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If you are thinking of buying a property as an investment, now is the time to act with prices lower amid increasing demand for rentals

It's boom time for buy-to-let, so here's your homework

'Generation rent' is good news for landlords, but don't expect an easy ride, warns Chiara Cavaglieri

Prices rose by 2.6 per cent year-on-year to £166,898 on average

House prices have grown fastest in years, says Halifax

2.6% year-on-year growth to average £166,898 marks biggest annual uplift since September 2010

London's exclusive property prices given a reality check

Even the wallets of wealthy buyers are showing the strain of London's inflated property market, with prices falling in Knightsbridge and Belgravia.

'Pick up' in house prices recorded in sign of market confidence, says Nationwide

House prices have recorded their strongest year-on-year growth in 18 months, in further signs that the market is gathering momentum, Nationwide has reported.

YummyPets: The new social network for your furry friends

Tech-savvy dogs and cats can now interact with their animal brethren on a new social network for pets.

Brits are the main buyers on the Algarve, where summer temperatures can hit 30 degrees

Starved of sun? Algarve offers Brits attractive property escape route

There's plenty to attract property buyers and investors, writes Monica Woodley – not least a resilient market

Tough property market causes rent price hike

Rents are rising throughout England and Wales for the first time since November 2011, according to LSL Property Services.

On shaky ground Dubai is the world’s second-most booming property market – but prices are still 35 per cent down on 2006 levels after a $10m bailout from neighbours Abu Dhabi

The winners and losers in overseas property game

Exotic, obscure locations were the place to buy in 2006 but the game has changed. By Graham Norwood

Help to Buy scheme boosts demand

Demand for property hit a three-year peak in April as state initiatives boosted the market.

A show jumping Rabbit clears a hurdle at the London Pet Show

Jump rabbit, jump rabbit, jump jump jump: Showjumping bunnies star at London Pet Show

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. The accompanying picture is indeed a showjumping rabbit, taking part in an agility test at the London Pet Show, which took place at the weekend.

Catherine Gagon, 26, is renting but wants to get on to the property ladder

Wealth Check: It's so hard to buy my first house thanks to the cost of renting

Catherine Gagon makes £35,000 a year but thinks she will have to move to cheaper accommodation to save up enough for a deposit

Cashing in on London is Britain's new property trend

Julian Knight reports on downpricing, where the capital's homeowners sell up to gain space or a better lifestyle
A new system allows cat owners to track their pets

When the cat’s away: new system allow owners to track their errant moggies' movements

A new way of tracking the movements of elusive felines is launched – much to the relief of Tom Cox

Bill Jenkins, pictured at his newly built home in Staines, Surrey

Tax change lays foundation for self-build boom in UK

Infrastructure levy exemption will make it cheaper for extreme DIYers

Property market in London shows signs of pre-crash vigour

London's property market is showing signs of demand not seen since before the recent property crash with key indicators reaching levels last registered in 2007.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game