Knock Knock News: Foxtons face a backlash, the Only Way is Essex and Venice enjoys Clooney fillip

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Every Monday the team at SellMyHome and RentMyHome bring you the latest, big-hitting and occasionally irreverent news from the world of property, keeping you abreast of the goings-on in the non-stop industry in which we live.

Foxtons Face A Backlash: Having charged a landlord £616 to change a light fixture the controversial estate agent could now face a legal bill of nearly £42 million. A closer inspection of a landlord's bills from Foxtons made the man in question realise they were charging commissions on transactions the estate agents had agreed to undertake on his behalf.

Source: Daily Mail

The Only Way Is Essex: At least that seems to be the case when it comes to the rental market, according to property website Rightmove. Thanks to its accessibility to London and cheaper rents, Essex ranks high on the list of places to rent outside London. Stevenage in Hertfordshire was the most popular town on the list. Sam Mitchell, head of lettings at Rightmove said: "All of these hotspots benefit from an average asking rent of under £1,000 per month compared to the Greater London average of over double that."

Source: The Telegraph

Global Housing Hotspots: Hong Kong has experienced the biggest rise in house prices according to reports. Despite government measures in 2013 to try and stem the increasing rise it seems that Hong Kong is a prime example of a city with more demand than supply in the housing market. Prices have risen by 19% due to the chronic shortage of homes available. Second in the list are properties in Turkey, where prices rose by 18.5%, with Ireland in third on 16.8%, according to the Knight Frank Global House Prices Index.

Source: The Telegraph

Train Line Helps Oxford Villages Bloom: Cited as an area that epitomises quintessential England, towns in Oxfordshire are about to get a property price shot in the arm thanks to a new rail service into London. The new Chiltern Railway system, which is due to begin running this autumn, will allow passengers to board at Eaton Water and get-off at Marylebone, just 57 minutes later. Villages likely to see prices rise include Wooton and Kidlington Bletchingdon. Estate agents are already seeing the rise with recent figures in the area indicating a 10% increase last year compared to 4% in the rest of the area.

Source: Daily Mail

Where Have All The Russians Gone?: Forget cowboys the real question on estate agents lips is "where have all the Russians gone?" With the political unrest in Russia and the Ruble collapsing it seems that many of the Russian property investors are no longer buying in the property markets that you would expect. It seems Monaco, once a hot-bed for Russian investment, has less appeal than it previously did. Jurga Skrabulyte, Managing Director of concierge company Domus Alliance, said that Monaco doesn't have the popularity it used to. So where are they all going? It appears Portugal is a popular choice thanks to its 'Golden Visa' property for residency scheme. England is another popular destination with Russians looking to cash in on a good education for their children.

Source: Opp.Today

Live The Clooney Life: Buying property in Venice is increasingly a sound investment according to recent data. The property market in Venice has been on a stable upward curve and due to the year-round tourism industry the rental market offers an almost guaranteed return. Most buyers in the city are French, British or Italian with the exchange rate bringing some American buyers back too. By comparison to other iconic areas in the world, Venice offers canny investors the chance to buy studio flats at around £75,000, while a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment will cost roughly between £365,000-£440,000.

Source: The Telegraph

French Fort Listed Online: It seems even high street estate agents are realising the potential of online, after a French estate agent resorted to listing a £2 million medieval fort on the internet. The owner of the fort was furious to discover his property, which includes a dungeon and four drawbridges, had been listed on a site more commonly known for finding second-hand bikes. But the agent in question said that he'd had no offers through more traditional methods and the "For Sale" sign draped over the fort's walls had failed to land a potential buyer.

Source: The Telegraph

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