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Concern over rising energy bills has prompted a surge in interest in energy efficient measures among home buyers in the UK, it is claimed.

Over four fifths, 82%, of buyers now actively look for energy efficient features in a new home, according to research by Smart New Homes.

The vast majority of those, some 77%, said that saving money on their energy bills is their main motivation, compared to just 12% who prioritise concern over the environment.

Smart New Homes said that this demonstrates a remarkable change in attitudes since 2005, when research showed that 80.5% of buyers would not consider eco measures at all when buying a property.

Over this period, the average dual fuel energy bill has risen by 117% to &...

House building in England increased by 6% in the last quarter of 2011 compared with the previous three months, the latest figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Seasonally adjusted house building starts stood at 25,240 in the December quarter of 2011, some 74% above the trough in the March quarter 2009, but 48% below the December quarter peak of 2005.

Private enterprise housing starts (seasonally adjusted) were 6% above the September quarter of 2011 while starts by housing associations were 1% higher than the previous quarter.

Housing completions in England (seasonally adjusted) also increased, up 2% from 26,180 in the September quarter of 2011 to 26,730 in the December quarter of 2011...

The value of property transactions in Dubai increased by 20% during 2011 reaching AED143 billion for the year, the latest data from the emirate’s real estate watchdog shows.

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) said that sales were boosted by 6,400 new property investors who entered the market.

Dubai’s property market was devastated at the end of 2009 when a boom turned to bust as overseas investors and domestic buyers deserted the market and this is the first official sign that they are returning.

‘This is a good sign that investors are coming back. We can expect 2...

Housing finance figures for December 2011 reveal that the November and December official interest rate cuts had a positive impact on home buyer confidence and new home lending in Australia, according to the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry.

‘The 2.1% increase in new home lending in the month of December 2011 suggests the potential of a modest revival in the lending market. Let’s hope, however, that the recent decision by two of our big banks to independently lift their variable lending rates does not undo the work of the Reserve Bank,’ said HIA senior economist, Andrew Harvey.

‘The improvement in lending for established homes also continue...

Two turbines at the Moel Maelogan wind farm in Wales, the first Welsh wind farm to be built and owned by farmers which was hailed as the future of renewables at its official opening in 2003, have been put on the market.

Moel Maelogan comprises three turbines and the two currently being sold are owned by Cwmni Gwynt Teg Ltd and the remaining turbine is owned by Energiekontor UK Ltd.

Since it became operational in 2003 the two turbines have generated on average over seven million kw ...

First time buyers in the UK are beginning to rush through property purchases before the exemption fro0m stamp duty ends next month, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Its latest figures show that the number of first time buyers who are currently exempt from paying stamp duty on properties up to £250.000 increased in December. There were 18,700 loans advanced, worth £2.3 billion, up 7% by volume and 10% by value from November.

There was also an increase from 50% to 53% in the proportion of properties bought by first time buyers within the price band currently exempt from stamp duty, making it likely they are beginning to rush through purchases before the concession ends in March.

Lending...

After a robust finish to 2011, UK commercial property saw a deterioration in performance at the start of 2012, with values falling by 0.2% and total returns of just 0.3% in January, according to the latest monthly report from CBRE.

It says this is the culmination of a gradual decline in market sentiment over the past six to nine months, and despite a surge in investment activity in December, a buyers market is prevalent.

Last year saw £33.4 billion worth of property exchanged, with around 35% bought by foreign capital but all three sectors, offices, retail and industrial, saw values fall by 0.2% with industrial and offices delivering better returns of 0.3% thanks to a larger income component.

Whilst most ...

There has been a noticeable increase in demand for prime Barbados houses since the beginning of 2012, according to a new report from Knight Frank.

The new Barbados Residential Insight report assesses the market's performance over the past year and looks at who's buying where and which properties are in greatest demand.

‘Last year saw prices fall by between 5% and 10% on the island with the average price for a prime property now around $900 per square feet,’ said Christian de Meillac, head of Knight Frank's Caribbean desk.

He said that this downward trend in prices can largely be attributed to those vendors who, keen to sell, were more realistic ahead of the traditional selling season.

Residential property sales in the UK edged up slightly during January as an increased number of first time buyers looked to beat the stamp duty holiday, which expires in March, according to the latest UK Housing Market survey published today (14 February 2012) by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Some 12% more surveyors across the UK reported rises rather than falls in newly agreed sales since the beginning of the year. From 24th March, first time buyers will no longer be exempt from stamp duty on properties under £250,000 and some surveyors note this has produced an increase in activity at the lower end of the market.

In light of this, respondents were optimistic about prospects in the near term, as a ne...

The success of the French Alpine ski apartments which form part of a new four star leaseback development in Le Grand Bornard’s family friendly ski resort of Le Chinaillon has prompted the developer to build another one in the same village.

With all but two of the 180 apartments sold within the 12 traditionally styled chalets completed in December in Le Village de Lessy, MGM French Properties has announced plans for a further 120 apartments in a new mountain side résidence, Le Roc des Tours.

‘Construction work on the south-facing apartments overlooking the ski slopes is due to start later this year and the first phase of 55 properties will be ready for occupation before the end of next year,’ ...

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