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

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