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UK house prices, homes with EV charging, retiring to France and the UK’s most affordable town

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New homes are keeping up with the times by including charging points for their owners’ electric vehicles, while the average prices for any home in the UK continue to rise. Other UK property news shines a light on the most affordable town in the country but also offers tips for those planning to retire to France.

On the private rental front, it appears that some landlords have had to dip into their savings to bail out tenants affected by the Covid pandemic.

Let’s take a closer look.

Surge in number of homes for sale with EV charging points

The market has seen a surge in the number of homes for sale that have either their own dedicated charging point for electric vehicles or are close to such a point in a nearby street.

A story in the Mail Online last week revealed that sales listings for such homes have multiplied six times over.

With increasingly environmentally conscious buyers, electric charging points are clearly a sought-after feature and around a third of the sales listings offering that facility have been added in the last couple of months alone, says the Mail.

The favoured domestic charging point for an electric vehicle is a 7kW charger, explains the article, since this will charge a car three times faster than using a standard three-pin plug connection.

Landlords who subsidised tenants during Covid dipped into savings

A story in Landlord Today earlier this week revealed that many landlords who have been helping out tenants by subsidising rents – or by allowing rent to lapse – have had to fund that generosity by dipping into their own savings.

Two out of every three landlords who have helped tenants in this way have done so only by drawing upon their savings – even though some two-thirds of landlords own only one buy to let property and more than one-third of them are living on their retirement pensions.

The news comes at a time when an estimated 800,000 tenants are behind in rent payments – more than double the number who were in arrears before the start of the pandemic.

Looking to retire to France? Then you’ll need the carte de séjour

If you are looking to move to a retirement property in France, the Express newspaper on the 7th of November reminded its readers that you will need to apply for a carte de sejour (effectively, a residence permit) from the French authorities.

The attractions of retiring to France are quite straightforward – homes in the picturesque countryside there are as much as 60% cheaper than in the UK. With more and more opportunities for people to work from home since the pandemic, a move to the continent may be appealing not just for retirees but also those of working age.

Despite the inevitable bureaucracy, obtaining a carte de sejour is relatively easy although applicants can only start the process once they are already living in the country – you can’t apply before you arrive.

Average cost of buying a home in the UK surpasses £270,000

Citing house price figures compiled by Halifax building society, the London Evening Standard on the 5th of November revealed that the average price of a home in the UK had reached a new record of more than £270,000.

Overall, an 8.1% in prices has seen the average increase to £270,027 (an increase of 0.9% or some £25,000 in the last month alone) – and this despite the fact that the Stamp Duty holiday which had been in place since July 2020 came to an end in September.

Prices in Wales, Northern Ireland, and Northwest of England have increased the most, with annual growth rates of 12.9%, 11.3%, and 10.4% respectively. Average prices in London continue to lag behind the rest of the country with an annual increase to October of just 0.8%.

The most affordable town in the UK

Prices in London might be lagging behind the rest of the country, but they are by no means as affordable as some parts of Britain.

The town of Shildon in County Durham is highlighted in a story published by My London on the 7th of November, where the price of the average home is still under £60,000 – less than you’d need to pay for a single garage in the nation’s capital.

Although many Londoners are taking advantage of the opportunities of working from home to move out of the capital to more rural communities, small towns such as Shildon in the Northwest remain off most buyers’ radar – although a two-bedroom terrace house here can cost as little as just £27,000.