Paula John: Market news

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Number of homes for sale in London. The figure rose by 22.5 per cent in the first half of this month alone, according to, an independent forward-market indicator. The surge is attributed to investors rushing to offload their buy-to-let properties. As a result of this new wave of listings, average asking prices in Greater London have shot up by 3.4 per cent since last month, to £361,414. But in the longer-term, the jump in supply is likely to put downward pressure on property values in the capital.


The amount of red tape in order to go green. As of 6 April, homeowners will be able to install equipment such as solar panels without planning permission, provided there is no impact on other people. Plans to allow wind turbines without permission are also in the pipeline, but need clearance from the EU. And apparently the Government is reforming the planning system so that small-scale household improvements, such as loft conversions, no longer require planning permission.

GO FIGURE... 54%

The proportion of homebuyers who are looking for some community spirit. Yorkshire Bank's quarterly Housebuyers Survey reveals that over half of first-time buyers would spend more in an area with a strong sense of community. Not everyone wants to know their neighbours better, though – only 21 per cent of twentysomethings were willing to befriend the people next door, compared to 67 per cent of residents over 60. Twitching the net curtains is still popular, however, with 74 per cent claiming to find the Neighbourhood Watch system reassuring.

Paula John is editor-in-chief of Your Mortgage