News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

Experts have warned of a ‘notably strong’ property market and the creation of a new bubble

Could house prices rise another 8% next year?

"The current property market appears to show no signs of slowing as we approach Christmas"

A 4 bedroom detached house for sale in Beanfield Avenue, Coventry, West Midlands, on with Bairstow Eves for £275,000

Most transactions recorded in an October since 2007

Prices have risen in all regions in England and Wales for first time in three years

Only 34 per cent of first-time buyers in the UK were able to buy their home without any extra help last year

Help to Buy: The government scam of a lifetime

The new scheme  is nothing like the original Help to Buy, which was also an ill conceived scheme but not nearly so dangerous

Motoring ahead: PPI payouts fuel jump in sales of new cars

Car sales have roared to their highest level for more than five years as PPI mis-selling claims fuel a boom in consumer spending.

Firms continue to hoard cash despite UK recovery

Blue-chip firms have bolstered their cash reserves by £42bn since the recession, according to a new study.

A general view of houses in residential streets in Newport, Wales

Buyer enquiries up in Wales

Welsh house prices have dropped £2,500 in the past 12 months

Persimmon on growth path: housebuilder set to open another 85 sites as demand soars

Housebuilder Persimmon is set to open another 85 sites this year to match soaring demand from new buyers, the firm said today.

Bovis sales performance goes through roof

Bovis Homes has delivered its best sales performance since the housebuilder floated in 1997, its chief executive David Ritchie said yesterday.

Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King appears before the Treasury Select Committee at Portcullis House in London for the last time on 25 June 2013

Outgoing Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King accuses George Osborne of lobbying on behalf of banks to weaken regulation

George Osborne was challenged over whether he gave in to intense lobbying by bankers to force regulators to water down demands for banks to raise more capital to protect themselves against future shocks.

Punch plans to slash £2.1bn debt as trading improves

The embattled pub group Punch Taverns has proposed a radical restructuring of its £2bn-plus debt mountain, and posted improved trading.

Simon English: Who was to blame for the horrendous mismatch of Co-op and Britannia?

Outlook The press release was effusive. Britannia and Co-op Financial Services "unveil plans for super-mutual". The merger was to create "a unique" (that's always a worrying word), "ethical" (ditto), alternative to the nasty big banks.

Commerzbank gives up fight with bankers

The German banking giant Commerzbank yesterday finally gave up its four-year legal war with 104 London investment bankers who have been fighting for €52m (£44m) in unpaid bonuses.

US economy expanded by lower-than-expected 2.5% in first three months of year

The American economy expanded at a rate of 2.5 per cent in the first three months of the year, according to new figures released today, performing far better than at the end of 2012 but missing expectations as falling government spending proved a drag on growth.

Top payout for boss at Persimmon

The outgoing boss of the housebuilder Persimmon racked up a maximum bonus of more than £1m last year, the company's annual report showed yesterday.

Questionable Time: The panel show waters are treacherous, will Stephen Twigg and Kenneth Clarke make it ashore?

Plus: Who, in the name of Jaws 2, is this Diane James?

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Jim Davidson performs his comedy show at Edinburgh Festival 2014
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videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
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tvPoldark, TV review
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(David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor