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Has someone famous lived in your house?

Alex Johnson

plaque1 Has someone famous lived in your house?The Purple Plaques scheme run by Zoopla (one of The Independent’s partners) aims to award said plaques – in a similar way to the  historic English Heritage’s Blue ones – to homes of the famous around the country. So if you’re interested in where racing driver Lewis Hamilton used to live in Stevenage, the location of Prime Minister David Cameron’s former home in London (now worth an estimated nearly £2 million) and what else is for sale in the street of singer Charlotte Church’s old home in Cardiff, then this is well worth a browse. According to a Zoopla survey, if a celebrity previously owned a property, it can have a significant effect on its selling price, with more than 50% of estate agents estimating it can add up to 5%.

More Garden Cities, less red tape
A new report from the Centre for Policy Studies has made a number of suggestions which it believes will help the property market including:
* Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) should be employed in certain circumstances to assemble sufficient land for new construction
* Simplifying all current planning regulation and enacting a New Consolidated Act which rationalises the 118 statutes that currently affect planning and development, specifically designed to reduce delays in the planning system
* Central government should encourage neighbouring local councils to come together to identify potential sites for new Garden Cities.

Tim Knox, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies said: “The Coalition is right to have identified the complexity of the current planning system as a major obstacle to growth. It should learn from the historic success of Milton Keynes and the plans for a new Garden City at Old Hatfield to see how implementing real reform can free up the planning process to the great benefit of both would-be homeowners and the wider economy.”

Foreign property investors in London
The weak pound has made property in Prime Central London even more enticing to foreign investors seeking safe havens and will continue to do until 2018, according to Knight Frank who say that overseas buyers accounted for 52% of all £2m+ homes sold in prime central London between March 2012 and March 2013. Their latest report suggests US$ buyers will find London property particularly appealing.

Keeping ahead of the Joneses
According to a survey from Anglian Home Improvements, 31% of people in Britain say they are only doing up their home to have the best house on the street – 26% make improvements to their property several times a year, 12% of home owners have spent more than £5,000 on improvements in the last two years and 16% admit to keeping an eye on their neighbours’ home improvements.

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