Connect with us


This Bristol home sees price boosted by millions thanks to Banksy

Voice Of EU



Houses on the same street and of similar size should all sell for roughly the same price.

That’s the general rule – and a logical one, too. Sometimes, however, that neat little equation is blown apart. 

Never more so than last month when Aileen Martin was selling her blue-painted terrace house in the Totterdown area of Bristol. 

Bless you: Banksy's 'Atchoo' mural on a Bristol house - which appeared last month - raised its value from £300,000 to an estimated £5m

Bless you: Banksy’s ‘Atchoo’ mural on a Bristol house – which appeared last month – raised its value from £300,000 to an estimated £5m 

A sale was agreed at a predictable £300,000, but something happened to increase the value of the house by millions – Banksy came calling.

The anonymous street artist, now something of a cult figure in the art world, painted a woman sneezing on the end wall of the house.

As a result the house is now thought to be worth in the region of £5million. Unsurprisingly, Aileen put the sale on hold for 48 hours to think again about her asking price. 

The Banksy effect is just one example of an extraneous factor influencing a property’s price or saleability.

Being previously owned by a celebrity is another. James Greenwood, a property search agent with Stacks, doubts that having a famous owner adds much to the actual value of a property, but it is beneficial in other ways.

‘It’s a good hook to capture interest and garner publicity,’ he says. ‘That whiff of excitement around the owner increases the kerb appeal and gets potential buyers through the door.’

If Greenwood is right, then buyers will soon be queuing up around Oldbury Place, Marylebone, London, because the award-winning singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding has her home on the market.

You find the same effortless cool that Goulding brings to her songs in this architect-designed show-stopper of a home.

Flooded with natural light, the five-bedroom home has a mezzanine floor, lightwells, a brick facade, large white framed windows and a reception room. The price is an equally cool £5.95million.

There is a certain skill to selling a celebrity’s house. It is crass to shout the owner’s name from the rooftops: it requires tact.

Five years ago Jane Summers, at Marchand Petit agents in Salcombe, was selling the television chef Mary Berry’s four-bedroom detached period home overlooking the estuary.

When viewers got to the kitchen, she would show them the cleverly designed dresser which had a drawer that pulled out to make extra work space.

‘I told them that this was Mary Berry’s idea, it being her house,’ says Summers. ‘That immediately gave the house added kudos and piqued their interest.’ The house sold for £800,000, a record-breaking sum in that road at the time.

Getting top price for a celebrity’s house is also down to timing and luck. In 2017, actor Paul Whitehouse was selling his fishing retreat, a two-storey 1960s-style home with 50 yards of prime fishing at the end of the garden in the village of Houghton, near Stockbridge on the banks of the River Test in Hampshire.

At the time, Whitehouse was best known for The Fast Show and few people associated him with fishing.

‘The house sold for about £1.5million, but I’m sure if Paul was selling the house today after the success of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, he’d have added an enormous amount to its value,’ says estate agent David Smith at Myddelton & Major.

Featuring in a film or television series is another way to enhance a property’s value. Since it appeared in ITV series Doc Martin, you will find sweet little cottages on the hill in Port Isaac, north Cornwall, selling for as much as £500,000.

A blue plaque is the traditional method of signifying a house has some historical significance and it still helps sell property.

‘Being linked to a heroic figure gives a house a feeling of substance,’ says estate agent Susan Couch, who is selling Braganza, the blue plaque Georgian house in Torquay which was once the home of Sir Charles Dashwood, a distinguished naval officer of the 1800s.

Braganza, which has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and three reception rooms, is for sale for £2.3million. Sir Charles would be impressed.

On the market… notable homes 

Source link


Facebook admits high-profile users are treated differently

Voice Of EU



Facebook’s oversight board said the social media company hadn’t been “fully forthcoming” about internal rules that allowed some high-profile users to be exempt from content restrictions and said it will make recommendations on how to change the system.

In the first of its quarterly transparency reports published Thursday, the board said that on some occasions, Facebook “failed to provide relevant information to the board,” and in other instances the information it did provide was incomplete.

For example, when Facebook referred the case involving former US president Donald Trump to the board, it didn’t mention its internal “cross-check system” that allowed for a different set of rules for high-profile users.

Facebook only mentioned cross-check, or XCheck, to the board when asked whether Trump’s page or account had been subject to ordinary content moderation processes.

The cross-check system was disclosed in recent reporting by the Wall Street Journal, based in part on documents from a whistle-blower.

The journal described how the cross-check system, originally intended to be a quality-control measure for a select few high-profile users and designed to avoid public relations backlash over famous people who mistakenly have their posts taken down, had ballooned to include millions of accounts.

The oversight board said it will undertake a review of the cross-check system and make suggestions on how to improve it.

As part of the process, Facebook has agreed to share with the board relevant documents about the cross-check system as reported in the Wall Street Journal. – Bloomberg

Source link

Continue Reading


Green mortgages may leave owners of older homes unable to sell

Voice Of EU



Estate agents warn owners of older homes, rural houses and listed properties could struggle to sell under green mortgage plans

  • Boris Johnson has unveiled his plans for turning Britain green by 2050 
  • The plans include proposals on how to make the housing stock greener 
  • The plans would see lenders disclose the energy performance of properties

Homeowners living in older, rural and even listed properties risk being unable to sell if strict green finance targets are introduced, estate agents have warned.

The warning comes after Boris Johnson unveiled his plan for turning Britain green by 2050 this week, with mortgage lenders having targets for the energy performance of properties in their portfolio.

A body that represents estate agents across Britain claimed that the property market could be distorted as a result of the measures and called for Britain’s historic housing stock to be taken into account.

Boris Johnson revealed proposals on how to make the housing stock greener this week

Boris Johnson revealed proposals on how to make the housing stock greener this week

Timothy Douglas, of Propertymark, said: ‘Incentivising green improvements to properties via lending creates risks of trapping homeowners with older properties, those who live in rural areas, listed buildings or conservation areas, making their homes difficult to sell and therefore reducing the value.’

Propertymark said that those living in older properties could be left with homes that they could not sell if buyers were unable to secure finance on them due to their lower energy efficiencies.

The effect would be likely to be felt more by less wealthy owners, as deep-pocketed buyers would be more able to overlook mortgage restrictions and high-end older homes would continue to be desirable.

Mr Douglas said: ‘The use of targets could distort the market and sway lenders towards preferential, newer homes in order to improve the rating of their portfolio.

‘Stopping a large portion of housing stock from being able to enter the market could cause havoc for home buying and selling as well as the wider economy.’ 

He added that improving the energy efficiency of homes should be reliant on consumer choice and not something enforced by mortgage lenders, with all the knock-on effects this could entail.

He said: ‘We would be concerned if lenders raise rates and limit products because fundamentally, improving the energy performance of a property is reliant on consumer choice and it is not the core business of mortgage lenders.’

Mark Harris, of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: ‘The green agenda is not new but there is increasing impetus behind it. There are more green mortgage products aimed at those purchasing more energy-efficient properties – A-C rated, and not just from specialist lenders but the high street banks too.

‘However, there is a real danger that green initiatives could create the next round of mortgage prisoners if homeowners are trapped in older homes that can’t be improved, so they can’t move because they can’t sell them on.

‘Without changes or improvements, lenders may restrict lending to lower loan-to-values, higher pricing, or not lend at all. This could penalise those who are unable to adapt to or adopt new efficient technologies economically.’

A UK Finance spokesperson said: ‘Greening our housing stock is vital if we are to meet our climate change obligations and banks and finance providers are committed to helping achieve this goal and making sure consumers are not left behind.’

Ways to boost energy efficiency  

Propertymark recommends three measures to improve the energy efficiency of homes without negatively impacting the housing market.

1. Improvements linked to an EPC

These include linking a plan for energy efficiency improvements to the recommendations on a property’s Energy Performance Certificate.

It could demonstrate the ‘most suitable route’ to a warmer home, regulatory compliance and zero carbon, according to Propertymark.

2. Tax breaks

It also recommends using tax breaks to incentivise homeowners to finance energy efficiency improvements.

For example, these could include making energy improvements exempt from VAT or offering lower rates of council tax for homes that have been made more energy efficient.

3. Adjustable tax rates

An adjustable rate of property tax that is tied to energy performance is also being recommended by Propertymark.

This could be done in two ways, it suggested. First, by applying the adjustment as a reduction on more energy-efficient properties. And second by offering rebates to buyers if energy efficiency improvements are made to less efficient properties within a certain time period after purchase.

Propertymark said that by linking energy performance with property taxes, this could help introduce increased saleability for more energy-efficient properties. In addition, it suggested that improvements would become standard for homeowners seeking costs and improve the desirability of their homes.


Source link

Continue Reading


Johnson rules out face masks as UK’s daily Covid cases rise above 50,000

Voice Of EU



Daily coronavirus cases in Britain have risen above 50,000 for the first time since July, but Boris Johnson said he will not bring back compulsory face coverings or introduce vaccine passports.

Speaking in Northern Ireland, the prime minister said his government was holding firm to its policy of no legal restrictions introduced in July, but was watching the numbers carefully.

“The numbers of infections are high but we are within the parameters of what the predictions were,” he said. “We are sticking with our plan.”

Mr Johnson acknowledged the “patchiness” of Britain’s vaccination programme, urging people to come forward for their booster jabs as soon as they are invited to do so. But Labour leader Keir Starmer said the government should beef up the programme, ensure that more children were vaccinated and aim to deliver half a million jabs a day.

“The government said that the vaccine would be the security wall against the virus and now the government is letting that wall crumble,” he said.

“We’ve seen those that most need it not able to get the jab they need. Only, I think, 17 per cent of children have got the vaccine. And the booster programme has slowed down so much that at this rate we’re not going to complete it until spring of next year. So the government needs to change these, it needs to get a grip. I think it needs to drive those numbers up to at least 500,000 vaccines a day.”

Vaccine passports

The British Medical Association (BMA) accused the government of “wilful negligence” in not bringing back some restrictions, and of failing to learn the lessons of a parliamentary report last week about its handling of the pandemic. The association’s chairman, Chaand Nagpaul, said doctors could say categorically that it was time to bring back compulsory face masks and to introduce vaccine passports.

“By the health secretary’s own admission we could soon see 100,000 cases a day, and we now have the same number of weekly Covid deaths as we had during March, when the country was in lockdown,” he said.

“It is, therefore, incredibly concerning that he is not willing to take immediate action to save lives and protect the NHS. ”

Health secretary Sajid Javid warned this week that some restrictions could be introduced if the public failed to exercise caution and to take up vaccination offers. He acknowledged that Conservative MPs could show an example by wearing masks in the House of Commons, but house leader Jacob Rees-Mogg on Thursday rejected the suggestion.

Crowded spaces

“There is no advice to wear face masks in workplaces. The advice on crowded spaces is with crowded spaces with people that you don’t know. We on this side know each other,” he told the SNP’s Pete Wishart.

“Now, it may be that he doesn’t like mixing with his own side, wants to keep himself in his personal bubble. He may find the other members of the SNP – who I normally find extraordinarily charming…but we on this side have a more convivial fraternal spirit, and for our calling the guidance of her majesty’s government.”

Source link

Continue Reading


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

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

You have Successfully Subscribed!