Property news roundup: What is the best way to add value to your home?
Plus #tinyhousetuesday, home cloning, bland houses, new mortgage rule effect and 2015 house sales
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.
Tuesday 29 April 2014
Half of estate agents say adding an extra bedroom – usually by converting loft space – is the best way of adding value to a property.
However, according to the report from the National Association of Estate Agents, just over a third of agents said that making the kitchen bigger was the key change. Only four per cent argued that adding a conservatory would add the most value, three per cent suggested adding a garage and a further three per cent recommended converting a garage into living space.
Tiny House Tuesday
If you're interested in microarchitecture and smaller, perfectly formed homes, then take a look at #tinyhousetuesday on Twitter. Every week, people post their thoughts and images of small homes in the UK (and around the world). Among those featured is the one bedroom 'house' pictured above in Dalston, Cumbria for sale with H&H King at £45,000. It's a small detached brick building, around 10sqm and a former transmitter repeater station with planning permission to convert to a holiday home.
Effect of new mortgage rules
A poll of more than 2,000 people by www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk suggests the new MMR mortgage rules will have an effect on mortgage applications. Nearly half said they thought their lifestyle and spending habits would not make them a desirable mortgage applicant following the changes.
Housing market activity
Around five per cent of UK householders plan to buy a property in the next year, according to a survey for Knight Frank. Around 17 per cent say they have no plans to buy at any stage in the future.
"The data suggests that around 1.35 million households are planning to buy a residence in the next year, highlighting the rising demand for housing across the country," said Gráinne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank. "If all potential purchasers were to achieve a sale, this would mark an 18 per cent rise in transactions over the next 12 months."
The survey indicates that demand for property in the East of England will be among the strongest across the country in the next year, followed by the East Midlands. Those in the North East of England and Scotland appear to be the least likely to be moving home before April 2015.
Stop bland houses
John McCall Architects has created a guide for property owners to prevent UK towns becoming bland and losing their identities.
It is aimed at people looking to take advantage of the government’s External Wall Insulation scheme and focuses in particular on the use of cladding.
Director of John McCall Architects, Colin Usher, said: "It is vital in large schemes that we don’t end up with a mass of properties covered in cladding and towns that all look the same. We’ve some fantastic architecture in the UK and it needs preserving.
"Unfortunately we’ve seen examples of cladding being applied where intricate features such as window tracery and lintels have been lost due to the poor execution of the work."
Where do you get your ideas from?
Three quarters of people get their home interiors ideas from homes of friends, around one in ten are inspired by television programmes, and around 10 per cent are most influenced by interior magazines/websites.
The study by online furniture retailer Sengtai showed that more than half of the 2,000 people polled had based the design of a room like one they had seen at the home of a friend. One in ten had even taken a photo of it without asking permission.
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
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
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
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Life & Style blogs
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Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
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London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
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