested in purchasing the property it is likely to be because he can’t resist snapping up such a rarely available trophy home, or perhaps he is viewing the purchase as an investment or to gift to a family member. It’s unlikely to be for his personal use, as work is currently underway on the mega-home he owns in Knightsbridge, which he plans to share with girlfriend Daria Zhukova and their two-year-old son Aaron. They are knocking together two adjoining townhouses on Lowndes Square, creating one palatial residence. The houses were originally home to a combined nine flats, and when finished will feature eight bedrooms and span a jaw-dropping 30,000 sq ft, five times the area of the average five-bed home.

August 18, 2011 at 10:39 AM Leave a comment

TV’s newest property show: All aboard the house hunting bus

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

So far this year we’ve had Caroline Quentin saving country manors in Restoration Home; Sarah Beeny being dramatic in Help! My House is Falling Down; Mary Portas taking a pop at estate agents in Secret Shopper; and Kirstie and Phil trading property details for swimming togs in Vacation, Vacation, Vacation.

All aboard the property bus: First stop home ownership

Now it seems ITV is readying itself to climb aboard the TV property bandwagon with a new offering – intriguingly named Drive to Buy.

As far as we can tell, the concept is a kind of Amazing Race meets Escape to the Country hybrid and, to be fair, it’s a new one on us.

Essentially the programme  features four pairs of house hunters in a bus driving around various bits of the UK and looking at three homes for sale at discounted prices.

The house hunters are all looking for similar properties at similar prices and the competition part of the show comes down to the fact that each pair can make just one official bid on one of the properties. The sting in the tail is that offers can only be made immediately after viewing the property and before the bus drives away from the home – after which the property goes “off the market”.

Unfortunately the identity of the host is still top secret, although we think Jonnie Irwin or Jasmine Harman would look great in a bus driver’s hat.

While we wait to find out who’ll be collecting the fares on the Drive to Buy bus, house hunters keen to test their property poker faces against home buying rivals can now apply to take part in the show.

Applicants need to be in a position to buy a property from August this year and should contact production company Renegade Pictures for more information and an application form by emailing  or calling 020 7449 3298.

July 27, 2011 at 4:37 PM Leave a comment

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The Zoopla property blog is maintained and edited by the Web Content Editor @ Zoopla Property Group Ltd Myra Butterworth.


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