Property news roundup: The growth of online property portals

Plus, London's 'Wall of Unaffordability', probably the most expensive street in the UK, and planning approvals at 15 year high

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The Independent Online

Figures from web monitoring firm Hitwise show that the UK's top three property websites - Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation - now account for 61 per cent of the UK's online property traffic.

The portals' market share of the online property audience has grown  from just 49 per cent in 2011 with Zoopla closing the gap with Rightmove over the last year, its traffic up 36 per cent compared to Rightmove's 18 per cent growth.

Lawrence Hall of Zoopla Property Group said: "The Hitwise data confirms that home movers are increasingly turning to the leading portals to help find their next home and research the market."

London's 'Wall of Unaffordability'

Renting specialists Rentonomy have identified a 'wall of unaffordability' which marks the area of London where a single room is unaffordable on a graduate salary - it estimates the boundaries as  Finchley to the north, Bow to the east, Balham to the south and Twickenham to the west and shows 90% of central London is out-of-bounds. The research is based on the cost of a room as a proportion of a graduate salary, with 'affordable' being  less than 30 per cent of gross income. 

Planning application approvals highest for 15 years

The percentage of planning applications approved by local authorities is at its highest level since 1999 says commercial law firm EMW. Its analysis shows an approval rate of 89 per cent for all planning applications submitted to local authorities.  

Giles Ferin, Principal at EMW comments: "The proportion of approvals has been increasing steadily year on year since 2008. Local planning authorities are under pressure from the Government to play their part in stimulating growth in their area, so encouraging investment by making things easier for developers makes a good deal of sense.

"An increase in construction and development also boosts jobs and ultimately provides more income for cash strapped councils through increased business rates and council tax and other incentives such as the New Homes Bonus scheme."

One London street has 2.85 billion worth of property for sale

According to PrimeLocation, the 25 properties on the market in The Bishop's Avenue between Hampstead Heath and East Finchley underline the rising cost of Prime London property. Among those homes for sale in so-called 'Billionaire's Row' is a £65 million detached home and a four bedroom flat for £10 million. Jersy House, an eight bedroom new build currently for sale for £38m comes with separate staff accommodation and a garage with room for four limousines. And a canal.