Property news roundup: Fast broadband now the 'fourth utility'
Plus, the Crossrail effect, and the cost of being locked out
Alex Johnson has been part of The Independent's online team since 2007. He has been writing about microarchitecture on his internationally-acclaimed Shedworking blog since 2006 and is the author of Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution. His latest book is Bookshelf, published by Thames & Hudson.
Wednesday 12 March 2014
Energy efficiency and home security head the wish list of ‘must-have' property features, says a new report which also shows that more than half of homehunters say that a good broadband connection is now an ‘essential'.
While just nine per cent of those surveyed by Gocompare.com Home Insurance admitted that period features were highly important when they were looking to buy a house, over 70 per cent said efficient central heating system, double glazing and secure doors and windows were more important in their search.
Access to the internet was also ranked highly, with more people considering a good broadband connection (54 per cent) more important than local shops and amenities (52 per cent) or friendly neighbours (48 per cent).
Those in Wales were particularly concerned about access to a good broadband connection, with 65 per cent saying it was a necessity, while people in Yorkshire and The Humber were the most concerned about friendly neighbours. A strong mobile phone signal was rated more highly by Londoners than people living elsewhere in the UK.
Only a fifth of those surveyed said access to good local schools was an essential factor in buying a new home.
Ben Wilson, from Gocompare.com Home Insurance, said: "The important role technology plays in our everyday lives shone through. Good internet access is now seen by many as the ‘fourth utility' alongside mains gas, electricity and water."
One in five people has found themselves locked out of their own home, according to AA Home Membership. The average cost of having locks replaced is £61.74 wile one in seven surveyed spent more than £100 replacing the locks on their front door.
Londoners are most likely to have been locked out of their home (35 per cent) compared to those from Yorkshire and Humberside who are the most careful (13 per cent).
The report also shows that one in eleven hides a spare key to their home somewhere on their property. Over 65s are four times more likely to do this than those aged under 35.
The Crossrail effect
Property transactions within 500 metres of Crossrail stations grew by 23 per cent in 2013 and within a mile by 21 per cent, well above the London average of 13 per cent, according to new figures from Hamptons International.
Johnny Morris, Head of Research at Hamptons said: "Nearly one in 10 home sales in 2013 were within a mile of a Crossrail Station. However while many markets are seeing a hive of Crossrail activity, the muted price growth around some stations indicates there are still many opportunities for savvy investors. Stations to the East and West of Central London, in line for radical improvement to commuting times, are best positioned to benefit from the Crossrail effect.
"In West London, the higher value markets of Acton and Ealing have already seen a large impact from Crossrail but the effects of the project are steadily spreading across the line. For example, Maidenhead, the last stop on the route, is starting to see more purchaser activity buoyed by Crossrail.”
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
Life & Style blogs
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£50000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of global logisti...
£35000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager (Vice President...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Marketing Executive i...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...