Property news roundup: How many houses does £1 billion buy you in Britain?

Plus, build your own, holiday home destinations, and where are the fastest rising house prices?

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The Independent Online

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley could use his personal fortune to buy 31,000 homes within the city while Richard Branson could afford 7,720 houses in Lewisham, suggests a new report.

The figures from On Stride Financial also indicate that £1 billion could also buy you 4,697 houses in Edinburgh, 10,688 in Bradford, or 7,637 in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

"House prices have long been a hot topic and people are keen to know what they can get for their money when the time comes to buy," said Mayank Garg, Head of Strategy at On Stride Financial . "The research does prompt thoughts as to which city UK residents could afford to contemplate moving to, based on their own income."

Holiday home destinations

Croatia and Hungary are the overseas property hotspots for UK investors, according to figures from holiday homes provider HomeAway, with a 100 per cent growth in the number of properties owned by Britons in both countries since 2011.1 Slovenia has also seen significant growth, up 50 per cent, followed by a 48 per cent rise in Mauritius and 27 per cent in Greece.

"When we looked at the regions of the UK that receive the most enquiries and interest from our customers coming from around the world, London was by far the most popular, accounting for almost half of the total enquiries we received," said Gregory Sion, UK Director, HomeAway who added that the West Country, East of England, Cotswolds and Edinburgh are also popular.

Build your own

People who want to build their own home will be able to turn to their council for help as part of new measures announced by Planning Minister Nick Boles.

Those who want to become self and custom builders will get a new Right to Build to enable them to ask their council to identify potential sites for their project. They will also be able to register their interest with the local council who will then be required to offer suitable serviced plots for sale at market value.

Self-build currently accounts for just 1 in 10 new homes in the UK compared to 60 per cent in Germany, France and Italy.

A selection of authorities will trial the scheme before it is extended nationwide following a consultation later this year.

"Building your own home can be much cheaper than buying a new home and offers people the change to design a place that works for them and their family," said Nick Boles.

Fastest house price rises

The price of a typical UK house rose by nearly three per cent over the last three months to £186,544, according to Nationwide's latest figures, and up 11.5 per cent compared to the same time last year.

"Annual house price growth accelerated to 26 per cent in London, far outpacing the rest of country, and the highest growth rate since 1987," said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist.

Southern Scotland, which includes Ayrshire and the Borders, saw the biggest surge, with prices up 14 per cent on the previous year. Fife experienced the lowest rise, recording a three per cent year-on-year increase.

Prices in Wales increased by just under two per cent over the last three months, but were up 12 per cent year-on-year in South Wales (which includes The Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend and Swansea).House prices in Northern Ireland were up 8.4 per cent compared with the April-June period in 2013, although average prices are around half their 2007 peak at £117,150. Belfast continued to be the most expensive area, seeing a 14 per cent annual increase.

In England, the highest rises were registered in London (22 per cent to £432,000) , Cambridge (20 per cent, £419,000), St Albans (18 per cent, £451,000), Carlisle (15 per cent, £153,000)  and Oxford (15 per cent, £368,000).