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A balcony in London could add 20% to the property’s price

Alex Johnson

2c71a0bf2e639f94030fe818e51883e599ad839a 300x199 A balcony in London could add 20% to the propertys priceLondon properties with balconies can command up to a 20% premium over similar properties without outside space – regardless of their size or location – according to latest research by Chesterton Humberts.

Nick Barnes, Head of Research for Chesterton Humberts said: “We all value outside space, but especially so during the summer months when we want to make the best of sunny days but don’t necessarily want to share them with the thousands of people that flock to the capital’s popular green spaces.”

Rise in homelessness
Latest government statistics show there were 13,460 people accepted as homeless in priority need in England between April and June, up 5% on the same period last year. Gavin Smart, director of policy and practice at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “The continuing rise in homelessness is extremely concerning. We urgently need an expansion in the number of social homes. We also need to ensure that the welfare system works to support those who need it most in the face of a dysfunctional housing market.”

The figures also reveal that homeless families living in emergency B&Bs are at an almost 10 year high. A total of 2,090 homeless families across England were placed in B&Bs after losing their homes, an 8% rise on last year and the highest since September 2003. Overall, there were 56,210 households in temporary accommodation at the end of June, up 9% on the same time in 2012.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “These figures are a wake-up call. Ordinary families are falling through the net and risk losing everything. We’re worried about the thousands more just behind them who are living on a knife-edge, where all it takes is a sudden job loss or illness to tip a family into a downward spiral that can put their home at risk.

“People may be talking about green shoots, but every day our advisors speak to people who are terrified of what will happen to them because they don’t know how they will pay their rent or mortgage after a sudden drop in income.”

First time buyer numbers up 45%
The number of first-time buyers rose 45% year-on-year in July, according to LSL Property Services.

There were 26,100 first-time buyer sales in July, 8,100 more than 12 months ago which represents the highest number of first-time buyers since November 2007. LSL suggest that this is largely the result of a sharp increase in the affordability of mortgages (the average mortgage rate fell from 4.92% in July last year, to 3.99% this year) which has attracted more buyers.

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, owners of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “Mortgages are much more affordable for first-time buyers compared to last year, which has opened the door to thousands of would-be buyers who were shut out of the market.

“But there is a down-side to the good news. There is simply not enough housing stock to match continued demand. If supply fails to keep pace with demand the housing market will become increasingly unsustainable. Prices will rise sharply, and future first-time buyers will be left in the lurch. There is a desperate need for further cheap property in order for the run of success to continue.”

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