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Hottest property markets revealed by Rightmove and Newquay is top

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The fastest places to sell a property in Britain have been revealed and it is perhaps no surprise after the latest lockdown that a coastal town in Cornwall tops the list.

With its sandy beaches, easy access to green open spaces and offer of a holiday without going abroad, Newquay has proved popular among homebuyers since the beginning of the year, according to property website Rightmove.  

It analysed 300,000 homes that have been put on the market during that time and identified the locations where the most properties were sold.

The best places to be selling a property in Britain have been revealed by property website Rightmove

The best places to be selling a property in Britain have been revealed by property website Rightmove

This four-bedroom house in Newquay, Cornwall, is for sale for £340,000 via David Ball estate agents

This four-bedroom house in Newquay, Cornwall, is for sale for £340,000 via David Ball estate agents

It said four in five homes in the town on the north coast of Cornwall have been snapped up since the start of the year, the highest percentage anywhere in Britain. 

It is followed by Newton-Le-Willows in Merseyside, where just under 82 per cent of properties have sold subject to contract, followed by Plymstock in Devon at 81 per cent.

Rightmove said that all areas of the top 10 hottest seller markets have seen asking prices hit records since the market reopened in May 2020, with seven of the 10 hitting a price record this year.

With its sandy beaches and easy access to green open spaces, Newquay has proved popular among homebuyers this year

With its sandy beaches and easy access to green open spaces, Newquay has proved popular among homebuyers this year 

By contrast, there are a number of city centres where just one in five properties are marked as sold.

In Birmingham city centre, this is the case for 18 per cent of properties, while in Liverpool city centre, the figure stands at 22 per cent.

Other areas outside of city centres in the top 10 include the more expensive locations of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire where average asking prices are more than £1million, and Sunbury-on-Thames which has an average asking price of more than £500,000.

This three-bedroom house in Newton-Le-Willows is on the market for £185,000 via Think estate agents

This three-bedroom house in Newton-Le-Willows is on the market for £185,000 via Think estate agents

This three-bedroom house in Plymstock is for sale for £250,000 via Cross Keys estate agents

This three-bedroom house in Plymstock is for sale for £250,000 via Cross Keys estate agents

It comes as housing stock has decreased, down 26 per cent on this time last year, although the market was closed in April 2020.

New properties coming up for sale improved in March and were 51 per cent higher than in February, but demand is still outstripping supply in a number of areas, Rightmove said.

Market momentum has been building in recent months. So far this year Rightmove has recorded 20 of its busiest ever days for visits to the site, with a new record set last Wednesday on April 7 when there were more than 9.3 million visits.

RIGHTMOVE’S TOP 10 BUYER’S MARKET AREAS IN BRITAIN
Location % of properties that are Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) Average asking price 2021
Birmingham City Centre 18.4% £218,072
Liverpool City Centre 22% £165,912
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire 29% £1,087,372
Manchester City Centre 31% £235,859
Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey 31.4% £503,375
Langley, Berkshire 31.5% £440,846
Bushey, Hertfordshire 31.8% £564,683
Norwich City Centre 32.5% £230,186
Witney, Oxfordshire 33.2% £338,748
Southampton City Centre 33.3% £210,095
Source: Rightmove     

Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: ‘Areas around the North and South West are the stand-out seller’s markets right now, and places in Cornwall and Devon are continuing the trend of a desire to move to the seaside and countryside.

‘Suburbs are also faring well as some people move further out from the centre of cities. 

‘Both sale and rental properties in city centres have been suffering over the past year as the usual appeal to live there has temporarily been taken away, leading to more stock than usual being available, but we may see these start to shift more quickly over the next few months as lockdown restrictions continue to be removed.’

This three-bedroom house in Hailsham, East Sussex, is for sale for £295,000 via Crane & Co estate agents

This three-bedroom house in Hailsham, East Sussex, is for sale for £295,000 via Crane & Co estate agents

Bradley Start, of Start & Co estate agents in Newquay, said: ‘The stock shortage is the worst I’ve seen in thirty years and there’s just seemingly endless demand.

‘We’re getting requests for viewings within minutes of a property going on Rightmove and many properties are going to best and final offers due to the competition, something that usually we would only see a few times a year.

‘It’s a mix of locals moving, people buying holiday homes and those relocating completely, which is leading to more out-of-town buyers than we would normally see.

‘Those who are choosing to relocate are, understandably, looking for a home right by the sea, which is pushing up demand even more for those homes with the all-coveted sea view. 

‘The lack of stock is mostly down to the fact that sellers are unsure that they will be able to find a replacement property to buy, but if more sellers decided to come to market this would help across the whole chain.’

RIGHTMOVE’S TOP TEN SELLER’S MARKETS IN BRITAIN
Location  % of properties that are Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC)  Average asking price 2021
Newquay, Cornwall 82% £351,398
Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside 81.8% £182,280
Plymstock, Devon 81.2% £268,980
Hailsham, East Sussex 81.1% £310,642
Canvey Island, Essex 80.5% £302,769
Atherton, Manchester 80.3% £153,540
Quedgeley, Gloucestershire 80.1% £237,007
Willingdon, East Sussex 79.2% £326,338
Whitchurch, Bristol 78.2% £293,021
Melksham, Wiltshire 77.9% £276,096
Source: Rightmove     

And Simon Shepherd, Ashtons in Newton-Le-Willows, said: ‘The train station and high street have had a lot of development over the past few years which had already been increasing activity here, but the past year has just been crazy.

‘First-time buyers are queuing up for starter homes, and many of those moving from starter homes are looking for four-bed detached homes which are few and far between so when one comes up for sale it’s snapped up immediately, especially those that are within walking distance to the high street.

‘Some people are selling up their smaller houses closer into Liverpool and moving out here as well, which has pushed up prices to an all-time high. 

‘Right now I’ve had to rip up the rule book because the demand means it’s hard to predict what a home is going to sell for, as in many cases we’re achieving over the asking price.’

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Aparto debuts in Spain

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Aparto has unveiled its first student residence in Spain to open in September 2022. Aparto Barcelona Pallars, owned by Commerz Real, is located in the 22@, the city’s innovation district, and accommodates 743 beds covering 26,000m². The cutting-edge facilities at aparto Barcelona Pallars include an external circa 45-metre length infinity pool, a 900 square metre rooftop terrace, 2,500m² of gardens including the Butterfly Garden (named because of the type of plants that attract butterflies), the Smell Garden (due to the mixture of aromatic plants), 1,400m² of amenity space including a gym with a weight, cardio, and yoga studios, two cinema rooms, leisure areas, and a bar offering both food and drink services.

 

In addition, a central feature of aparto’s offering is its first-class experience with a focus on the arts including an initiative in which street artists will design some of the paintings on the building, and a mental health programme available to all students all year around, strengthened by aparto employees receiving mental health training to identify anyone who may need help. 

 

aparto Barcelona Pallars has been designed by the Catalonian architecture studio Battle i Roig, a pioneer in landscape architecture, interweaving structures with natural spaces like gardens. Upon construction completion, the building will receive the LEED Gold and WELL Platinum Certifications for sustainability. 

 

aparto offers students a unique safe study experience and flexible model offering medium and long-term stays, from a few months to a full year, with all-inclusive rates including cleaning, Wi-Fi connection, linen services, and some additional features related to sports and wellness sessions, cocktail and cooking classes, and a series of entertainment evenings including movie nights, sports matches and tournaments. Aparto’s focus is to create places where students feel at home living within a strong community.

  

Tom Rix, director of operations at aparto, UK, commented: “With Aparto Barcelona Pallars, Hines is introducing first-class student housing in Spain. Pallars mirrors what today’s students want in terms of facilities, amenities, community engagement, and wellbeing programmes. We have already successfully demonstrated that this innovative model is in high demand in Italy, Ireland, and the UK and we anticipate the same success here in Spain and can’t wait to welcome students to Barcelona.”

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Crossrail house price boom: Reading, Maidenhead and Slough set to become property hotspots

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Crossrail may be billions of pounds over budget and three-and-a-half years late but it’s finally ready to roll.

This extraordinary feat of engineering is due to be put into service on Tuesday, when it will adopt its correct title of the Elizabeth Line. 

The Queen made a surprise visit to Paddington station this week and officially opened the line.

On the line: The Thames flows through Maidenhead, which will now enjoy a direct link to Central London thanks to its new Crossrail station

On the line: The Thames flows through Maidenhead, which will now enjoy a direct link to Central London thanks to its new Crossrail station

Linking Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east with Heathrow and Reading to the west of the capital, it will bind together existing commuter railways, accelerating cross-city travel and relieving overcrowding on the London Underground — particularly the often hellish Central Line.

Commuters’ journey times will be slashed; Reading to London Liverpool Street, for example, will take under an hour.

When fully operational it will increase London’s rail capacity by 10 per cent, making it the largest single expansion of the city’s transport network in more than 70 years.

There are still a few glitches to be ironed out. Initially passengers travelling from Reading in the west to Abbey Wood and beyond will have to change at Paddington or Liverpool Street mainline stations. 

Also Bond Street is three months behind schedule. Trains will not call there until later in the year. Yet these delays pale into insignificance when you consider how the Elizabeth Line will transform rail travel in the capital.

Cross town: The Elizabeth line will run east to west across London, starting in Berkshire and ending in Essex

Cross town: The Elizabeth line will run east to west across London, starting in Berkshire and ending in Essex

The new station at Paddington, for example, is the size of three Wembley football pitches, with natural light as far as the platform entry from a nearly 400ft-long glass canopy.

More than £1 billion has been spent on upgrading 31 existing stations and tracks. Spacious tunnels will lead to airy 600 ft platforms, with glass screens at the edge of the tracks, making it impossible to fall under a train. 

Step-free access from street to train will make the service accessible to wheelchairs. 

The nine-car, air-conditioned trains will have colourful bench seats and open interiors with full-width walk-through connections between cars. It will be a world away from today’s cramped, cluttered carriages.

Few engineering projects change the way we live but The Elizabeth Line promises to do just that. People are already flocking to the new stations.

Research from Savills last year found that, over the past five years, homes within 0.6 mile of about half of the stations on the line have increased in price by 25 per cent or more.

It follows that when the sleek and airy new trains come into service, delivering people to their workplaces in double quick time, we can expect a migration to the west of London.

Here are the hotspots:

Reading revival

Outlay: More than £1bn has been spent on upgrading 31 existing stations and tracks

Outlay: More than £1bn has been spent on upgrading 31 existing stations and tracks

Not so long ago Reading was best known for its brewery and its biscuit factory — not any more. 

International companies, including Amazon UK, Virgin Media and KPMG have moved there and with reasonably priced homes, compared to London, the town is already popular with commuters.

‘I recently dealt with a young woman who sold her 750 sq ft flat in London for £600,000 and bought a 1,750 ft duplex in Reading for £650,000,’ says James Hathaway, of Winkworth estate agents.

The town has lots of green space, riverside walks, the Grade II-listed Thames Lido and great shopping, notably in Broad Street and the Oracle centre. The average price of a home sold in Reading was £384,000 last year.

Compare that to the £512,000 average price in, say, East London and you will see why an exodus from the capital is forecast when the Elizabeth Line makes commuting a doddle.

Maidenhead marches on

This Berkshire town is keen to attract the City bankers who had previously been put off living there by having to trek across the capital’s underground system to get to work.

‘The Elizabeth Line changes all that and buyer enquiries have already started booming,’ says Dawn Carritt at Jackson-Stops estate agents.

‘The prospect of living near the river in Maidenhead or in nearby villages such as Sonning and Bray is appealing.’

Maidenhead (with Theresa May as its MP) is on the cusp of a revival. Its 1960s shopping centre is to be transformed into The Nicholson Quarter, a swish mixed-use centre.

The area by the river is being developed and trendy cocktail bars and restaurants such as Coppa Club are thriving — a sure sign of a town on the up.

Slough expansion

Ricky Gervais did Slough no favours when he set The Office there. Yet the town has a lot going for it. It is well located for travel, nestling between the M4 and the M40 and within easy reach of the M25 and Heathrow airport.

First-time buyer portal Share to Buy claims that Slough has been one of the UK’s top ten property hotspots over the past decade with a 73 per cent increase in house prices. 

The Berkeley Group is redeveloping the former Horlicks factory and site to create 1,300 homes.

A small flat sells for £150,000 and a three-bed terrace house for £350,000. The centre is being improved and with the coming of the Elizabeth Line, things can only get better.

On the market… the hotspots 

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Australia’s opposition Labour party poised to topple ruling conservatives

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The Australian Labour party will topple the ruling conservatives at a national election although it may have to form a minority government, the Australian Broadcasting Corp said on Saturday.

Initial vote counts showed prime minister Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition and the Labour opposition losing ground to smaller parties like the environment-focused Greens and climate-focused independents.

Neither of the major parties appeared certain to win the minimum 76 seats required for a majority in the 151-seat parliament, but Labour appeared on track to win more than 70 seats, the ABC said.

“Labour is 72 and needs 76 seats to govern. There are 11 members of the crossbench, most of whom support action on climate change,” said ABC election analyst Antony Green in a live broadcast.

“If Labour falls short and it wants to form government, it can talk to the Greens or it can talk to the crossbench.”

Cable television station Sky News ran a chyron which said: “Labour tracking towards election victory”.

In addition to this two television stations projected on Saturday that the ruling conservative coalition cannot win enough seats to form a government, after the government lost ground to climate-focused independents and smaller parties.

The struggles of prime minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition, and to a lesser extent the opposition Labour Party led by Anthony Albanese, raised the prospect of a hung parliament and period of uncertainty while a record number of postal votes are counted.

“At the moment, I can’t see the coalition getting to a majority on these numbers,” the Australian Broadcasting Corp’s election analyst Antony Green said in a live broadcast.

Centre-left Labour had held a decent lead in opinion polls after nine years in opposition, although recent surveys showed the Liberal-National government narrowing the gap in the final stretch of a six-week campaign.

A Newspoll survey by The Australian newspaper out on election day showed Labour’s lead over the ruling coalition dipping a point to 53-47 on a two-party-preferred basis, where votes for unsuccessful candidates are redistributed to the top two contenders.

But growing dissatisfaction over policies, candidate selection and integrity saw voters turn away from both major parties.

Teal

In several affluent Liberal-held seats, so-called “teal independents” campaigning for action on climate change after some of the worst floods and fires to hit Australia, looked likely to win.

Three volunteers working for teal independent Monique Ryan, who is running against Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in the long-held Liberal seat of Kooyong in Melbourne, said they joined Ryan’s campaign because they are concerned about the climate for the sake of their children and grandchildren.

“For me, it’s like this election actually feels hopeful,” Charlotte Forwood, a working mother of three adult children, told Reuters.

With 82 per cent of polling booths counted, Ryan was projected to win 53 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.

Early returns suggested the Greens had also made ground, especially in some urban centres, while billionaire Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party and Pauline Hanson’s right-wing One Nation also looked to have gained votes at the expense of both major parties.

Greens leader Adam Bandt, who retained his inner city Melbourne seat, said climate was a major issue for voters.

“There was an attempt from Labour and Liberal to bury it, and we were very clear about the need to tackle climate by tackling coal and gas.”

Mr Morrison and Mr Albanese earlier cast their votes in Sydney after making whistle-stop tours across marginal seats in the final two days of a campaign dominated by rising living costs, climate change and integrity.

As Labour focused on spiking inflation and sluggish wage growth, Mr Morrison made the country’s lowest unemployment in almost half a century the centrepiece of his campaign’s final hours.

In the outgoing parliament, the Liberal-National coalition held 76 of the 151 lower house seats, while Labour held 68, with seven minor party and independent members.

Voting is compulsory and more than half of votes had been cast by Friday evening, with a record 8 million early in-person and postal votes, the Australian Electoral Commission said.

The commission has cautioned that a clear winner might not immediately emerge if it is a close contest, due to the time required to count about 3 million postal votes. – Reuters

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