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Gary Neville’s former mansion with ‘Beckham suite’ on sale for £3m

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Gary Neville‘s former mansion with an infinity pool, tennis court and ‘Beckham suite’ where his fellow Manchester United star lived around 1999 has gone on sale. 

Estate agent PLM Sales has asked for a price on application (POA), however the luxurious 35-acre property has previously been valued at around £3million.

Manchester United player Gary Neville converted a barn into the plush mansion in 1999 – the same year the Red Devils won the treble.

Part of the four-bedroom house, which has its own mini five-hole golf course in the grounds, is known as the Beckham Suite, as David, 45, lived there for a year when his wife Victoria, 46, was away.

Neville moved out of the house in Bolton, Lancashire, in 2003, but still owns land nearby where he tried to build his Teletubby-style eco house. 

The entrance hallway of the four-bedroom mansion in Bolton, Lancashire, with two wooden figures seen bearing the Manchester United and England crests. Estate agent PLM Sales has asked for a price on application (POA), however the 35-acre property has previously been valued at around £3million

The entrance hallway of the four-bedroom mansion in Bolton, Lancashire, with two wooden figures seen bearing the Manchester United and England crests. Estate agent PLM Sales has asked for a price on application (POA), however the 35-acre property has previously been valued at around £3million

The swanky infinity pool, which measures 12.5m by 7.5m and has a whirlpool which fits up to eight. Gary Neville moved out of the house in Bolton, Lancashire, in 2003, but still owns land nearby where he tried to build his Teletubby-style eco house

The swanky infinity pool, which measures 12.5m by 7.5m and has a whirlpool which fits up to eight. Gary Neville moved out of the house in Bolton, Lancashire, in 2003, but still owns land nearby where he tried to build his Teletubby-style eco house

A jacuzzi, sauna and steam room are also located on the first floor. Part of the four-bedroom house is known as the Beckham Suite, as David, 45, lived there for a year when his wife Victoria, 46, was away

A jacuzzi, sauna and steam room are also located on the first floor. Part of the four-bedroom house is known as the Beckham Suite, as David, 45, lived there for a year when his wife Victoria, 46, was away

In an interview, Gary admitted that while Becks was staying the former England captain would do all the cooking.

He told The Guardian in 2014: ‘I roomed with David Beckham and when I had my house in Bolton, David would stay when Victoria was away, and he’d make food for me all the time. 

‘Stir-fries with noodles and vegetables and pasta dishes with sauces – a lot of pasta.’

In the 2000 documentary ‘The Real David Beckham’, Becks is filmed cooking in the mansion’s kitchen and saying: ‘We’re totally different.  

‘Gary would rather go home and have a quiet night in whereas I’d rather be dashing about the Trafford centre or Tesco’s.’

When asked if his home is a ‘refuge’ and whether other players stay there, Gary says: ‘No, nobody stays here, just him.’

The property’s illustrious history is on show as soon as buyers walk through the door, with two wooden carved lions on the stairway bearing the Manchester United and England crests. 

The 9,900 square foot mansion has £1million worth of furnishings from bespoke British designer Clive Christian. 

Beckham and Neville looking on from the crowd during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match in Paris in 2018. In an interview, Gary admitted that while Becks was staying the former England captain would do all the cooking

Beckham and Neville looking on from the crowd during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match in Paris in 2018. In an interview, Gary admitted that while Becks was staying the former England captain would do all the cooking

The exterior of the converted barn. Marilena Manfredi, of PLM Sales, said: 'Situated within its own private, gated grounds offering over 9,900 square feet of well proportioned, flexible accommodation affording the elegance and sheer decadence often sought after but seldom found'

The exterior of the converted barn. Marilena Manfredi, of PLM Sales, said: ‘Situated within its own private, gated grounds offering over 9,900 square feet of well proportioned, flexible accommodation affording the elegance and sheer decadence often sought after but seldom found’

David Beckham: ‘Gary would rather have a quiet night in whereas I’d rather be dashing around Tesco’

In the 2000 documentary ‘The Real David Beckham’, Becks is filmed cooking in the mansion’s kitchen and saying: ‘We’re totally different.

‘Gary would rather go home and have a quiet night in whereas I’d rather be dashing about the Trafford centre or Tesco’s.’

In the footage, Becks is then heard asking for the whereabouts of a wooden spoon, with Gary unable to find one.

The camera operator asks ‘are you very familiar with your kitchen Gary?’, to which he replies: ‘No not really. It’ll be the only kitchen in the world without a wooden spoon.’

Beckham then comments: ‘We used to share rooms when we used to go away with the teams. 

‘It got to the point where Gary was going to bed at 9pm/9.30pm and I was watching the TV still on the phone to Victoria at 11.30pm/12am. 

‘Then he’d be up at 7am and I’d want to lie in until 10am/11am. So it didn’t really work out. Like an old married couple.’

While cooking, he jokes: ‘I don’t just come around to cook for you. I’m staying here, that’s why I’m cooking.’ 

Gary adds: ‘If Victoria goes away then I ask him to stay. He’s stayed about three or four times now for about a week. 

‘Although you did stay with Victoria once for a couple of weeks. And Brooklyn yeah.’

While laughing he says: ‘It’s always Brooklyn with her now!’

When asked if his home is a ‘refuge’ and whether other players stay there, Gary says: ‘No, nobody stays here, just him.’

The house has an integrated sound and music system, and residents can talk to anyone in a different room via an intercom.

It also has a £60,000 bar in a fully equipped entertainment room, which includes disco strobe lighting, karaoke equipment and a 6ft projector screen.

The swanky infinity pool is 12.5m by 7.5m and has a whirlpool which fits up to eight.

The security system is fit for celebrities such as David and Victoria Beckham, with all of the windows bulletproof alongside a full, remotely-monitored CCTV system. 

The bedrooms all have walk-in wardrobes and en-suites, while the master has its own special steam room. 

The plush gardens boast a golf course and tennis court in addition to 20 acres of farmland which are prime for grazing livestock. The double garage is big enough for the swanky supercars favoured by footballers.

Marilena Manfredi, of PLM Sales, said: ‘Meadow Barn is undoubtedly one of Bolton’s most elite residences occupying a private, secluded position in approximately 35 acres.

‘The house has undergone a comprehensive programme of modernisation whilst retaining many original period features.

‘Individually designed and tastefully presented throughout creating a breath-taking and luxurious home.

‘This four-bedroom home offers exceptional accommodation with six receptions, all bedrooms are equipped with walk-in wardrobes, swimming pool with jacuzzi, sauna and steam room on the first floor.

‘In addition there is a games room housing a snooker table and integrated bar with full sound and light system and cinema projection.

‘The extensive landscaped gardens enjoys open aspects further complimenting this appealing residence and sits within 35 acres of gardens, a four hole floodlit golf course and open hard tennis court.

‘Situated within its own private, gated grounds offering over 9,900 square feet of well proportioned, flexible accommodation affording the elegance and sheer decadence often sought after but seldom found.

‘The vendors with meticulous attention to detail and no expense spared have created this enviable family home.’

Neville made 602 appearances for Manchester United and won 85 England caps. He still lives near Manchester with wife Emma Hadfield and their two daughters.

The Mancunian still works with Becks, as the stars and their former teammates Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs are part owners of League Two outfit Salford City.

Neville is also a well-known pundit and commentator on Sky Sports. The right-back won the Premier League eight times, the FA Cup three times and the Champions League.

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How do you feel about the new carbon budgets?

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We want to hear your views on the proposed new carbon budgets which, the Government says, will change how people live and work. The proposed budgets, published by the Climate Change Advisory Council, will apply to every sector of the economy and will outline a limit for total emissions that can be released.

The first carbon budget, which will run from 2021 to 2025, will see emissions reduce by 4.8 per cent on average each year for five years. The second budget, which will run from 2026 to 2030, will see emissions reduce by 8.3 per cent on average each year for five years. The council says the budgets will require “transformational changes for society” but that failing to act would have “grave consequences”. Environmental campaigners say the budgets will provide a cleaner, healthier and safer future but some rural groups such as the Irish Farmers’ Association say they will have “serious repercussions”.

How do you feel about the new carbon budgets?

Now we’d like to hear your views: Do you support the budgets or are you against them; do they go too far or not far enough?

We will publish a selection of your responses online (If you are reading this on the Irish Times app, click here to access the form for submissions).

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House sales shoot up a THIRD in September amid fears of mortgage rate hike

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The number of homes bought and sold in Britain rose by two thirds in September compared to August, with experts believing buyers are seeking to get ahead of a potential rise in mortgage rates. 

There were nearly 161,000 property transactions in September on a seasonally-adjusted basis, a 67.5 per cent increase on the previous month, according to latest figures from HMRC. 

They also increased by 68 per cent compared to September 2020, and 63 per cent compared to the ‘normal’ market average in September 2017 to 2019.

The cost of a mortgage could be set to increase, if the Bank of England base rate rises

The cost of a mortgage could be set to increase, if the Bank of England base rate rises

Experts say the sharp rise was only partly a result of the Government’s stamp duty holiday, which has fuelled price growth of around £25,000 in the last year but finally ended on 30 September. 

It initially allowed buyers to save up to £15,000 in taxes as they did not need to pay stamp duty on the portion of their property purchase under £500,000. 

But in September, the tax break would have had a more subdued effect.

In England and Northern Ireland, it was tapered down between July and September so that buyers could only save £2,500.

And the holiday had already expired in Scotland and Wales, on 31 March and 30 June respectively. 

Given that the impact of the stamp duty holiday was lessening, some suggest that other factors have become more important in maintaining high levels of activity in the housing market. 

There are a number of things at play, according to Lawrence Bowles, senior research analyst at Savills.

‘There’s more to this activity than a stamp duty holiday: record-low mortgage rates, desire for more space, and a core of unmet pent up demand all continue to push up transaction volumes,’ he says. 

Although it is one of several reasons why the housing market remains hot, the desire for a cheap mortgage has become more of a pressing issue for buyers in recent days and weeks. 

This is because speculation about a rise in the Bank of England’s base rate has threatened an increase in the current super-low rates.

At the moment, rates are available as low as 0.89 per cent – but they are already rising. At its lowest, the cheapest fixed rate on the market was 0.84 per cent.

Major lenders including NatWest, HSBC and Barclays have all moved to increase rates on some mortgages, after months of sustained falls. 

With a base rate rise being predicted by some for December, experts are suggesting that the threat of mortgage rates going up is the ‘new stamp duty holiday’ and that the rush to complete sales before rates rise is now keeping the housing market buoyant.

Simon Bath, chief executive of technology company iPlace Global which created the property advice app Moveable, says: ‘We have reached another crossroads in which following the stamp duty holiday, there is another potential deadline for Brits to prepare for.

‘It seems likely that house prices will continue to rise before demand slows down, as Brits race to obtain lower mortgage rates.’

Rising costs: Those buying homes have seen the typical sale price increase by £5,000 in the last month alone, according to data from the property platform Rightmove

Rising costs: Those buying homes have seen the typical sale price increase by £5,000 in the last month alone, according to data from the property platform Rightmove 

Early statistics back his price rise theory up. According to Rightmove’s latest house price index, which covers the first half of October, the average house price jumped £5,000 compared to the previous month. 

In addition, every UK region broke asking price records for the first time since March 2007.

The property portal noted in its report: ‘The continued fast turnover of property for sale and a window of opportunity to buy before a potential interest rate rise seem to have overcome the final expiry of all stamp duty incentives and are keeping activity robust.’

This trend is keeping the market buoyant for now, but could it really lead to another buying frenzy? Iain McKenzie, chief executive of The Guild of Property Professionals, says so. 

‘With demand for properties still high, and a potential mortgage rate rise on the horizon, this could be the perfect storm to see another frenzy to buy, so long as the shortage of stock doesn’t continue,’ he says. 

There is also the simple fact that people who were trying to meet the September stamp duty deadline, but failed, are unlikely to abandon their purchases, and will continue to add to the totals over the coming months. 

But others are less sure about talk of another buying boom. With the base rate rise only tipped to be from 0.1 per cent to 0.25 per cent, the difference in people’s mortgage payments may only be a few pounds per month. 

For example, for someone with a £120,000, two-year fixed rate mortgage on a £200,000 home, the difference between a 0.89 per cent rate and a 1.04 per cent rate would be just over £8 a month, or just under £200 across the fixed period. 

Office for National Statistics data showing house price increases over the past 15 years

Office for National Statistics data showing house price increases over the past 15 years

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says: ‘People will still move without stamp duty holidays and will continue to refinance their homes, whether mortgage rates are below 1 per cent or around 2 per cent.

‘Borrowers are keen to secure these historically-low mortgage rates but if the right property comes along, they are still likely to buy even if they have to pay say 15 basis points more and won’t qualify for a stamp duty holiday.’

But as the stamp duty holiday proved, the psychological impact of thinking you are saving money can be powerful, even when the actual cash saving is negligible. 

While buyers did indeed ‘save’ up to £15,000 in tax, house price rises during the stamp duty holiday were upwards of £20,000, eclipsing the actual saving.   

The true impact that the mooted rise in mortgage rates will have depends on myraid factors, including whether there is further clarity on if and when the base rate change might actually happen, and how mortgage lenders continue to respond to the situation. 

All eyes will be on the October transaction statistics and house price indices to see whether the market is remaining buoyant. 

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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Covid grips Europe’s unvaccinated east

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Hospitals are struggling to cope as Covid-19 sweeps through large unvaccinated populations in central and eastern Europe, where low levels of trust impeded acceptance of inoculation programmes.

Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands and others have teamed up to send oxygen supplies, medicines and ventilators to Romania after it appealed for help from the European Union to cope with a crushing fourth wave of the pandemic.

Just 36 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated in the country, according to EU figures, the second-lowest level in the union after Bulgaria, where the rate is just one in four adults, far below the pan-EU rate of 75 per cent.

Both countries are suffering a brutal surge of infections, hospitalisations and deaths. Romania has seen an average of more than 400 deaths a day for the past week, in a population of 19 million, the highest rate in the EU according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. In Bulgaria, in a population of seven million, more than 100 people have died on average each day for the past week.

Romania on Monday imposed a night-time curfew, shut schools and introduced mandatory Covid-19 passes for most public venues in a bid to curb the soaring infections as its intensive-care wards ran out of beds.

Reimpose restrictions

Infections are also soaring in the Baltic states of Lithuania and Latvia, which became the first European country to reimpose sweeping restrictions last week by shutting schools and all non-essential shops, and imposing a curfew from 8pm to 5am for a month. Restrictions were also tightened in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia.

In neighbouring Russia, daily Covid-19 infections reached a record high of 37,930 in 24 hours on Monday, and some regions shut workplaces in response.

World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that with 50,000 Covid-19 deaths a week the pandemic was “far from over”, but he said it would end “when the world chooses to end it”.

“It is in our hands. We have all the tools we need,” he said. “Unlike so many other health challenges, we can prevent this. Complacency is now as dangerous as the virus.”

 In Austria, where 73 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated, chancellor Alexander Schallenberg warned that restrictions could be placed on the unvaccinated if Covid-19 patients began to take up the country’s ICU capacity.

“The pandemic is not yet in the rear view mirror,” Mr Schallenberg said. “We are about to stumble into a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

He warned that if Covid-19 patients took up a quarter of national ICU beds, then only the vaccinated or people who had recovered from the virus would be allowed entry into restaurants and hotels. If the percentage reached a third, the unvaccinated would be allowed to leave home only for specific reasons.

Vaccination rates have reached above 90 per cent for those eligible in several countries in western Europe including Ireland, though coverage is lower in some cities and particular populations.

Hospitalisations

This is helping to keep hospitalisations under control, but infections are still rising and many countries have opted to continue with some precautions including mask-wearing, working from home recommendations, and mandatory Covid-19 passes in public settings. Last week, Italy made the passes mandatory for workplaces.

The WHO warned last week that Europe region was the only region in which Covid-19 cases were rising, led by surges in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

Emergencies chief Dr Mike Ryan appealed for the unvaccinated to come forward for jabs, and said the rise in infections came as restrictions were dropped in many countries, coinciding with “the winter period, in which people are moving inside as the cold snaps appear”.

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