Property news roundup: Trees are causing millions of pounds of damage to new homes
Plus buy-to-let hotspots, neighbours' names, and local landlords
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.
Thursday 05 June 2014
More than £25 million of damage has been caused to new homes by trees over the last six years, according to figures from the National House-Building Council.
Richard Tamayo, NHBC's Commercial Director, said: "New greenery can create a more attractive garden as well as provide privacy and can help in reducing noise from a busy road. But roots and branches can also cause expensive damage to homes.
"This is an ideal time of year to start planting trees and shrubs ahead of those lazy summer days in the garden. But anyone thinking about planting new trees or shrubs should spare a thought for their home and their neighbours by getting an expert opinion before planting."
Rental returns in Reading and Brighton are now respectively 12.8 per cent and 12.6 per cent higher than last year.
Peter Dockar, head of mortgages at HSBC, said: "Landlords are reaping the benefit as young professionals say goodbye to capital living in favour of more affordable commuter towns. Despite the inevitable increase in commuter costs associated with moving further out, many still feel the move is worthwhile in order to save towards property deposits.
"House prices in these locations, while still out of reach among many first time buyers, are relatively affordable for landlords investing in property and the demand from young professionals has pushed up rents and driven up the returns."
Landlords prefer to invest locally
The main factor when selecting a potential rental property is a landlord’s own knowledge of the area, suggests a new study by Paragon Mortgages, with 86 per cent of landlords reporting this is at the top of their checklist.
Around two thirds of landlords said that strength of tenant demand in the local area was also an important factor, as were local rent levels. Only 10 per cent of landlords said that they would be prepared to buy further afield, but only up to 100 miles.
New homes directory
LoveNew.co.uk is a new national online directory of new homes developments and local suppliers. It also features stories about new home owners and their buying experiences.
Do you know your neighbours' names?
According to a survey of more than 1,000 households for ContractCleaning.co.uk:
• 53 per cent didn't know the first name and surname of their neighbours
• 81 per cent didn't know their neighbours' jobs
• 68 per cent said they hadn't spoken to their neighbours in the last week
• 15 per cent said they hadn't spoken to their neighbours at all
• 7 per cent said they had hidden when neighbours knocked on their door
Private tenants lack protection cover
Only seven per cent of private tenants have any financial protection cover, compared with 28 per cent of those with a mortgage, according to Scottish Widows. A further third said that their savings would stretch a maximum of three months to pay household bills.
Richard Jones,Protection Director at Scottish Widows said: "The location of where people rent is an increasingly important decision often dictated by work and family life. Those renting have the most to lose as they have the least savings and therefore the least resilience, and any lump sum saving could be lost to living costs if the unforeseen were to happen."
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
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