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In January UK house prices increased by 0.2% over the year and decreased by 0.7% over the month, according to the latest UK house price index statistics produced today (Tuesday 13 March) by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

This compares to increase of 0.6% over the quarter to October and means that the average mix-adjusted UK house price was £206,523. Average mix-adjusted house prices in January stood at £214,852 in England, £143,441 in Wales, £158,868 in Scotland and £133,156 in Northern Ireland.

Average prices decreased during the year in Wales by 0.5%, in Scotland by 1.7% and in Northern Ireland by 7.6%. There was an increase of 0.4% in average house prices in England.<...

The UK government has today (Tuesday 13 March) shut down a contrived and aggressive income tax avoidance scheme involving property business loss relief.

The scheme, which is being marketed to high net worth individuals as a way of reducing their end of year tax bill, sought to use a series of highly artificial transactions to generate tax relief from a property business that owns agricultural land.

Although the land itself and the business owning it will exist, the transactions are not part of any genuine agricultural business. They are generated only to create an artificial loss that can be set ...

Residential property prices in the United States continued to fall but median rents are rising, according to the latest real estate market reports published today (Tuesday 13 March) by Zillow.

The Zillow Rent Index, which was released for the first time, shows that median rents increased 3% from January 2011 to January 2012. There were gains for 69.2% of metropolitan areas covered by the ZRI.

By contrast, only 7.3% of metro areas covered by the Zillow Home Value Index saw home values rise. Overall home values continued to fall, declining 4.6% year on year.

In some large markets, rents rose almost as much as values fell. In the Chicago metro, the ZRI rose 9.1% year on year, while home values fell 10.4% during th...

Both house purchase and remortgage lending fell in January, according to new data released today (Tuesday 13 March) from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Some 35,600 loans worth £5.3 billion were taken out for house purchase in January, a rise of 22% by volume and 23% by value from a year ago but a fall of 25% by volume and 24% by value on December 2011.

The CML said that this reflects the normal seasonal pattern where cold weather, lack of daylight and post-Christmas cash flow problems in January are likely to deter buyers from moving house.

January saw a drop in both the number and value of loans taken out for remortgage. Some 26,600 loans worth £3.6 billion were taken out, down from 28,200 worth ...

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is calling on the UK government to consider the option of transforming vacant high street retail property into much needed housing in certain areas.

‘With the government still yet to formally respond to Mary Portas' review of the high street, swift action from local authorities and forward-thinking developers is crucial to revive the UK's town and city centres,’ said Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA.

‘Commercial property owners are facing high business rates for buildings that no one occupies. Therefore, in the right circumstances, converting these buildings for residential use could have...

The Mayor of London intends to implement his London Wide Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) from the beginning of April 2012 which means that any development that receives planning permission after the first of the month is liable for the charge.

The charge is intended to raise £300 million towards the delivery costs of Crossrail. It will be applied to all new commercial development of 100 square meters or more or which includes the creation of one or more dwellings, even where these are less than 100 square meters, anywhere in Greater London.

The amount will vary according to which borough the development falls in. In general terms, the central and south west bo...

Property prices in more than two thirds of China’s major cities dropped further in January from the previous month, the latest figures show.

Of the 70 major cities monitored by the government, 48 saw prices fall month on month, the data from the National Bureau of Statistics show. This is slightly fewer than the 52 cities which saw prices drop in December. Twenty two other cities were seen as stable, compared with 16 in December.

It means that year on year, 15 cities saw a price fall in January, compared to nine in December.

Wenzhou, a highly speculative market that was recently hit by a private financing crisis, recorded the largest monthly drop among all cities ...

Almost 70% of landlords were more confident about the UK buy to let market in January than they were at the end of 2011, according to new research.

They highlighted rising tenant demand, high rents and reduced housing stock as the main reasons for boosting their assurance in the sector, the research from online lettings agency Upad shows.

‘More and more people are choosing to rent as they struggle to get on the property ladder and with and estimated double digit increase in the number of people who will choose to become professional tenants this year, landlord confidence in 2012 is on the up,’ said James Davis, chief executive officer of Upad.

The rese...

It may not be the first question a prospective buyer considers, but research suggests that property near award winning Michelin starred restaurants command a higher price.

On average areas with a Michelin starred restaurant have house prices some 42% more than the surrounding region’s average, and a third of these have asking prices that are typically 50% above the regional average.

The new research from PrimeLocation shows that the highest is Ascot in Berkshire, home to Coworth Park, where house prices are 146% higher than the regional average.

The effect is not limited to towns in the south of England. Pately Bridge in North Yorkshire has the greate...

Rents may have risen in the private rented property sector in the UK over the last year, but professional landlords are feeling the pinch, it is claimed.

The latest findings from the BDRC Continental quarterly Landlords Panel research reveals the biggest rise in the number of portfolio landlords making a loss since the Landlords Panel began in 2006.

The research shows that in the fourth quarter of 2011, the number of portfolio landlords, that is those with 20 or more properties, who reported making a loss rose from just 1% in the third quarter of 2011, to 8% in the last quarter of the year.

At the same time, while portfolio landlords reaped the highest rental yields at...

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