Property news roundup: Should you build your own home?
Plus sellers biding their time, GCSE mortgages, and who needs a handyman?
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 07 May 2014
Building your own house is a more affordable way to provide a family home, says Planning Minister Nick Boles.
Speaking at Grand Designs Live, he said that the UK lags behind many others around the world in terms of the number of homes which are self and custom built, (where people work with a specialist developer to deliver a home).
Government figures shows that in Austria about 80 per cent of all homes are self-built, while in Germany, France and Italy the figure is about 60 per cent, and in the US and Australia around 40 per cent of homes are custom built. By contrast the figure for the UK is about 8 to 10 per cent.
"There is huge potential for many more people to take up the opportunity to build their own home as a cost effective way into home ownership," said Nick Boles. "The reality is that custom building a house can be a cheaper way to provide a home for you and your family and I want to see many more people making use of it.
"We all know we need more homes and this could be a very good option for many more people wanting to get onto the property ladder."
Are sellers biding their time?
The first three months of 2014 have seen increases in new property listings, a drop in selling times and new highs for home prices, says a new report.
"It’s no longer just London which is experiencing rises in the average asking price, it’s happening in many regions in Britain," said Robin King, Director, Move with Us.
"New sellers flocked to the market in the first three months of the year as new listings increased 114 per cent. This is welcome news as they were the lowest on record in December 2013. There were over 23,500 fewer properties on the market in March 2014 than in March 2012 and 13,965 fewer than March 2013. This could indicate some sellers are biding their time before listing their property for sale due to climbing asking prices."
The figures from Move with Us indicated the average asking price for Greater London reached a five-year high in March, growing £69,761 in the last year to £438,118. Prices in the South West and East Anglia are also at their highest since 2009.
The average asking price in the North East was £153,413 in March, the highest it has been since December 2010. Meanwhile, the average selling time in Wales was 186 days, almost two months longer than the national average.
1 in 10 would hire a handyman to put up a shelf
According to a study for mortgage broker OceanFinance.co.uk, nine per cent of those questioned said they would pay a professional to bleed a radiator and seven per cent would get someone in to assemble flat pack furniture. More than half said they would call a handyman to clear the gutters.
Three quarters of Londoners have splashed out on a professional to do odd jobs lat some point, while less than half of those in the North East would consider doing so.
On the other hand, just over ten per cent of those questioned admitted that they have at some point had to pay someone to fix their own DIY disasters.
New research by The Open University Business School suggests that around 70 per cent of adults struggle to understand personal finance basics and are unable to answer GCSE level questions correctly (personal finance will become part of the national curriculum in September this year).
The survey shows that 44 per cent of people admit that their lack of financial knowledge stops them from making informed decisions around mortgages.
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
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000
A 17th century four-bedroom house, with open fireplaces, cellar and pool, £600,000
A three-bedroom, coach house with luxury open-plan living space and contemporary breakfast bar
A newly refurbished one-bedroom flat in the heart of Mayfair, close to Grosvenor Square
A charming four-bedroom house overlooking Burleigh Square Park, close to Thorpe Bay
A three-bedroom farmhouse with a large inglenook fireplace and exposed beams
A boutique mews house, set around a central courtyard, with three bedrooms and a private roof terrace
A four-bedroom farm-conversion with three bathrooms and two reception rooms
A two-bedroom detached house with ensuite bathrooms and a sun-drenched decked terrace, £750,000
Life & Style blogs
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- 1 What if 35 Palestinians had died, and 800 Israelis?
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Senior C++ Developer – L...
upto £110 a day approx: Randstad Education Cheshire: English EBD Teacher requi...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client Services Associate (Microsoft Office, Ana...