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Property

Average first-time buyer deposit increases to over £57,000

Deposits are up £20,000 in London.

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Andy Beecroft / Geograph

First-time buyer’s deposit increase by £10,000 reaching a record high across the country.

Getting on the property ladder for first-time buyers is notoriously difficult and now, they’re going to have to find an additional £10,000 compared to last year.  

According to Halifax bank house price index, the average needed to put down as a deposit for a house in 2020 across the country has now risen 23% from last year to a whopping £57,278.

Fuelled by high demand in the second half of 2020 pushed by the break in the market from the pandemic and the stamp duty holiday, average house prices in the UK are now £253,374.

Peter Hall / Unsplash

For those in London, properties are now £20,000 more expensive than in 2019 with deposits up by around £20,000 too. 

Despite these staggering figures, the findings from Halifax show that first-time buyers accounted for half of all home purchase loans in the year, down from 51% in 2019. 

Last year there were 304,657 first time buyers the lowest this figure has been since 2015. 

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “Whilst these figures confirm the almost inevitable fall in the overall number of first-time buyers in 2020 – with the entire housing market effectively shuttered during the first national lockdown – they also underline just how strong the bounce back was in the second half of the year.

“Despite the obvious challenges presented by soaring house prices, not least the need to raise an even bigger deposit, first-time buyers still accounted for half of all home purchases, a reassuring statistic given their overall importance to the market.

“However, with the economic impact of the pandemic likely to be felt most keenly by the young and those in lower-paid jobs, the need to prioritise improved housing availability and affordability for all those looking to make that first step on to the property ladder becomes ever greater.”

Property

Spanish town is offering free houses and jobs in a bid to convince families to relocate there

Fancy trading in the 9-5 grind for a life in the sun?

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@wherearemyshoesdude / Unsplash & mapio.net

A Spanish town is offering families free homes and jobs in an attempt to encourage them to move there.

Griegos, a small town in the north-east of Spain, has seen its citizens dwindle in recent years, with only 132 residents remaining. So in a bid to tackle this issue, the town is offering three houses to rent along with two jobs, while the town hall is offering three different jobs ranging from local restaurant work to home teleworking.

The very persuasive advert explained: “We offer you work in the kitchen and restaurant for you and your partner at the Paladar de Aragón, located in La Muela de San Juan. Or you can manage the Griegos hotel-restaurant, located in the square.

mapio.net

“If you are one of those who work from home […] You can telecommute and make use of our coworking.”

It is worth noting that only the first three months of your Spanish adventure will be free – after that time period has passed, rent will cost €225 (£194) per month, and families will get a €50 discount (£43) per child – meaning if you have two kids you’ll pay just £108 per month. 

Think of all the tapas and sangria you could buy with that extra money!

The only catch is that you have to be a family with children. Sorry, singletons. So, if you want to embark upon the next Spanish chapter of your life, you’ll have to be quick – there have already been over 3,000 applications from people all over the world who are keen to escape the hum drum. 

@wherearemyshoesdude / Unsplash

And, with the amount of competition there is, applicants are now being asked to submit a video message alongside their application explaining why they should be selected for the scheme.

If the project is successful, it could lead to other Spanish towns offering similar schemes in what is dubbed ‘Empty Spain’, where villages and towns are seeing a steady decline in population numbers.

The town mayor Salvador Gil has also requested €150,000 to update and renovate the town’s hostel to ‘make it more attractive.’

You can visit the original social media campaign here – better get brushing up on your Spanish!

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Property

Woman is raffling off stunning two-bed city centre flat and £10K spending money for just £5

‘I feel like a lot of younger people have less of these opportunities… So I thought maybe I could help somebody get themselves on the property ladder’

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Sushma Sharma

A newly refurbished city centre flat is up for grabs in an incredibly unique raffle opportunity. 

Sushma Sharma will be giving one lucky winner the chance to own her two-bedroom city centre flat completely mortgage free, all for the price of an expensive Northern Quarter pint. 

It’s no secret that property prices have been rising to unaffordable levels for the last couple of years – and, out of the half a million people living in Manchester’s city centre, a vast proportion have had to settle with renting rather than enjoying the luxury of owning their own property.

Sushma Sharma

Well, a new opportunity that could make the dream of being a homeowner a reality has now arisen.

Sushma bought the flat, which is located just a stone throws away from Deansgate and Manchester Cathedral, in 2002 when property prices weren’t so costly, and now wants to give someone else the opportunity to own the place she has called home for the last two decades.

Speaking to Proper Manchester, Sushma, who works as a school teacher, explained: “This flat has been my home, and I’ve absolutely loved living here.

Sushma Sharma

“It’s south facing so very light and airy and the windows are huge. From here, I’ve watched as Manchester has changed so much over the years.

“Though what I’ve really loved is the location – I live on my own, and I’ve loved being able to feel safe coming home. I’ve taken full advantage of living directly in the centre and having all the city’s best bars, restaurants and galleries right on my doorstep.”

Sushma paid to have the property fully renovated around five years ago, so it now includes a utility room, brand new flooring, a new kitchen and a larger bathroom.

Sushma Sharma

Yet despite her happiness in the flat, when her mum died after a long battle with lupus two years ago, she was spurred to make some big changes in her life: “I could continue to love living here, but I’m feeling restless – after losing my mum two years ago, I’m wanting a change of scenery.

“Because I’m fifty-three, I feel like I had a lot of better chances to be able to buy and own my own property. I feel like a lot of younger people have less of these opportunities because things are so much harder.

“It makes me really sad, so I thought maybe I could help somebody get themselves on the property ladder.”

Sushma Sharma

Sushma explained that she could very easily sell the flat through an estate agent, but it would give her more pleasure to be able to do something new and to help someone at the same time.

And thus, the flat raffle idea was born.

Hosted on the competition app and website, Raffall, Sushma has 50,000 raffle tickets up for grabs. Priced at just £5 each, the winner of the final draw will get the two bedroom flat complete with a car parking space, service charges paid for a year and £10,000 spending money.

Sushma Sharma

The property will also come with a TV, integrated kitchen appliances, a washing machine, sofa, coffee table, double ottoman bed and double wardrobe.

And, if all 50,000 tickets are sold, Sushma will not only donate £5,000 to Lupus UK, a charity helping those living with the rare and incurable illness, but will give another £10,000 to a different ticket holder in a second prize draw.

“That could be a deposit for someone else to get their foot on the property ladder themselves.”

Do you fancy your chances at being a city centre homeowner? If so, get your own raffle ticket here, and make sure to follow the raffle’s official Instagram page and Facebook Page for updates.

The raffle ends on Sunday, August 22nd at 9pm.

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Property

Haunted village in Scotland complete with beach up for sale for just £125,000

A ghost is a small price to pay to own an entire village…

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Goldcrest Land and Property Group

An entire village complete with its own private beach has been put on the market in Scotland, but there’s one catch: It’s apparently very haunted.

Because of course it is. 

Located on the idyllic shores of Loch Tay in Perthshire, the Old Village of Lawers is alleged to be haunted by a 17th-century ghost – but other than that, it sounds like a very lovely location. 

Goldcrest Land and Property Group

According to Goldcrest Land and Forestry Group, the 3.31-acre site boasts its own private beach, semi-ancient native woodland, a grass paddock with potential planning opportunity, trout fishing rights and ‘wonderful views across the loch.’

However, the village also comes with the ghost of the Lady of Lawers, who resided and died within the village hundreds of years ago.

The Lady of Lawers was remembered for her various prophecies – a number of which appear to have actually come true.

Goldcrest Land and Property Group

The brochure from Goldcrest Land and Forestry Group explains: “When she referred to ‘fire-coaches’ crossing the Drumochter Pass, she is said to have predicted the coming of the railway.

“She is alleged to have planted an ash tree at the northern end of the church, stating that when it grew to the height of the little spire, the church would fall. In fact, the church was so badly damaged in a thunderstorm, in which the ash tree perished, that it was never used again.”

Long before the construction of steamships, the Lady of Lawers had also once said: “A ship driven by smoke will sink in Loch Tay with great loss of life.”

Goldcrest Land and Property Group

But putting ghoulish predictions and curses to one side, the entire village is priced at just £125,000, which is cheaper than most properties here in Manchester so, if you think about it, it’s a total steal.

Historic Environment Scotland has described the site as ‘an upstanding and well-preserved example of a deserted settlement.’

Jon Lambert, partner at selling agents Goldcrest Land and Forestry Group, said: “This is an extremely rare opportunity to buy a part of Scotland’s heritage in one of the most beautiful places in the country. The sale offers a unique chance to be the owner and custodian of an area wonderfully rich in history, romance and tradition.”

For more information, visit the Goldcrest Land and Forestry Group website here.

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