Arts and Entertainment

Given our national obsession with property prices, Tim Walker’s novel is bound to hit a nerve. His fictional couple, the Manvilles, bought their large north London home at a knock-down price in the 1990s, and it became the key to two aspects of their family life. Jerry, a successful advertising executive, undertook all the original plumbing, electrical and redecoration work; Pen devised a series of popular children’s books, The House on the Hill, whose “cheeky brat with the ridiculous schemes” is modelled on, and named after, her real-life son Conrad: 15 years on, they have done a loft conversion, and divorced.

A two bedroom semi detached new house for sale with Seddon Homes for £115,950 at The Tarvin, Mosaic, Off Brackendale, Halton, Runcorn, Cheshire

Materials and skills shortage is damaging housebuilding progress

Bricks and concrete blocks are in particularly short supply.

G4S and Serco could have to pay the government between £3m and £4m in rebates for 'poor performance'

G4S and Serco face £4million penalty over 'substandard' accommodation for asylum seekers

Asylum seekers are being crammed into overcrowded and substandard accommodation by G4S and Serco, according to a watchdog.

Bill Grimsey to advise Labour over high streets and business rates

The former chief executive of Wickes and Iceland Bill Grimsey has been made an adviser to the Labour party and will help draw up the opposition’s strategy over business rates for small businesses – one of the hottest topics for retailers.

The South Downs National Park

Come home to the country

First-time buyers can enjoy village life as commuters, says Ruth Bloomfield

Moving house? Why you should talk to your solicitor earlier than you think

Sellers that instruct a solicitor when they first list their property for sale move on average up to 11 days faster

Benefits Street: House for sale in James Turner Street, Birmingham

It's the street that’s split opinion all over Britain... and now you can buy your very own house on it.

Proposed sell-off of Government land and property could pave the way for thousands of new homes

New property search engine will allow everybody to search the government’s £330 billion property portfolio by town and postcode

Halifax predicts that house prices are set to rise across 2014 at a similar pace to last year

House prices rose 7.5% in 2013 but faltered in December, reports Halifax

Building Society forecasts an increase of between 4-8 per cent across the UK over 2014

The housing market varies greatly across the country

Number of people planning to move home has doubled over the last 12 months

"New Year is traditionally a time for planning and looking ahead, and moving home is again becoming a priority for many people"

He was often compared to The Great Blondini

Henri Rechatin: Tightrope walker who traversed Niagara Falls and once spent six months 66 feet above a supermarket

Henri Rechatin was a celebrated French tightrope walker and chair-balancer who was known professionally as Henry's and was often compared to The Great Blondin. Over a long career he balanced high above the Alps, Niagara Falls and for months over a supermarket in his home town of Saint-Etienne.

Millennium Dome, London: The Dome, now the O2 arena, opened in Greenwich in December 2000. Resembles a large circular marquee or giant 'Big Top'. Supported by 12 yellow towers – one for each month of the year. The largest structure of its kind in the world. Made of glass-fibre fabric, it weighs less than the volume of air inside. Greenwich prime meridian passes through its western edge.

The O2 Arena plans to host a designer outlet which will rival Bicester Village

Could the London-based venue become the new luxury shopping destination?

People outside an estate agent's window in London

First-time buyer numbers up nearly a quarter

Latest figures suggest the largest annual increase since 2001

London named 'best city in the world' for foreign property investors

London has been named the best city in the world for foreign property investors.

Making do: One in three poor families in rented homes live in bad conditions

Back to Rising Damp? One million rented homes in private sector are substandard

Taxpayers' money is going to private landlords who keep their housing benefit tenants in slum-like conditions

Buyers at auction are often in the market for a wide selection of cheaper, quirkier properties than the average estate agents

Majority of people think it's a good time to sell their home

However, one in eleven facing rent or mortgage trouble in January

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

Election 2015

Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May