Rat and Mouse
Mon
01
Sep

According to the woman in question, her childcare arrangements fell through, and so she brought her daughter into work. The end result? An apparently pre-teen girl, duster in hand, cleaning the Hampstead branch of Foxtons in the small hours, photographed by the Foxtons-haters of London and plastered across London’s papers, accompanied by child-labour headlines. Ouch. 

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Fri
29
Aug

The Today programme’s make a big noise about this morning’s Nationwide figures.

20140829nationwide 2

Certainly, a 0.8% monthly rise was more than expected, but is it really a “surge”? Annual inflation is still below the record recorded in June. Accompanying comment is unhysterical, pointing to a 20% fall in mortgage approvals in the first five months of the year and reports of dwindling new buyer enquiries. The annual rate of inflation rose by 0.4%. (Get your own copy of the Nationwide report here.)

Meanwhile, new data released by Hometrack this morning (which is getting less coverage) shows a 0.1% national increase across the month, with London prices entirely stagnant. 

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Thu
28
Aug

20140828stanhope 2

… and it’s sold for £600,000, despite agents Hamptons describing it as “uninhabitable". It’s a basement flat in South Kensington’s Stanhope Gardens, and therein must lie the logic. But with so much work, and the added complications of its Grade II listing, the new owner (undisclosed) will have to get a move on if they’re to recoup anything before London prices potentially waver. More here.

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Wed
27
Aug

20140827foxtons 2

Celebrating a 57% rise in pre-tax profits for the first six months of the year, the company announces a £12.8m special dividend to shareholders… who themselves celebrated by selling Foxtons shared, which dipped 5%. The reasoning? As well as celebrating their success, Foxtons also warned of an expected slowdown in the second half of the year, caused by Government measures to control lending and fears of interest rate rises. Whether these are the real causes of a London slowdown or whether it’s a case of the market simply running out of steam is, however, up for debate.

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Tue
26
Aug

According to data from the Sequence group of estate agents new properties are being added to London agents’ books at a rate three times the national average. Property registrations rose by 25% year-on-year, while new buyer registrations increased by only 7%. Interestingly, the trend is almost exactly reversed when looking at national figures… 21% new buyer registrations, 7% new properties. It’s too early to predict a bubble. A pausing for breath in London was always inevitable (and welcome). It might also be unwise to predict action shifting to the regions. With the Bank of England continuing to give mixed and confusing messages regarding the immediate future of interest rates, recent polls show borrowers concerned and attentive.

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Fri
22
Aug

Confirmation of plans to move into a former post office have angered residents to the extent they’re demanding new planning rules to keep them out. The office - which Foxtons claims would be a cafe-style agency and so, I don’t know, not so bad? - would be the 30th agency to open in the neighbourhood. Leading the complaints… a local vicar who’s church is currently housing the post office services priced off the high street. More here.

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Thu
21
Aug

Apparently, picking up modest but multiple bolt holes in useful, easily-reached locations at home and abroad. It spreads the risk, avoids the holiday-home-millstone that drags you back to the same location for your annual holiday and it’s better than cash mouldering in a bank. It’s a decent read, in today’s Telegraph, but it’s a real shame about the headline, which has already garnered a little flack in the comments (and that’s from a Telegraph reader). 

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Wed
20
Aug

Those ONS figures… UK house prices up 10.2% June to June, 10.7% if you stick to England and 19.3% of you drill down on London. On the month, nationally, it’s a 0.5% increase. Valuable though the index is, the price you pay for that is a delay in publication. Most of the recent house price headlines have been about the apparent slowdown taking place since June. But if you want more details, tables etc, go here.

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Tue
19
Aug

20140819sweep

A fun piece in today’s Telegraph picks five professions profiting from the property boom the other papers are debating might be over. They are… estate agents (well that’s obvious… or is it? Agents profit from transaction levels not property prices...), chimney sweeps (what?), bricklaying, pipe manufacturing (don’t forget to factor in the glamour) and renovations. It’s worth a look. Some of the figures might surprise you. 

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Mon
18
Aug

A lovely holiday, thank you… Tuscany, wine and truffle country.

Let’s start off with a little linkage...

Brickfields, proving luxury and eco aren’t mutually exclusive [The Ecologist]
Expecting London prices to fall in the fall [CNBC]
Asking prices dip [Sunday Telegraph]
Britain’s friendliest places to live [Daily Telegraph]

The Rat and Mouse - London’s property blog, since 2005

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Fri
01
Aug

20140801back soon 2That’s right, there comes a time when even the Rat must rest. And this rat’s resting from Monday August 4 until Monday August 18. Hope the sun shines for you. Thanks for reading. And see you soon. x

Not according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, which predicts a second surge in London house prices pushing the average price up 63% over the next six years. More here.

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According to Nationwide, the average UK property is up just 0.1% on the month (expectations had been of half a percent). But before we all start panicking, lets take a moment to have a look at the London market and take stock. It’s up 25.8% on the year, 7.6% in the last quarter alone. More here.

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Thu
31
Jul

20140731olivier 2

It apparently failed to sell at auction on Tuesday night is now on the market with a guide price of £7.5m. There had apparently been a final bid of £6.9m. Interesting, because according to this, the property changed hands for £1.4m earlier this year.

Olivier bought the house in 1937, as a hideaway for him to share with his lover Vivien Leigh. They christened the property “Durham Cottage”. It’s overgrown and largely unmodernised. Which is arguably its charm. More here. particulars here.

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Starts in the second quarter are down 19% on the year, after the president introduced rent caps and made the process of selling properties more complex. The slump in construction is said to be significantly harming France’s economy. More here.

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Wed
30
Jul

A fascinating piece in Gizmodo reveals how the Chinese capacity to produce fakes extends way beyond Apple and Rolex. How about… Paris, for instance? Complete with fake Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. Read it here.

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