UK Property

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Flipping off-plan property was a mainstay strategy of property speculators over the past few years. With fast rising house prices, the idea was to put a deposit down on a home before building starts and then sell it when construction is completed.

Meanwhile, all the capital at risk is the deposit and the profit comes rolling in at the end as the property value appreciated during the construction time. Now, builders are mothballing their projects or selling them off at a supposed discount to stave off the creditors as off plan speculation has dried up.

Off plan was always a high-risk strategy- and now it’s hit a wall with the recession, according to the International Herald Tribune.

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‘Sandbankrupts’ scream the redtop headlines as the credit squeeze tightens around one of the UK’s most expensive places to live.

Set on a sandy peninsular with spectacular views of Poole Harbour, Sandbanks is fronted by a gaudy millionaire’s row which is home to football’s Delboy in chief Harry Redknapp, former England footballer Darren Anderton, motor-racing tycoon Eddie Jordan and UB40 singer Ali Campbell

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The full scale of alleged buy-to-let scams is starting to emerge with the collapse of mortgage lending and house prices, according to the Serious Fraud Office.

Detectives are looking at cases involving thousands of investors losing millions of pounds in alleged property frauds in the UK and overseas.

Many investigations are examining off-plan buy-to-let frauds involving hundreds of properties in Leeds, Cardiff, Nottingham, Derby, Liverpool, Hull and London.

Already this month five directors of Gateshead based PPP Ltd (Practical Property Portfolios Ltd) and sister company Napeer (Holdings) Ltd have pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading charges.

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London residential rents are falling hand-in-hand with property prices and landlords have to reduce rents to entice tenants, according to latest reports.

Rents in the capital are now 5% lower than they were in December 2007 and at their lowest since December 2005 and have fallen for the ninth month in a row without showing any signs of abating.

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London was yesterday, the official home of Britain’s largest shopping mall with the launch of the $2.8 billion Westfield London Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush (White City), a massive 265-store, glass-roofed shopping center. The centre’s owners; Westfield and Commerzbank AG are confident that the looming British recession; the worst since 1991 will not negatively affect the potential profits of the centre’s future.

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The American ambassador Robert Tuttle announced a week ago that the US embassy was to relocate to a more secure location. News of this spread quickly as speculation arose whether the current embassy location in swanky Grosvenor Square was to be transformed into luxurious high end apartments once the move was approved by British planning authorities and the US Congress.

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A sodden English Grand Prix saw plenty of drivers skid off the track this weekend. While Brit Lewis Hamilton delighted his British fans in true fashion and a roaring win, the Ferrari team had to go home empty handed.

Starting out on a damp track, the race Hamilton soon took the lead in round five when he sneaked past Heikki Kovalainen after touching wheels with him at the start.

The crucial point in the race came when the Ferrari team failed to swap to wet weather tires in lap 21. Their failure to do this might just have cost them the race. Lucky for Hamilton, this was enough to rock away from the red team and claim the podium. McLaren’s decisions to stick with the wet weather Bridgestones proved worthwhile after all