NHBC invites members of public onto Council

With the housing market at an all time low, NHBC, the leading warranty provider and standard setting body for new homes in the UK, is taking the unprecedented step of inviting members of the public to join its governing Council.
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Eight out of ten new homes built are covered by NHBC's 10-year Buildmark warranty, and homeowners whose properties are covered by Buildmark are being approached so that they can offer their views and experiences of living in a new home.

Imtiaz Farookhi, NHBC Chief Executive said: "For more than 70 years NHBC has helped to raise the standard of new homes and provided consumer protection for homeowners.

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Sector’s financial health remains ‘robust’ says NHF

The National Housing Federation has said the financial health of the social housing sector remains robust and believes it will weather the current economic downturn.
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Recent press reports have claimed the sector is experiencing financial problems, stating that six associations are being closely watched by the sector's regulator, the Tenant Services Authority, because of the challenges thrown up by the current downturn.

However, although the sector is facing a number of financial challenges, Federation Chief Executive David Orr said that housing associations were actually better placed than most in the economy to meet the current financial challenges.

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Isle of Man bright spot in gloomy UK market

The Isle of Man housing market is performing well in the current economic turmoil according to estate agent Chrystals.
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It said that the buoyant Island economy was not immune to UK trends but did continue to observe stability in prices achieved in the residential market with the Chrystals Island Average House Price increasing marginally from £281,000 to £292,000 - a rise of approximately 4% on 2007.

If the apartment market is included in the statistics the Chrystals "all property" average for the year would run at £281,000 - no change year on year.

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Halifax Estate Agents reveals the UK’s Top 50 street names

With the UK's roads ranging from Acorn Street to Zulu Road and stretching from John O'Groats to Lands End, Ardnamurchan Point to Lowestoft, High Street remains the UK's most popular street name, according to Halifax Estate Agents's survey of the UK's top 50 street names.

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High Street reflects an older use of the word "high", meaning chief or principal and "street" implies a wide and paved highway, rather than a lane or an alley.

As the UK's leading street name, High Street is still considered to be the most important thoroughfare in the majority of towns.

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Sterling falls a lifesaver for London market

The value of prime London homes dropped again in the final quarter of 2008, according to property consultancy Savills.

ImageThe average quarterly drop in prime central London, at -8.7%, rounds off a year that has seen average prime central London values drop by -18.3% and by a full -20% across the board from the peak levels of September 2007, as the company forecast in the autumn.

This has wiped more than £13,000 a month off the value of what was once a £1million family home and left average values around their autumn 2006 levels, but provides clear opportunities to international buyers and equity-rich long-term owners looking to upsize in 2009.

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Political stability influencing overseas property

Buying overseas property has become one of the defining characteristics of consumer behaviour over the last 30 years. Despite the current economic difficulties, there are still purchasers out there.
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Some are driven by the need to find a new life. For some, the current downturn provides an opportunity to convert their savings into a physical asset.

Yet how many potential investors are drawing up clear criteria for their purchases - and how many of those have taken the issues of political stability, climate change and the costs of cashing in their investment seriously?

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Mortgage lending remaining low but positive

Net mortgage lending by building societies was £422million in November - a small improvement in October's £413million but still lower than the £790million that building societies lent in November 2007.
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Gross mortgage lending was £2,595million in November, compared to £4,070million in 2007.

Commenting on the figures, Adrian Coles, Director General of the Building Societies Association said: "The depressed housing market is seeing mortgage lending by building societies remaining low.

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Your predictions for the housing market 2009

2008 will go down as one of the worst years on record for the UK property industry. With lending virtually at a standstill, house prices have plunged - and a glut of rental properties on the market has seen average lettings fall also. House


The recession and massive job losses will only compound the problem over the coming months - so could 2009 be even worse or will this be the year the property market starts to pick up? What will it take to kick-start home sales and what can achieve this?

Tell us your hopes and fears for the property market for 2009 using the comment section below

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Foreign buyers tempted by bargain UK property

A weak pound coupled with dramatic UK house price falls is attracting the interest of foreign property investors.Image

Buyer analysis for the UK housing market by website Home.co.uk, the property search engine, showed a marked increase in buyers from the US, Holland, Switzerland, Singapore and Austria looking to buy UK property.

The number of US buyers using the Home.co.uk property search engine surged by 10% between October and November.

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‘Government too slow – more action needed now’ HBF tells MPs

MPs have been told that the Government was far too slow to react to the housing crisis and that drastic action was needed to reverse the dramatic downturn in the housing market before more jobs were lost.
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And whilst welcoming Government action taken so far, including this week's Homebuy Direct announcement, John Stewart, Home Builders Federation's Director of Economic Affairs said that Government action had been consistently too slow in arriving and nowhere near comprehensive enough.

HBF made a series of suggestions to Government in early 2008 and only now, after many businesses have failed and jobs lost, were significant steps being taken - and they were still not enough, it said.

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