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 CGI image of Pinnacle tower at 200 Bishopsgate

London to reach Pinnacle as ‘impossible’ skyscraper plans get green light

Distinctive “Helter Skelter” design will be kept at end of a thorough review process

Rent arrears are the UK's fastest growing debt problem

But one third of renters are still planning to buy in 2014

Outlook: The aggressive culture at Lloyds is a shameful indictment of banking

Outlook Champagne bonuses, Christmas cracker competitions, "Grand in your Hand" contests: welcome to the wacky world of Lloyds bank's staff incentive plans.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

The Hobbit: How much would you have to pay to own Smaug's home?

Features include a throne room, plenty of storage and a handy back door

Carpetright's turnaround floored as profit and revenue fell in the first half

Tough conditions in Europe muted the modest success of Carpetright’s “self-help” efforts in the UK, as profit and revenue fell in the first half.

What will happen to property prices in 2014?

Latest reports forecast continued rise though not a 'housing bubble'

New housing developments, such as the one at East Village near the former Olympic Stadium in east London, which will provide 2,818 apartments, are too few and far between, warn analysts

Housing double whammy: A whole generation ‘won’t be able to buy or rent a home’

Unless we build affordable housing, more and more people will be priced out, say experts

No house of fun: the regulators need to stop the descent of leaseholders into high charges`

Julian Knight: Managing agents rip off too many leaseholders

It is one of the great hidden rip-offs in our society: managing agents and the charges they levy on leaseholders.

A third of first-time buyers don’t understand Help to Buy scheme

Confusion about the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme  is still widespread, two months after its launch, says a new report

House prices rising at fastest pace in six years, says Halifax

Prices rose by 1.1 per cent month on month to reach £174,910 on average

Property: House prices forecast to rise 10 per cent

House prices will be 10 per cent higher in five years’ time than previously expected, the official forecaster said yesterday, in a prediction likely to stoke concerns that the Government’s mortgage market subsidies risk creating a destabilising house price bubble.

Ed Balls, left, and Chancellor George Osborne, right, share a lighter moment on ‘The Andrew Marr Show’.

Autumn Statement analysis: The Tories could fight an election tomorrow. Not so, Labour...

The Labour leadership needs to add detail to its alternative journey

What does the Autumn Statement mean for the property market?

Capital Gains Tax to be introduced for non-residents who sell residential property in the UK

Autumn Statement 2013: Foreigners to be liable for capital gains tax on sale of UK properties

The move could take some of the heat out of the London property market

What even is affordable housing?

The definition of this vanishing resource slips all over the place

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable