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Knock Knock News: foreign ownership challenged, Channel 4 sheds a light on housing crisis and Edward Scissorhands clips his property portfolio

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It's a sellers market: people endeavouring to sell their homes are refusing to slash their asking prices because demand for properties is exceedingly high. New figures suggest it is once again a sellers market, with discounts on properties slumping to a five-year-low. Sellers are refusing to cut their prices with the price of the average house reduced by only 6.05% last month, the lowest percentage since comparable records began in 2010. Although there has been a swing in favour towards sellers, the report intimates that there is a renewed willingness to negotiate.

Source: Daily Mail

Ban ownership for foreign non-residents: that's the solution to the housing crisis according to The Guardian's Zoe Williams. As the supply for houses across the country rapidly dwindles there is genuine concern that many people will struggle to ever get on to the property ladder. Williams points out that "when anyone from anywhere can buy a flat in your city, sooner or later the people who work in it won't be able to afford to". Rent will become difficult; last month the average rent in London hit £1,500 for the first time. Williams cites Norway and Australia as countries who ban ownership for foreign non-residents and suggests if the UK does not do the same it will become a nation in "servitude to a landlord class".

Source: The Guardian

Shedding light on the situation: as the popularity of Channel 4's Shed Of The Year shows, us quirky Brits know a good shed when we see one, but Patrick Barkham of The Guardian believes these humble abodes could actually offer a viable solution to the housing crisis. The current crop of sheds are seen as playhouses for the wealthy but Barkham points out that these constructions are cheap to build, eco-friendly and need very little planning permission. Could it be that the shed could help us offer more housing across the country?

Source: The Guardian

UK rent the highest in Europe: renting in the UK is the priciest in Europe with recent figures suggesting UK renters pay nearly double the average of our European counterparts. Average rent in the UK clocks in at £750 per household per month compared with the European average of £400. Even in countries that have similar earning potential, such as Germany and Holland, rents were £426 and £444 respectively. In the UK around 23 minutes of every hour worked is being spent on rent whereas in Europe that number is 17 minutes. On top of this David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation said that British renters have no certainty of whether they will be able to stay in their homes for the long term, making it difficult for them to save for their first home, plan a family or start a business.

Source: The Telegraph

One in four plan to move: according to the Nottingham Building Society one in four homeowners plan to move thanks to reduced mortgage cuts. That being said, more than half of mortgage lenders believe the market will now level out with only 16% of lenders expecting further reductions and 23% actually sighting a slight increase. People looking to potentially move are doing so to either free up cash in their property or because their earnings have taken a hit and they need to downgrade, in order to maintain living costs. But at the end of it all many borrowers do expect the market to shift as half of those looking for a new mortgage are hoping to take advantage of a fixed-rate loan to prepare for any flux in interest rates.

Source: Financial Reporter

Johnny Depp looks to sell: the Pirates Of The Caribbean star is looking to sell his 37 acre estate in Plan-de-la-Tour in the South of France near the trendy St. Tropez. The estate, which consists of more than a dozen buildings, is on the market for £16.5 million and comes complete with all the work Depp has undertaken in his typical bohemian style. Edward Scissorhands is also throwing in some of his furniture and a few personal belongings, including books and artwork. The actor had shared the residents with former partner, French actress Vanessa Paradise, and their children Lily-Rose and Jack. Highlights include a Pirates of the Caribbean style wine-tasting cave and a guesthouse which is a converted village church.

Source: The Guardian

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