Property news roundup: Would you move abroad to improve your family's lifestyle?

Plus Help to Buy in Scotland, Chinese investment in London, and January home price rises

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The Independent Online

New research from Lloyds Bank suggests that 35 per cent of "affluent British parents" would consider leaving Britain in the future.

Its survey of British parents with more than £100,000 of investible assets also showed that 45 per cent of parents who have children under 18 and would consider emigrating, say that their family would be the the main reason for the move. A better quality of life for their children, experience of a different culture and helping children learn a foreign language are the major factors. “ Moving abroad is an exciting and often life-enhancing experience," says Richard Musty, International Director at Lloyds Bank. "Our research among expats themselves has always showed that the majority are upbeat about their new lives overseas and think that emigrating has improved their quality of life."

Help to Buy in Scotland

There have been more than 1,200 applications to the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy scheme since it launched in September last year. Latest official figures show that 1,205 applications were received by the New Year and 203 households have so far successfully got a mortgage and bought a new home through the initiative.

Strongest ever start to a new year

Average asking prices are up by one per cent (£2,406), the largest ever January rise in the price of property coming onto market, according to Rightmove - this also means that the average asking price is 6.3 per cent (£14,432) higher than a year ago.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst said: "With a very strong start in both the price of property coming to market and the number of people looking at what’s on the market, it suggests that the new year resolution for many is to make 2014 their year to move.”

The report also showed that the average stock for sale per estate agency branch fell to its lowest level since February 2007, from 64 properties a year ago to 58 now, although property commentator Henry Pryor tweeted his reservations earlier today.

Chinese investment in London

Prime Central London estate agency W.A.Ellis estimates that £3.5bn was spent on UK property in 2013 by Chinese investors, partly on the basis that the strength of the Chinese currency means that the cost of buying property in central London is eight per cent cheaper than  six years ago. Lucy Morton, senior partner at W.A.Ellis said: "Buyers are increasingly investing south of the river where developments stretching from Vauxhall to Battersea are being snapped up."