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Four homes for sale with £40k price tags, including a Scottish Highlands hideaway

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The mini-housing boom has seen the average price of a home in Britain rise around £24,000 during the past year to almost £245,000.

But this doesn’t mean to say that it isn’t still possible to find a bargain if you’re currently on the lookout for your next home to buy.

We have found some examples on property website Zoopla of homes that cost less than a fifth of the typically priced British home.

You may need to compromise on location or condition, but the relatively low price tag may be enough to tempt you to take a closer look.

We reveal four homes for sale with price tags of £40,000, including this four-bedroom detached house in the Scottish Highlands (scroll down for more details)

We reveal four homes for sale with price tags of £40,000, including this four-bedroom detached house in the Scottish Highlands (scroll down for more details)

Tom Parker, of Zoopla, said: ‘The property market is enjoying a once-in-a-generation boom but that doesn’t mean there aren’t bargains to be had if you look hard enough.

‘While you won’t often get the finished article for £40,000 there’s plenty of properties with ample opportunity to be improved if you have the money and imagination.’

It comes after the average value of a home in Britain was revealed to have risen by around £24,500 between July last year and the end of June this year.

Nationwide said that the average cost of a home now stands at £244,229, although this is a drop from £245,432 in June, following the end of the stamp duty holiday.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: ‘Buyers had rushed to complete deals before the deadline, with the number of housing market transactions soaring to a record high of almost 200,000 in June, which is around twice the typical monthly number before the pandemic.’

All of the selected properties are in the North and Scotland, and some need updating. 

But two have the benefits of being moments from the sea, an unexpected perk that is likely to appeal to house hunters amid the pandemic – especially when the price tag only reads £40,000. 

Here are pick of homes with price tags of £40k…

1. Four-bed house in Unst, Scotland,

This four-bed detached house in the Scottish Highlands is for sale for £40,000 via estate agents Anderson Strathern

This four-bed detached house in the Scottish Highlands is for sale for £40,000 via estate agents Anderson Strathern

The four-bed property could prove to the perfect pandemic pad as it is moments from the coast

 The four-bed property could prove to the perfect pandemic pad as it is moments from the coast

The property is on Unst, which is the most northerly island in Shetland and the northern most part of the British Isles

The property is on Unst, which is the most northerly island in Shetland and the northern most part of the British Isles

If you didn’t think it was possible to buy a four-bedroom detached house for £40,000, think again as this property fits the bill.

It is in the Scottish Highlands and requires some updating, but it could make a comfortable family home.

Unst is the most northerly island in Shetland and the northern most part of the British Isles. The property is available to buy via estate agents Anderson Strathern.

2. Two-bed house, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire

Heading towards the beach? This two-bed property is a short distance from the coast in North Yorkshire

Heading towards the beach? This two-bed property is a short distance from the coast in North Yorkshire

The property requires some updating and is on the market for £40,000 via estate agents Michael Poole

The property requires some updating and is on the market for £40,000 via estate agents Michael Poole

This terrace property is in a quiet street just off a high street and moments from the coast in North Yorkshire.

It has two bedrooms and is advertised for sale via estate agents Michael Poole.

3. Two-bed house in South Moor, County Durham

This two-bedroom house in South Moor is available to buy for £40,000 via estate agents Sylvester Properties

This two-bedroom house in South Moor is available to buy for £40,000 via estate agents Sylvester Properties

The terrace property has a kitchen with grey cabinet doors alongside black worktops and flooring

The terrace property has a kitchen with grey cabinet doors alongside black worktops and flooring

This terrace house in County Durham has two bedrooms but requires some updating, including in the bathroom.

Outside, there is an enclosed yard. The property is for sale via estate agents Sylvester Properties.

4. Two-bed house in Pontefract, West Yorkshire

This two-bedroom property in Pontefract, West Yorkshire is for sale for £40,000 via estate agents Park Row Properties

This two-bedroom property in Pontefract, West Yorkshire is for sale for £40,000 via estate agents Park Row Properties

It needs a makeover! The property's bathroom has a window and requires extensive updating

It needs a makeover! The property’s bathroom has a window and requires extensive updating 

This two-bedroom property in Pontefract, West Yorkshire is close to two primary schools and has good access to public transport with two station within a mile.

Outside, there are paved areas at the front and at the rear of the property. It is for sale via estate agents Park Row Properties.

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Japanese knotweed saves £11.8billion off property values  

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Japanese knotweed is responsible for shaving £11.8billion off the value of Britain’s property market, new research by a removal specialist claims.

As many as 4 per cent of British homes are affected by the invasive plant – either on the property itself or on a neighbouring property.

The invasive plant makes homes significantly more difficult to sell as buyers can struggle to secure a mortgage on a property where it is found.

However, Britain’s biggest mortgage lenders told us that is possible to get a mortgage for a home affected by knotweed, but conditions may be imposed.

Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant that makes a property significantly more difficult to sell as buyers

Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant that makes a property significantly more difficult to sell as buyers

Japanese knotweed on a property reduces its value by an average of 5 per cent, according to the figures from removal specialist Environet.

It used that to estimate that with 890,000 households across the county are being hit by a typical reduction of value of £13,200 due to knotweed, this equated to £11.8billion in total.

The plant can be stopped from spreading – although this process can be costly, at around £2,500 for a 10sq m area for a herbicide treatment or £5,000 for a 10 sq m for an excavation.

Environet claims that removing the root system from the ground is the only way to deal with Japanese knotweed decisively with minimal change of regrowth.

It said that despite the lower costs, herbicide treatment is increasingly recognised as a control method only. 

This is because above-ground growth can disappear, but the root system beneath the ground is often induced into dormancy meaning it’s capable of regrowing in the future – particularly if the ground is disturbed by landscaping or building work. 

Environet says removing the root system from the ground is the only way to deal with Japanese knotweed decisively with minimal change of regrowth

Environet says removing the root system from the ground is the only way to deal with Japanese knotweed decisively with minimal change of regrowth

Nic Seal, of Environet, said: ‘Those buying and selling property are legally required to declare if the property is or has been affected by Japanese knotweed, but if an infestation has been professionally excavated with an insurance-backed guarantee to satisfy mortgage lenders, it is possible to restore the property value to close to the original value.’

He added: ‘Herbicide treatment of knotweed has always been very popular due to the lower costs, but the message is getting through that it’s only a control method and won’t solve the problem definitively.

‘Buyers are much more wary of buying a property which still has knotweed rhizome beneath the ground as there’s no way of knowing whether it’s completely dead. There’s also an environmental cost to using chemicals, which is of growing concern.’

Environet explained that the excavation element can be carried out during the winter months, allowing for full use of gardens during the summer.

What mortgage lenders say about knotweed 

Mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, explained that those buying a property where Japanese knotweed is found may find it less of a deal breaker than in the past where the lender may have automatically declined a mortgage application.

SPF Private Clients’ Mark Harris, said: ‘Should Japanese knotweed be identified, there are four categorisations assessing its severity, with 1 being best-case scenario and 4 being worst-case. 

‘Depending on which silo the property falls into, and whether there is specialist eradication work either ongoing or planned, and insurance in place, lenders may be willing to consider the application.

‘Depending on the severity of the problem, lenders may tailor the amount they are prepared to lend, or not lend at all.’ 

While securing a mortgage on a property with knotweed can remain challenging, lenders confirmed that they are open to providing finance if a management plan is in place. 

A Nationwide Building Society spokesman said: ‘Our policy on Japanese Knotweed depends on how far the plant is from the property. If it is less than seven metres away from the property, we would request a specialist report about eradicating it before deciding whether we could lend. 

‘If the plant is more than seven metres away, we would need written confirmation from the borrower that they want to proceed with their mortgage application despite the presence of the plant. 

‘What may be required is assessed on a case by case basis. Where the valuer identifies the presence of Japanese Knotweed, they may advise that a specialist report is required with respect to eradicating the plant and, where applicable, to report on repairing the property. Any report for eradication of the plant should include an insurance-backed 5 year warranty against re-infestation.’ 

And spokesperson for Halifax explained: ‘The presence of Japanese Knotweed itself is not a barrier to lending. 

‘We will be guided by the surveyor’s, and any subsequent expert’s, report on the scale, location and effects of any presence on or around the property.’  

How were the figures calculated? 

Official figures from the ONS show there at 27.8million households in Britain.

Environet disregarded 20 per cent of households that are flats as these are less likely to be affected by knotweed. 

That produces a figure of 22,420,000 homes in Britain. 

Environet’s survey conducted with YouGov in 2021 revealed that around 4 per cent of homes are affected by knotweed, either directly – meaning that it grows on the property – or indirectly where a neighbouring property is affected. 

It means 889,600 homes are affected in total, according to Environet.

The average value of a property in Britain is £264,244, according to Land Registry’s figures for August. 

Environet claimed that Japanese knotweed reduces the value of a property by 5 per cent on average. This is based on its own anecdotal evidence of what a property is worth once a knotweed management plan is in place (ie the 5 per cent reflects the amount that a buyer might try to reduce an asking price by due to the stigma and risk of the knotweed returning after treatment or removal). 

The 5 per cent reduction translates into £13,212 being knocked off the average home.

As such, the total amount knocked off property values in Britain as a result of Japanese knotweed is therefore 889,600 households multiplied by £13,212, which is £11,753,395,200.

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Ikea offers personalised design service in Ireland

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Ikea is piloting a home design service in Ireland. The Swedish furniture giant opened the new service in Naas on Monday.

Customers will be able to consult the retailer’s in-house home interiors specialists at the new store. The company said the service would be free, personalised and one-to-one.

It said people would be able to talk through ideas for upgrading their kitchen, living room or wardrobes with a designer. They will also be able to order any Ikea products from the store for delivery. Unlike Ikea’s other smaller store in Carrickmines, south Dublin, there will be no items available on site to bring home on the day.

The company said Ireland was one of eight markets worldwide in which it is piloting the new service.

“This new service allows us to bring our home furnishing expertise to the many, with bespoke design solutions that best reflect our customer’s unique style and design challenges,” said Martyn Allan, Ikea’s market manager in Ireland. “At the same time, we get the opportunity to listen to and learn from our customers to continue to develop our store formats.

“We are so proud that Ireland is part of this pilot, offering us the opportunity to move closer to our customers in towns and cities currently without IKEA stores,” he added.

People looking for a design consultation will need to book in advance online. When the company confirms the booking, it will let the customer know what to bring with them, such as measurements or photographs.

Over one or two consultations – which will not cost anything – the designer will draw up a 3D plan which will be accessible on the Ikea website to the customer up to five days after the consultation.

The store on Naas Main Street will feature some room sets and the company says the consultations will operate in strict compliance with current public health guidelines.

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Dubs get exercised over digital dollars

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Dubliners are to be “paid” for a walk in the park with “civic dollars” they can cash in for coffee and cake and other goods and services, in an effort to encourage outdoor exercise.

Visitors to five parks in the Dublin 8 area can earn the community currency if they sign up for a new smart phone app to allow Dublin City Council to track their park use.

The scheme is being piloted in the area from the Liberties to Inchicore, following research by the council’s Smart D8 team which found just 40 per cent of local residents took regular exercise, but 92 per cent said they would use a park for exercise if it was available to them.

Visitors to St Audoen’s Park, St Patrick’s Park, Weaver Park and Oscar Square in the Liberties, and Grattan Park in Inchicore who use the app will be rewarded with civic dollars for every 30 minutes they spend in the park up to a limit of 5 dollars a day.

Data anonymised

The system uses GPS data and allows users to opt in once they enter a park. Their data is anonymised, and a user’s session will end automatically once they walk out of the park. Data gathered will be used by the council to analyse park usage and allow for future planning and infrastructure improvements.

The dollars can be cashed in for discounts in a number of local businesses including Little Bird cafe, the Bike Hub, Mobility Genie, the Digital Hub and Epic Ireland. The dollars can also be donated to community organisations for more expensive services including marketing or IT advice and legal consultations, with participating companies including Core Tech IT, Paul Saxon Consulting, Éire Graphic Design and VAVA Influencers.

The Smart D8 project was established earlier this year to investigate innovative approaches to improve citizens’ health and wellbeing in Dublin 8, with the involvement of St James’s Hospital and the Digital Hub.

The civic dollars pilot will run for five months, with the aim of attracting 1,000 users in the first two months, and could be rolled out to other parks in the city if successful.

Organisations accepting dollar donations include Warrenmount Community Education Centre, Robert Emmet Community Development Project, Solas Project and Fatima Groups United.

The scheme had the potential to “improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens”, Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland said.

“We need to encourage increased use of our parks, and the civic dollars project will do that while having the added benefit of contributing to local businesses and community organisations.”


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