UK Property

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Having been on the market for just over a year, the US embassy building in London’s Grosvenor Square is to be bought by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. The building was designed by Eero Saarinen and built in 1960, although the American embassy has been located in Grosvenor Square since 1938, and America’s ties to London’s Mayfair district date back to 1785, when John Adams, the first US ambassador to Britain and later the second US President, lived there.

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After about two years of static and falling traffic, UK property websites appear to be making a come back with increased growth in traffic recorded in October by Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence provider. From October 2008 to October 2009 website traffic to UK Property websites increased by 4.8%.

Thanks to the supposed demise of the global credit crunch, traffic to top online property sites appears to be making a resurgence and no doubt increased income.

We are a nation obsessed by house prices, we are obsessed when house prices are rising, and we are even more obsessed when prices are falling.

Once again it is the season to be jolly, and none more jolly than the big-city bankers who receive multi-million Pound and Dollar bonuses if they have done well. This has been known for having a very positive effect on the central London prime property market, as the bankers spend their fortuitous fortunes on lavish homes. The question is, with so much regulation on the horizon, and so little supply on the market, will this year be the same?

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Since the credit crunch I have become ever more cautious of recommending property investment with a view to short-term gain. I mean, I was lucky; while they aren’t growing by the percentages I forecast for this year; the destinations I recommended are still set to make the total short-term gains I was forecasting in 2007/08, by 2012/13. Places like: the Philippines, Brazil, Koh Phangan (Thailand), Tunisia, and more mostly in Latin America.

squatters_london_hampstead Fancy being the owner of a £3m home on one of the richest streets in London but instead of enjoying your property with all its fancy dressings you find three squatters occupying the place. This is the stark reality at a Hampstead house in north London.

The Bishops Avenue property is being occupied by three guys from France and Romania. Close by lies Lakshmi Mittal’s £40 million gated home and down the road are properties of the Saudi Arabian and Brunei royal families.

The three squatters believe themselves to be of the friendly kind. They have linked up electricity, have running water, and plastered the ceiling in the rundown house since they’ve moved in.