House Buying Blog

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London Housing Market Buoyant

March 22nd, 2007

Property in the most salubrious areas of London are currently growing in price faster than any other time in the last 28 years according to estate agent Knight Frank. The estate agent claims that £1 million plus houses in the smart areas of London such as Mayfair, Chelsea and Belgravia increased in price by 2.6 % alone in the month of February and during 2006 the increase was a staggering 31% overall.

It is believed that the surge in prices is being fuelled by huge City bonuses and an influx of millionaire buyers from overseas countries such as Russia and Italy.

Knight Frank believe that the price increases in central London will continue well into 2007 and forecast an overall increase of 12% for the year. This forecast is believed to be on the conservative side due to increases so far this year of 5.6%.

Change of Address Checklist

March 20th, 2007

Now that you have found your dream house and you have finalised the completion of your own house sale, you will need to go through the tedious formalities of updating your address details that are held at various suppliers. We have collated a list containing a number of common entities that you will need to inform of a change of address.

It maybe helpful for you to print out our Change of Address Checklist document so that you can strike off each provider you have contacted for peace of mind. If there are any additional companies or services that you would like to see added to the list please leave a comment and we will do our best to update the list.

Real Estate and Web 2.0 go together like Windows and Ubuntu

March 15th, 2007

If there ever was a marriage made in heaven it would be the implementation of Web 2.0 principles into real estate websites… so where are they?

I’m waiting to see an AJAX site with individual real estate properties that can be tagged by area or specification and drag and dropped into a personal account review area. I want to see 360 degree virtual tours – if we can implement this on travel websites, why not on real estate sites where the sales (and margins) are far higher. Publishing newly marketed properties via RSS feeds seems like a no-brainer, but I don’t currently see this happening in the industry.

Typically when individuals want to purchase a new property, they will narrow down the search to a specific location and search within those defined parameters. This sounds like a cue for a real estate comparison engine don’t you think? It seems that we have comparison engines for virtually every aspect of consumer life at the moment, but not for potentially the largest purchase we will ever make in our lives, a new home. Why is this?

There are a small number of sites that are working towards a Web 2.0 ideals (although non outside the US that I am aware of), sites that come to mind are:




The real estate industry is huge worldwide ($11 billion spent in 2006 on marketing in the US alone), so I am baffled by the lack of online technical sophistication shown at the moment. If any developers have nice Ruby widgets they want to show off to the community, please enlighten us all.

Czech Housing Market Set To Rise

March 15th, 2007

The Czech government have recently announced that they are to increase VAT on purchases starting from January 2008. The new laws will increase the rate from the current 5% to 19%. Obviously with such a massive leap in fees, it would make sense to purchase property in the country under the old tax regime.

Experts predict that the news will fuel property price increases by 13% across the country in 2007.

If you are not in a position to buy until after the new tax laws are enforced, there is one option that you may wish to consider. Basically the government have dictated that any new build housing that is under 90 M2 in size will be categorised under the moniker “social housing” and these types of dwellings will be exempt from the new tax hikes.

From a social perspective it is to be welcomed that citizens on a lower income will be helped onto the housing ladder by reduced fees, however, from an overall building infrastructure perspective it is unknown what effects the new tax regime will produce. Commentators speculate that new property developers will build smaller properties as a norm in order to be exempt from fees. Whether this is beneficial in the long term for purchasers or indeed aesthetically appealing will only be borne out over time.

Top 15 European Countries for Property Investment

March 13th, 2007

A recent index compiled by Where On Earth has rated Cyprus as the best country in Europe in which to profit from property investment. The index takes into account a dozen factors to determine the investment viability of the locations, primarily these include the respective Gross Domestic Product, the level of Foreign Direct Investment, the level of exposure the country receives and the number of new property developments being built.

The full index including each of the factors determining the ranking can be found at here

Links to property hotspots in each country have been included where possible.

  1. Cyprus
  2. Bulgaria
  3. France
  4. Spain
  5. Turkey
  6. Romania
  7. UK
  8. Tenerife
  9. Montenegro
  10. Italy
  11. Germany
  12. Portugal
  13. Malta
  14. Estonia
  15. Poland


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