Housing crisis is encouraging plans to emigrate: Property news update

Plus, home improvement investments, Anderson shelters, stamp duty in Hull, and flood protection

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The Independent Online

A fifth of househunters are considering leaving the UK to look for a home in another country, says a new report.

The research from Gocompare.com shows that a third of the 2,000 people polled are keen to take advantage of Help to Buy schemes, but another 20 per cent are seriously thinking about moving abroad.

The USA is the most popular destination (31 per cent), followed by Australia (29 per cent), and New Zealand (20 per cent).

A separate survey of non-homeowners by mortgage and home loans broker Ocean Finance shows just under a third believe they will ever be able to buy their own home, while another third say they are happy to carry on renting and have no interest in buying. Nearly half of non-homeowners aged 25 to 34 said they did not think that they would ever be able to afford to buy a house. 

Hull is stamp duty exempt capital of UK

Hull has the highest percentage of properties for sale under the £125,000 zero per cent stamp duty threshold, according to property search engine Placebuzz.com.

Almost two thirds of all available property in the city is not liable to a stamp duty charge.

The report shows that more than half of properties in Bradford and Barnsley, and more than 40 per cent in Sheffield, Wigan, Middlesbrough, Bolton and Liverpool, were on sale for £125,000 or less.   

"This highlights the reason why campaigns calling for an overhaul of stamp duty charges are gaining traction in the run up to next year’s general election," said Andy Hatoum, co-founder of Placebuzz.com. "Properties falling within the stamp duty exemption bracket are now at dangerously low levels in many areas, particularly in the South and Midlands. More needs to be done to help first-time buyers. Although numbers are rising, getting onto the property ladder is still out of reach for many."

Homes with Anderson shelters

If you've always wanted to have a home with an Anderson shelter, there are about 20 homes on the market at the moment, including this six bedroom semi-detached in Mapperley Park, Nottinghamshire, pictured above, on with Frank Innes at a guide price of £475,000.

Which home improvements give the best return on investment?

Homeowners believe that conservatories are the home improvement which adds the most value to their property. In a poll for peer-to-peer lending platform Zopa, second place went to work in the garden with bathrooms and kitchens offering a perceived 48 per cent return on investment. Eight out of ten home owners said that despite improving their homes, they were not planning on selling soon.

Flood protection

A new report indicates that 90 per cent of people would not buy a property at risk of flooding.

However, only two thirds of people carry out flood risk checks before buying a new home, according to a survey carried out by flood defence specialists MyPrivateArk, and only a fifth of renters check on flood risks before putting down a deposit.

Overall, only four in 10 householders said they had specific flood insurance. Among the other 60 per cent, unaffordably high premiums was the main reason for not taking it out.