Connect with us

Current

Prince Andrew settles £6.6m debt with French socialite after buying Swiss ski chalet

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Prince Andrew has settled a £6.6 million debt with a French socialite, paving the way for him to sell his beloved ski chalet to fund his alleged sex abuse case.

Isabelle de Rouvre, 74, sold her house, Chalet Helora, to her then-friends Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in 2014 for £18million.

Andrew and Fergie agreed with Ms de Rouvre that the house would be paid for in instalments.

But Ms de Rouvre claimed the Yorks failed to make the final instalment of £5m for the property in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier.

Initially Ms de Rouvre agreed that it could be deferred until December 2019, with interest accruing, but the pair still did not honour the agreement despite repeated demands.

Glamorous Ms de Rouvre, saddened by the breakdown in trust, was forced to launch a legal battle in the Swiss courts two years ago in an attempt to recoup the sum owed to her by the Duke of York.

The Duke finally paid late last year, and Ms de Rouvre has now said: ‘The war is over. He has paid the money.’

The settlement raises questions over how Andrew raised the £6.6million he owed Ms de Rouvre – but it now paves the way for him to sell Chalet Helora and free up desperately needed cash to pay his escalating legal bills due to claims he sexually assaulted Virginia Roberts.

Andrew bought the seven-bedroom Chalet Helora, in the luxury Swiss resort of Verbier with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in 2014 for £16.6million

Andrew bought the seven-bedroom Chalet Helora, in the luxury Swiss resort of Verbier with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in 2014 for £16.6million

French socialite Isabelle de Rouvre (pictured) sued the Prince and his ex wife last year

In September last year, it was reported that Andrew and the Duchess of York were close to selling the chalet to settle a legal dispute with its former owner, Isabella de Rouvre, 74 

Ms de Rouvre said: ‘I sold it two months ago, or was it one. Maybe six weeks ago.

‘Anyway, I sold it to the Yorks and we made an agreement. That is the end of the story thankfully.

‘The war is finished. It is the end of the matter.

‘I have nothing to do with it now. That’s all.

‘I don’t know what they are doing now. They were here at Christmas but I only know that because I read it in the press. I did not see them. So Happy Christmas and that’s that. The end.

‘It was about six weeks ago that the matter was closed. It was November. It’s done. They paid the money and it was done. It is closed for me. The war is over. He has paid the money. We have a war against Covid which is more important but this was a different war.

‘The second payment needed to be paid and that payment is now done. That’s it. You can be sure that’s it. It’s done.

Prince Andrew is pictured in 2001 with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and their children in Verbier, Switzerland

Prince Andrew is pictured in 2001 with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and their children in Verbier, Switzerland

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts, aged 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell at Ghislaine Maxwell's townhouse in London, Britain on March 13, 2001

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts, aged 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell at Ghislaine Maxwell’s townhouse in London, Britain on March 13, 2001

‘If they live here, they live here. But I don’t know what they do.’

A friend of the socialite said it had been a ‘hugely stressful’ time for Ms de Rouvre.

She said: ‘It has been hugely stressful for Isabelle. She sold the chalet in good faith. She thought they were friends. But it all went bad. It has been upsetting and stressful. She should not have been dragged into all this. It’s a relief for her that the Yorks have now paid and she can sever ties.’

The clearance of debt means Andrew is now free to go ahead with plans to sell the property.

The Duke is needing to find the funds to pay his team of US lawyers as they battle the claims made by Ms Roberts.

Ms Roberts, who now uses her married name of Giuffre, claims that the prince had sex with her three times after she was trafficked by paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew has consistently denied the allegations.

Disposal of the chalet will leave him owning no property in the UK or abroad.

Fergie and the couple’s daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, were seen cavorting around Verbier just after Christmas, enjoying a ski holiday – perhaps their last in Chalet Helora.

The chalet, which boasts seven bedrooms and an indoor swimming pool, holds special memories for the royals.

Prince Andrew walks through New York's Central Park with Jeffrey Epstein following the latter's prison term in 2011

Prince Andrew walks through New York’s Central Park with Jeffrey Epstein following the latter’s prison term in 2011

Ghislaine Maxwell gives Jeffrey Epstein a foot massage on his private jet dubbed the 'Lolita Express'. The photo was entered into evidence in Maxwell's case on December 7 by the US Attorney's Office

Ghislaine Maxwell gives Jeffrey Epstein a foot massage on his private jet dubbed the ‘Lolita Express’. The photo was entered into evidence in Maxwell’s case on December 7 by the US Attorney’s Office

As a family, the Yorks rented Chalet Helora from Ms de Rouvre for winter holidays before deciding to buy it in 2014 as a nest egg for their daughters.

Andrew and Fergie jointly purchased the property for about £18 million.

They reportedly took out a mortgage for £13 million with the remaining £5 million agreed to be paid in cash.

When this sum remained outstanding, the Yorks allegedly made a deal with the socialite to defer the payment until December 2019.

The pair was then expected to pay £6.6 million, consisting of the original sum plus interest.

But despite repeated demands the debt remained unpaid.

In May 2020, Ms de Rouvre was forced to sue the Duke. A protracted legal battle then ensued.

Until the debt hanging over the chalet was paid he was powerless to sell. It is believed he has now found a buyer and the sale is being finalised.

Fergie and the princesses were photographed in the resort last week with their families.

One neighbour said: ‘Maybe that was their last holiday here. To be honest the neighbourhood won’t be too sorry to see the back of them. Once they turn up along comes all the paparazzi from Italy, France, Switzerland, you name it. 

‘They are a nuisance blocking the roads and we often have to ask them to turn their engines off. They just sit there with fumes going everywhere polluting our beautiful mountain air.

‘Plus, it’s all rather seedy with Andrew bieng caught up in this sexual abuse scandal. That’s not the image we want in Verbier.’

Source link

Current

Lidl to open new store in Billingshurst (GB)

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Dunmoore has signed a forward-funding agreement with CBRE Investment Management for the development of a Lidl supermarket in Billingshurst Business Park, Sussex. CBRE Investment Management is paying €10m (£8.4m) for the 20,451ft² store. Lidl has agreed a 25-year lease at a rent of €430,558 (£360,000) a year with the option to break at years 15 and 20. Development of the store will now commence with a view to opening in June 2022, initiating the second phase of development at the business park that will provide 250,000ft² of industrial and business space accommodation. The superstore will also sit alongside a recently completed petrol filling station and two drive-thru offerings, all providing excellent service for the business park.

 

Jeff Hobby, CEO and owner of Dunmoore, said: “This forward-funding agreement with CBRE Investment Management reflects the strength of the market for long-term, index-linked, blue-chip income. The progress we have made with the development in such challenging times has been excellent and this deal is a testament to our understanding of the ever-changing market and requirements. With continued high levels of demand, we look forward to providing further modern flexible business space for the local area”.

 

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Rents rise at fastest rate on record, says Rightmove

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Rents are rising at the fastest rate on record and now outpace house price increases in most areas of the country, new data has revealed.

It is the latest evidence of challenges people face trying to find somewhere to live. 

High demand among tenants and low supply of good rental homes means there is fierce competition in this part of the property market.

The South West has seen some of the highest rental growth and this four-bed detached house in Frome, Somerset, is for rent for £1,700 a month via Cooper and Tanner letting agents

The South West has seen some of the highest rental growth and this four-bed detached house in Frome, Somerset, is for rent for £1,700 a month via Cooper and Tanner letting agents

Rightmove revealed that rents rose 9.9 per cent to £1,068 a month on average outside of London

Rightmove revealed that rents rose 9.9 per cent to £1,068 a month on average outside of London

Rightmove said that rents had outpaced house price increases in all but three regions in Britain.

It looked at asking rents on its website across Britain and found that they rose 9.9 per cent to reach £1,068 a month on average outside of London.

It is the highest annual jump on record and highlights the recovery in rental growth following a slowdown in the months immediately after the pandemic started.

High demand among tenants and a low supply of rental properties has led to rents outpacing house price increases, Rightmove said in its quarterly report.

The only regions where rental growth has not outstripped the rise in house prices are the East Midlands, the South West and the South East.

However, the South West is still included in the areas with the biggest rises in rental values, up 11 per cent. There is also Wales, up 12.7 per cent, and the North West, up 12.5 per cent.

The data compared the last three months of last year with the same period a year earlier.

Inner London rents grew at a record 16.2 per cent and this one-bed flat at the Battersea Power Station development is for rent for £2,000 a month via Daniel Ford letting agents

Inner London rents grew at a record 16.2 per cent and this one-bed flat at the Battersea Power Station development is for rent for £2,000 a month via Daniel Ford letting agents

GROWTH IN AVERAGE RENTS IN DIFFERENT REGIONS ACROSS BRITAIN
Average asking rent Q4 2021 Average asking rent Q3 2021 QoQ Average asking rent Q4 2020 YoY
East Midlands £935 £925 1.1% £857 9.0%
East of England £1,313 £1,289 1.9% £1,196 9.7%
London £2,142 £2,019 6.1% £1,932 10.9%
North East £718 £699 2.6% £662 8.4%
North West £924 £899 2.7% £821 12.5%
Scotland £826 £805 2.6% £772 7.0%
South East £1,514 £1,489 1.7% £1,379 9.8%
South West £1,180 £1,154 2.3% £1,063 11.0%
Wales £874 £846 3.3% £775 12.7%
West Midlands £941 £918 2.4% £871 8.1%
Yorkshire and The Humber £830 £812 2.2% £759 9.3%
Source: Rightmove         

London saw record annual growth of 10.9 per cent, with asking rents in the capital standing 3 per cent higher than before the start of the pandemic. It is the first time they have risen beyond pre-pandemic levels.

At the end of 2020, London recorded a near-record 6.4 per cent drop in average asking rents as demand shifted away from the capital during another lockdown.

Tenants looked for more space outside of cities, particularly away from flats, while landlords offered tenants willing to stay cut-price rents.

By the end of 2021, London rents were higher than before the pandemic started, as its popularity returned and landlords were able to negotiate higher rents for the new year.

Inner London rents also grew at a record 16.2 per cent, recovering from its drop of 14 per cent at the beginning of 2021, to also rise just ahead of pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

Pontypool in Monmouthshire, Wales, saw the largest increase in asking rents of any local area, up 20 per cent from £562 a month to £674 a month.

It is followed by Ascot, Berkshire, which is up 18.8 per cent and Littlehampton, West Sussex, up 17.5 per cent.

High rental growth was also seen in the East Midlands and this four-bed house in Leicester is for rent for £1,350 a month via Corley letting agents

High rental growth was also seen in the East Midlands and this four-bed house in Leicester is for rent for £1,350 a month via Corley letting agents

RISE IN AVERAGE HOUSE PRICES IN DIFFERENT REGIONS OF BRITAIN
Region Average asking price % YOY
East Midlands £266,725 10.4%
East of England £396,135 8.4%
London £629,286 4.2%
North East £165,277 6.0%
North West £228,866 8.8%
Scotland £162,415 2.8%
South East £450,918 10.2%
South West £359,201 11.6%
Wales £230,813 9.9%
West Midlands £262,825 7.6%
Yorkshire and The Humber £214,988 6.1%
Source: Rightmove     

The imbalance between high tenant demand and low rental stock has also led to competition between tenants for rental homes nearly doubling, up 94 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Total rental demand is up 32 per cent compared to this time last year, while the number of available rental properties is 51 per cent lower. 

It led to available rental properties being snapped up by tenants, in just 17 days on average.

However, Rightmove went on to say that the number of available rental properties is 7 per cent higher than the same period in December, a sign of availability improving at the start of the year.

Flats have seen the highest increase in competition compared to last year, up 132 per cent, followed by terraced houses, up 40 per cent, and semi-detached homes, up 30 per cent.

Rightmove also revealed that the average rental yield across Britain is 5.5 per cent, which is the highest level since 2016 when it was 5.6 per cent.

The North East and Wales have hit record yields, while yields in London, South West and Yorkshire are at their highest since 2015.

Yields in the East of England and South East are at their highest since 2016.

Rightmove also revealed that the average rental yield across Britain is 5.5 per cent

Rightmove also revealed that the average rental yield across Britain is 5.5 per cent

TOP AVERAGE RENTAL YIELDS IN BRITAIN
Area Region Average yield 2020 Average yield 2021 Difference in yields 2021 vs 2020
Preston North West 6.1% 9.1% 3.1%
Exeter South West 6.0% 8.8% 2.7%
Swansea Wales 9.0% 11.2% 2.2%
Nottingham East Midlands 8.2% 10.3% 2.1%
Rushcliffe East Midlands 5.6% 7.7% 2.1%
Renfrewshire Scotland 8.1% 9.9% 1.8%
Gwynedd Wales 9.3% 11.0% 1.7%
Rhondda Cynon Taf Wales 7.6% 9.1% 1.5%
Warwick West Midlands 5.9% 7.3% 1.5%
East Ayrshire Scotland 8.3% 9.7% 1.4%
Source: Rightmove       

Tim Bannister, from Rightmove, said: ‘The year 2020 was defined by the race for space outside of cities, as tenant priorities changed and many moved further out looking for a larger property with green space, or temporarily moved back in with family. 

‘London was perhaps the biggest example of this, where landlords significantly decreased asking rents by the end of the year to encourage tenants to stay in the capital. 

‘A year on, asking rents have finally risen beyond pre-pandemic levels, a sign that the capital has not lost its pull and popularity with renters as landlords look to renegotiate previous cut-price terms.’

He continued: ‘Tenant demand continues to be really high entering the new year, meaning the imbalance between supply and demand is set to continue until more choice comes onto the market for tenants, which has led to our prediction of a further 5 per cent increase in average asking rents in 2022. 

‘Landlords understand the importance of having a good, long-term tenant, and there is a limit to what renters can afford to pay, which will prevent rents rising at the same rate we’ve seen over the past year.’

Marc von Grundherr, of letting agents Benham and Reeves, said: ‘The London rental market is drastically different to that seen in 2020 when landlords were forced to heavily reduce asking rents to secure a tenant and avoid lengthy void periods due to an exodus of market activity from the capital.

‘In fact, the surplus of available rental stock that accumulated due to the pandemic has now plummeted and this has been driven by a staggered return to the workplace and, in particular, a huge influx of demand from overseas students.

‘We’ve also seen a huge increase in the number of tenancy renewals which have even exceeded 2019 levels and so while some areas are yet to see rental values return to the pre-pandemic norm, it’s only a matter of time as the market looks set to continue to this strong return to form throughout 2022.’

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Taoiseach to attend Bloody Sunday memorial service in Derry

Voice Of EU

Published

on

The Taoiseach is to lay a wreath at the memorial to those killed on Bloody Sunday during a service in Derry to mark the 50th anniversary of the atrocity. Micheál Martin is also expected to meet privately with the families of those killed, The Irish Times understands.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, is also due to attend the ceremony on Sunday morning, as will other church leaders and politicians including the Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald, vice president and the North’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, and the SDLP leader Colum Eastwood.

President Michael D Higgins will deliver a virtual address at an event in Guildhall Square on Sunday afternoon.

Thirteen people died when members of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment opened fire on an anti-internment march in the city on January 30th, 1972. A fourteenth died later.

John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother Michael was among the victims, said the Taoiseach would be welcomed by the Bloody Sunday families and it “shows the depth of feeling that the Irish Government has for the families who have witnessed and endured the suffering of Bloody Sunday for five decades.

“It’s a nice tribute from the Irish Government and the people of Ireland and certainly will be welcomed by the families and the people of Derry,” he said.

In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Mr Eastwood, the MP for Foyle, condemned the flying of Parachute Regiment flags which have appeared on the outskirts of Derry ahead of the anniversary and asked the Northern Secretary, Brandon Lewis, if he felt the regiment should “apologise for and condemn the actions of their soldiers on Bloody Sunday?”

In a post on social media, the Parachute regiment criticised the flying of the flags, describing it as “totally unacceptable and disrespectful behaviour.”

It has been condemned by both nationalist and unionist politicians and by relatives of the victims. Mr Kelly said they were “offensive to families and offensive to the people of Derry” and he called on community leaders in those areas and on unionist politicians to have them removed.

The DUP Assembly member for Foyle, the junior minister Gary Middleton, said the flags were “unnecessary and designed to be offensive” and the flags should be removed.

Responding to Mr Eastwood in the Commons, Mr Lewis said “we, as the Government, have to accept responsibility for what has happened in the past. When things are wrong we need to be clear about that, as we have been. It’s right that we have apologised for that.

“I’ve added my own personal apology to the government’s,” he said.

In a statement to the Commons earlier Mr Lewis acknowledged the upcoming 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the apology from the then prime minister, David Cameron, and said his “thoughts this weekend will be with all those affected”.

Referring to UK government’s new proposals for dealing with the legacy of the Troubles, he said it was engaging intensively and widely and “reflecting carefully on what we have heard.”

In a statement to The Irish Times on Wednesday, a spokesman for the UK ministry of defence said it did “not condone in any way” the “misuse” of flags, which should be “used only in an official capacity.”

He said that following the publication of the Saville Report into Bloody Sunday in 2010 “the Chief of General Staff (Gen Sir David Richards) fully supported the prime minister’s apology on behalf of the government of the United Kingdom, the army and those involved and this remains the army’s position.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!