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Property news roundup: Homebuyer deposits down

Plus, expensive property hotspots outside London, and a look at house prices around Europe

Homebuyer deposits fell by 6 per cent in the last three months of 2013, according to figures from the Mortgage Advice Bureau. The typical homebuyer applied for a mortgage with a deposit of £66,259 in December 2013, £4,106 less than in September.

The typical buyer deposit fell by 12 per cent in the South East, by 7 per cent in Greater London and by 4 per cent in the South West. However, deposits grew faster than purchase prices in East Anglia (up 17 per cent)  Wales (13 per cent), and Yorkshire and Humberside (two per cent)

"Raising a deposit has long been the biggest challenge for first time buyers in the current climate," said Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau. "Until recently when property values have improved, even homeowners were struggling with limited equity in their properties to support their next purchase. It's encouraging to see a situation emerging where deposit requirements need not block aspiring buyers from taking advantage of growing choice and improving rates."

The most expensive places to buy a house in England and Wales outside London

Lucian Cook from Savills has been examining the Land Registry data which shows that the average sale price of residential property was over £1m in 43 wards across England and Wales in the year to the end of September 2013. Just over half of these were in central London.

In what he describes as the 'outer commuter zone' he points to hot spots around South Oxfordshire, Winchester, East Hampshire, the rural areas north of Chichester and urban parts of Oxford and Cambridge.

Elsewhere in the south of England,  Cotswolds, the New Forest and Bath features strongly, while in the Midlands and the North, Cheshire and Stratford upon Avon stand out.

Marilyn Monroe stayed at the property in 1959 after having dinner with Laurence Olivier and George Sanders at Manleys, a local restaurant

Marilyn Monroe slept here

The five bedroom, 1920s art deco property over six floors for sale (pictured) in Washington Road, Storrington, Pulborough RH20 was once owned by actor George Sanders (All About Eve, Shere Khan in The Jungle Book) and is on the market for £995,000. Features include annexe accommoation, lovely views over the South Downs, and a micro camping site. The home has a blue plaque commemorating Sanders and the time that Marilyn Monroe stayed at the property in 1959.

European house prices

Figures from the EU's stats department show that among the EU member states for which information is available, the highest annual increases in house prices between July and September 2013 were  in Estonia (+11.1 per cent), Luxembourg (+6.5 per cent, flats only) and Latvia (+6.2 per cent), and the largest falls were in Croatia (-16.9 per cent), Cyprus (-8 per cent) and Spain (-6.4 per cent).