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We pick some renovation projects in rural and coastal locations  

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Properties in rural and coastal locations have seen their desirability soar during the pandemic as people seek out more space.

It means values have increased significantly in these areas as demand has outweighed supply.

As such, it has made it challenging to purchase in some of these places, so it may be a surprise to find any local properties that have a lower-than-expected price tag.

We highlight some renovation projects - including this one in Cornwall (scroll down for more details)

We highlight some renovation projects – including this one in Cornwall (scroll down for more details)

We hunted down some examples of properties listed on website OnTheMarket that are in desirable coastal and rural locations such as Cornwall and Devon, with price tags of between £240,000 and £500,000.

However, all of the buildings are in a state of significant disrepair as they are renovation projects that need deep pockets in order to transform them into habitable family homes.

1. Five-bed house, Cornwall, £500,000

This Grade II-listed renovation project in Cornwall was once a monastery, but could be transformed into a conformable home.

It is believed to date back to the sixteenth century, and is 1.5 miles away from the village of St Keverne, near the town of Helston.

This Grade II-listed renovation project in Cornwall's St. Keverne is for sale for £500,000 via Clive Pearce estate agents

This Grade II-listed renovation project in Cornwall’s St. Keverne is for sale for £500,000 via Clive Pearce estate agents

The property is in need of renovation and has a partially converted annexe and studio, along with just under 3 acres of land

The property is in need of renovation and has a partially converted annexe and studio, along with just under 3 acres of land

Having previously been a monastery in the 1500s, the property now has an entrance hall which leads to a lounge, kitchen, dining room, utility room, and cloakroom on the ground floor. It needs completely renovating to make it habitable.

Upstairs, there are five bedrooms, along with a bathroom and shower room.

The outdoor space boasts an impressive 2.7 acres of fields beyond the walled garden – a feature that will appeal to buyers during the past year of the pandemic.

The property is believed to date back to the sixteenth century, and is 1.5 miles away from the village of St Keverne, near the town of Helston

The property is believed to date back to the sixteenth century, and is 1.5 miles away from the village of St Keverne, near the town of Helston

In addition to the main accommodation, there is a separate studio and a partially converted annexe, providing extra space for new owners to utilise as they see fit.

Helen Whiteley, of OnTheMarket, said: ‘As well as being in a hugely desirable location, this Cornish property exudes great charm despite needing renovation and therefore promises to be a wonderful home for new owners who are ready to embark on their next project.’

Clive Pearce, of the eponymous estate agents in Truro, said: ‘From the exposed wood ceiling beams to the exposed internal brickwork, this farmhouse is certainly full of character.

‘While there is a great deal of work to be done, this largely blank canvas offers lots of potential for new owners to really transform the property into their very own piece of Cornish paradise surrounded by outdoor space galore.

‘The beaches of Porthallow and Porthoustock are just 1.5miles away making this location perfect for enjoying peaceful, rural living.’

2. One-bed house, Devon, £240,000

This Grade II-listed thatched cottage is in the village of Lynton on the Exmoor coast, North Devon, and is for sale via Exmoor Property for £240,000

This Grade II-listed thatched cottage is in the village of Lynton on the Exmoor coast, North Devon, and is for sale via Exmoor Property for £240,000

On the ground floor, the stable-style front door leads to a cosy living area and open-plan kitchen space

On the ground floor, the stable-style front door leads to a cosy living area and open-plan kitchen space

In the village of Lynton on the Exmoor coast, North Devon, sits this enchanting Grade II-listed thatched cottage – although this could mean some challenges when it comes to certain aspects of renovating. 

The almost fairytale-like exterior boasts plenty of character as its undeniable charm certainly makes for a warm first impression.

Inside, the largely blank canvas is ready to be renovated to the new owner’s unique style.

On the ground floor, the stable-style front door leads to a cosy living area and open-plan kitchen space behind which there is a room that’s ready to be transformed into a bathroom.

Meanwhile, on the first floor the well-sized master bedroom has French doors that allow for the potential to place a balcony beyond.

As well as benefiting from garden space outside, the cottage is a short distance from Exmoor National Park making it an ideal spot to enjoy long walks with moorland views.

Helen Whiteley said: ‘This characterful one-bedroom hideaway has the potential to become an absolute gem in the right hands. Its bijoux charm together with its fantastic location and very private garden are all likely to make it highly sought after by those seeking either a second home or commercial opportunity.’

Greg Lang, of Exmoor Property Lynton. which is handling the sale of the £240,000 property, said: ‘There is a real ‘wow’ factor with this property. It’s like someone dropped Hansel and Gretel’s cottage into the Exmoor National Park.

‘It’s finished to builders “first fix” so the new owners can put their own stamp on the interior to make this property a unique retreat for themselves or a profitable holiday let.’

3. Farmhouse, Wales, £250,000

This traditional Welsh farmhouse is in the hamlet of Rhydrosser, Llanrhystud, and is for sale for £250,000

This traditional Welsh farmhouse is in the hamlet of Rhydrosser, Llanrhystud, and is for sale for £250,000

Make a bid! Best offers are being invited by midday this Friday via estate agents Morgan & Davies

Make a bid! Best offers are being invited by midday this Friday via estate agents Morgan & Davies

The 'race for space' amid the pandemic: The property enjoys extensive rural views with a glimpse of the sea in the distance

The ‘race for space’ amid the pandemic: The property enjoys extensive rural views with a glimpse of the sea in the distance

Located in the hamlet of Rhydrosser, Llanrhystud, in a valley setting surrounded by mature trees is this traditional Welsh farmhouse ready for complete renovation.

As well as benefiting from 14.3 acres of unspoilt land, the property enjoys rural countryside views and glimpses of the sea.

Although as it currently stands the property is an ambitious renovation project, there are two ground floor rooms with original fireplaces as well as a former bedroom.

As well as the main farmhouse, there is also a separate stone and slate barn, providing further storage or other additional living space, subject to the necessary planning consents. Although there are no mains services connected to the building, there is an old well and several natural springs located across the adjoining land.

Helen Whiteley said: ‘This property really is a blank canvas and the perfect opportunity for a buyer who is seeking a property that requires total renovation.

‘Although the farmhouse benefits from a private location, for every-day essentials everything you need is available in the nearby coastal village of Llarnrhystud, including a school and small supermarket, golf course and leisure centre. 

‘This means the new owner will benefit from both a glorious tucked-away location yet with amenities being conveniently close by, a combination that’s hard to find.’

Dylan Davies, of Morgan & Davies, Aberaeron, said: ‘With Cardigan Bay Coast just four miles away, this farmhouse is surrounded by natural beauty in abundance making it perfect for anyone looking to enjoy the country lifestyle in a property they can totally make their own after renovation.

‘The farmhouse is a truly rare opportunity to purchase a traditional country property which can be transformed into a new buyer’s dream rural home and is certainly an opportunity not to be missed.’

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No reasons recorded for low rates of successful speeding prosecutions

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Fewer than one in five people prosecuted in court for speeding offences are being convicted, new data shows.

With a national average of just over 16 per cent, data covering a three year period between 2018 and 2020 shows conviction rates ranging from 7 per cent recorded in Co Mayo to 24 per cent in Co Wexford.

In total, of almost 60,000 court prosecutions, fewer than 10,000 concluded with a ruling against the driver.

While separate statistics show that 8,325 cases (14 per cent of total prosecutions) were either dismissed or struck out by judges, no information is available as to why.

“The Courts Service system does not record the reason a case was struck out unless the Judge includes the reason in their order,” Minister for Justice Helen McEntee told Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy who had sought recent information around mobile phone use by drivers.

“As such, the Courts Service does not hold complete statistical information on the reasons for any case being struck out.”

Fundamental issues

However, Parc, the road safety advocacy group which has analysed the data, said such a gap in knowledge is among a number of fundamental issues it is to raise with senior garda management and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) in a forthcoming meeting.

“If we don’t know the reason why [cases are being thrown out] then how are we ever going to fix it,” said chairwoman Susan Gray.

“Why are they failing in court, why so many, why are some areas like Mayo recording so few convictions, why is no one looking into this? In Mayo where the RSA is based, [there was a conviction rate of] 7 per cent over three years.”

The counties with the four major cities – Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick – accounted for 24,387 prosecutions, or 41 per cent of the total, and had a conviction rate of 19 per cent.

Outside of those areas, the counties with the highest number of speeding offences ending up in court were Kildare (6,948), Louth (2,600), and Wexford (2,055). Despite being an outlier in terms of prosecution rates, Kildare saw a conviction rate of just 10 per cent, the third lowest of 26 counties.

Conviction rates were the highest in Wexford (at 24 per cent) but three quarters of prosecutions still fell down for whatever reason. Following Wexford, drivers were most likely to be convicted in Dublin, Donegal, Longford and Westmeath (each 22 per cent), Louth (21 per cent) and Limerick (20 per cent) but no other county reached the 20 per cent mark.

Drivers were far less likely to see a conviction recorded against them in Mayo (7 per cent), Meath (8 per cent) and Kildare (10 per cent).

Catherine Murphy said the data raised a number of issues and exposed a traffic penalty system in need of greater consistency and cohesion.

“There can be a huge differential depending on what court you end up in and that shouldn’t be the case,” she said. “You would expect to see this [conviction rate] almost the reverse way around.”

She said there was no reason why data should not be recorded that shows why prosecutions do not proceed, or fail and that the overall road safety enforcement system required a less fragmented approach.

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BNP Paribas REIM acquires Barcelona office building (ES)

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BNP Paribas REIM acquires the iconic office building “Tanger 66” located on 66 Calle Tanger, in the 22@ District in Barcelona, from Blue Coast Capital. This asset is an emblematic building and an architectural landmark in Barcelona, with a total surface area of 7,211m². It is strategically located in the 22@ District, which is one of the most sought-after office area in Barcelona and a European hotspot. The District 22@ is a neighbourhood that used to house industrial sites before becoming one of the most important urban renewal projects in Europe and being rehabilitated to provide modern and elegant offices designed to meet the needs of businesses. The neighbourhood is now composed of more than 1,500 companies specialised in IT, energy, design, media or scientific research and is considered today as a space for constant innovation.

 

The “Tanger 66” building was re-developed from a textile factory into the first LEED Platinum office in Barcelona by Blue Coast Capital. It is composed of 4 floors and an 800m² terrace garden in the upper floor. It offers modern working spaces with training areas, collaborative spaces, computer laboratories, an auditorium and a cafeteria. The building benefits from an excellent connection to public transportation with metro, tram, bus and train stations only a few minutes away. It is fully let to Hewlett Packard.

 

Jean-Maxime Jouis, Global Head of Fund Management for BNP Paribas REIM commented: “This acquisition strengthens the BNP Paribas Diversipierre fund portfolio and fits perfectly with the fund’s strategy by adding a modern asset, fully let and located in a strategic location in Barcelona. In addition, the building is certified LEED Platinum, therefore it respects the funds’ commitments and more generally the environmental issues targeted by BNP Paribas REIM, whose strategy is to accelerate its funds’ goals in terms of ESG.”

 

Fraser Denton, Managing Director, European Real Estate for Blue Coast Capital said: “I am delighted for BNP Paribas REIM in finalising this transaction. Our re-development of T66 is an excellent example of Blue Coast Capital’s focus on creating exceptional real estate and is a leading example of real estate repurposing whilst achieving the highest level of LEED Certification.”

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House prices shot up £25k in a year in November 2021, ONS says

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Property prices surged 10 per cent annually in November 2021, according to the latest official figures.

This marked a small increase in price inflation compared to October, when prices grew by 9.8 per cent, the Office for National Statistics’ house price index shows.

The average house price was £271,000 in November 2021, which is £25,000 higher than the same time last year.

Climbing: The average UK house price increased by £25,000 in the year to November 2021

Climbing: The average UK house price increased by £25,000 in the year to November 2021

The figures confirm that house prices continued to climb, even after the stamp duty holiday finished at the end of September 2021.

The tax break, which lowered home buyers’ bills by up to £15,000, contributed to rapidly rising prices after it was introduced in July 2020.

This was despite the cost of a home increasing by £10,000 more than the maximum tax break.  

The number of housing transactions taking place also increased in November, growing by nearly a quarter compared October according to HMRC.

However, it was 16.4 per cent lower than the number of transactions in November 2020.

This suggests that the slight dip in October following the end of the stamp duty holiday may have been a temporary blip.

Rise: The rate of house price growth ticked up in November compared to October

Rise: The rate of house price growth ticked up in November compared to October

The average UK house price has increased dramatically since the pandemic started

The average UK house price has increased dramatically since the pandemic started

Phillip Stevens, director of Richmond estate agency Antony Roberts, said: ‘It was business as usual in November as property prices rose again following October’s dip, which came about following the end of the stamp duty holiday. 

‘There is plenty of evidence that buyer demand remains strong, especially for houses, and with relatively little stock available it is a house seller’s market.’

However, experts said that the spectre of rising inflation and increases in the cost of living could serve to dampen the housing market later in 2022.

On the market: This four-bed, three-bath detached home in Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancashire, is on the market with Hackney & Leigh with an asking price of £745,000

On the market: This four-bed, three-bath detached home in Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancashire, is on the market with Hackney & Leigh with an asking price of £745,000

In Trowbridge, Wiltshire, this five-bed is listed for £610,000 with agents Kingstons

In Trowbridge, Wiltshire, this five-bed is listed for £610,000 with agents Kingstons

Buyers in Largs, North Ayrshire, Scotland can snap up this four-bed, two bath detached home for £299,000. It is listed with estate agents at Corum

Buyers in Largs, North Ayrshire, Scotland can snap up this four-bed, two bath detached home for £299,000. It is listed with estate agents at Corum

This Victorian three-bed is marketed with Starkings & Watson in Norwich for £375,000

This Victorian three-bed is marketed with Starkings & Watson in Norwich for £375,000

This two-bed cottage near Hereford is being sold by Chancellors with a £210,000 guide

This two-bed cottage near Hereford is being sold by Chancellors with a £210,000 guide

This depends to some extent on whether there are further increases in the Bank of England’s base rate, which would likely push up the cost of a mortgage.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: ‘There is further speculation that the Bank of England will raise interest rates by 0.5 per cent at its February meeting in order to counter rising inflation, and it remains to be seen what impact this will have on buyer confidence.

‘Squeezed affordability would be an issue, preventing first-time buyers in particular from getting on the ladder.’

Looking at the different countries of the UK, house prices increased 9.8 per cent over the year in England to reach an average of £288,000.

In Wales they grew by 12.1% per cent to £200,000, in Scotland by 11.4 per cent to £183,000 and in Northern Ireland by 10.7 per cent to £159,000.

The South West was the region with the highest annual house price growth, with average prices increasing by 12.9 per cent in the year to November 2021. This was up from 10.8 per cent in October 2021.

The lowest annual house price growth was in London, where average prices increased by 5.1 per cent over the year to November 2021, down from 6.7% in October 2021.

Despite being the region with the lowest annual growth, London’s average house prices remain the most expensive of any region in the UK at an average of £520,000.

Locations: Regionally, the South West saw the highest house price increases at 12.9%

Locations: Regionally, the South West saw the highest house price increases at 12.9% 

The North East continued to have the lowest average house price at £149,000, but prices still increased 8.7 per cent in the year to November.

The fact that the number of homes on the market is much lower than the number of interested buyers is another factor continuing to drive up prices, along with Britons’ desire to change their living arrangements due to the pandemic.

Nick Leeming, chairman at estate agent Jackson-Stops said: ‘Last year proved to be an astonishing year for the property market, with prices and demand defying expectations set by the pandemic in January. 

‘Whilst today we see average house prices up slightly from those recorded in October, the figures still reflect lack of supply in the market and are therefore impacting levels of demand in the year to November 2021.

‘It is evident that this imbalance between stock and demand will continue to underpin housing activity in coming months. 

‘This is reflected by what we are seeing across our branches where the complex and ongoing changes to the nation’s working patterns and lifestyle aspirations have only heightened the importance Britons place on owning a home.’

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