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HOME TRUTHS: A Peek At Property Paraphernalia . . . we all love a duck, don’t we

July 16, 2014

WELCOME to our whistlestop view on the world of property – from the ordinary to the unusual, the commonplace to the bizarre.

Home Truths: A Peek At Property Paraphernalia is guaranteed to keep you informed and amused – with all those fascinating “in case you’ve missed it” stories and pictures from your doorstep to the other ends of the Earth.

The blog is brought to you by Coventry and Warwickshire leading estate agents, Hawkins at


ducks 1LOVE A DUCK: In a hectic world, we don’t always get time to play with our favourite duck during a long soak in the bath . . .

But a love of bathrooms is something we shouldn’t overlook when it comes to boosted the value of your homes.

Relocating ground floor bathrooms to the first floor can add as much as 10 per cent to the value of a property, new research reveals.

An en-suite is worth between three and five per cent while a downstairs cloak with toilet or a separate shower in your existing bathroom will put two to three per cent on property values.

It may be Bali in the bedroom but beware of bath tubs in the bathroom – they’ll take one per cent OFF your house value, the survey says.


POSTCODE LOTTERY: It has a serious effect on our health and certainly plays a part in our property wealth.

A touch of aspirational snobbery in this department of the housing market is alive and kicking with London, as you might expect, showing the biggest disparities in price.

SW1X In Belgravia commands a £1.6million premium over its neighbours while in percentage terms – homes near Wentworth and Virginia Water in Surrey (with a GU25 postcode) fetch £935,000 or 54 per cent more than those located in Ascot, Chertsey and Egham.

Fylde in Lancashire followed by Eastbourne in East Sussex are the country’s ‘up’ hotspot for downsizing.

PROPERTY’S ‘D’ NOTICE: It’s probably the market’s worst kept secret but the commonplace chatter surrounding property moves usually involves death, debt and divorce.

But the new buzz word is ‘downsizers’ – with the industry talking of nearly 20 per cent of new clients this year in that category.

It’s almost inevitable after a recent report by the Prudential claimed that a fifth of homeowners over 55 plan to downsize in the next five years.

Meanwhile good news is that volume of sales of prime houses outside London rose by 35 per cent in the last 12 months, according to new research.


HOT AND COLD: That’s the view on the UK marketplace when it comes to what buyers actually pay for a home.

Most buyers are playing it cool – even in the ‘hothouse’ of London.

Some 53 per cent paid less than the asking price for the property, according to Rightmove research. In the rest of Britain it was even higher at 71 per cent.

Meanwhile some 99,320 houses changed hands in May – up nearly 15 per cent on the same month in 2013 but the figure was down from a high of 102,920 transactions in April this year.


HOME A LOAN: The Bank of England has stepped into the housing debate with new regulations relating to mortgages.

From this October, lenders will only be allowed to offer new mortgages at multiples higher than 4.5 times a borrower’s income to 15 per cent of applicants.

Meanwhile there is talk of the 0.5 per cent base rate – at an historic low for five years – could rise before the end of the year.


BARGAIN BASEMENT?: Teresa and Lawrence Poxton paid just £1 when they bought Britain’s cheapest house as Stoke council sold off derelict properties.

Now they’ve used a £30,000 loan to revamp it and it’s been revalued at £70,000.

Talking of bargains – pound shops abound in the UK as we all love a bargain.

But while most Americans can tell you the price per square foot of their home – we may not be so area conscious.

And a new survey by Halifax reveals that the space in a three-bedroom, new build has shrunk by the equivalent of a small bedroom.

The average price for one square metre (10.76sq ft) in a British home is £1,915 – ranging from £818 per square metre in the north east to £10,854 in Kensington, London.


ducks 2HOWZAT ON HOME FRONT: We’re in for an ‘Indian Summer’ all round in 2014, forecasters say.

And it’s not just the weather that is set fair as England’s cricketers take on India in a five-Test series but the property front looks like producing sunny spells too.

For “ultra-high-net-worth” Indian buyers, investors and developers are sweeping into the swankiest parts of London – for years the domain of Russians – and buying up prime property.

In the last 18 months they’ve bought more than £1billion worth of property in Mayfair, accounting for one in four purchases in London W1.

According to new stats they’re second only to Britons with Russians and Middle East buyers adding up to 13 per

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