JK Rowling to build £250,000 tree houses in garden

Planning officials have given permission for HARRY Potter author JK Rowling to build two luxury tree houses in the garden of her home despite protests from local residents. They are intended to be used by her son David and daughter Mackenzie, who will each get their own two storey house which feature secret tunnels and bay windows. The two tree houses are to be linked with a rope bridge, and David will be able to make a quick escape from his using a specially built trap door and fireman’s pole. Mackenzie can use a spiral staircase or stainless steel slide to leave her tree house. Their estimated cost is around £250,000.

Drawings show one of the houses features a perch for what appears to be an owl and a “nature box” built into the cedar shingle covered roof to allow birds to nest. They are to be built in sustainable materials by UK’s leading tree house architects, Blue Forest based in Tunbridge Wells. Prices for basic tree houses start around £20,000 but for bespoke designs the bill their wealthy clients are prepared to pay can be over ten times this amount.

Ms Rowling paid over £2m for her 33 room, 17th century mansion two and a half years ago, and last year was granted planning permission to demolish the £1m 1970s style house she bought next door to enable her to enlarge her garden.

95% Mortgage Scheme Aims To Help first Time Buyers

STRUGGLING first-time buyers will get a foot on the property ladder under a new 95 per cent mortgage scheme. The Mortgage Indemnity New Home plan aims to help around 6000 people across Scotland who are currently priced out of the market. Construction watchdogs Homes for Scotland unveiled the scheme after house building dropped to its lowest level since 1948. Last year only 15,000 new homes were completed, the lowest level for over 60 years.

The biggest barrier preventing people getting into the housing market is finding the mortgage deposit that can be 20 to 25 per cent which in most cases equates to between £30,000 and £40,000.

The new mortgage product is likely to be unveiled in the next few weeks and will offer a 95 per cent mortgage to those who can sustainably afford it.

Scottish Sales and Prices on the Up

Scottish house sales grew by 2,674 in the first half of 2012 compared to last year -and it wasn’t only transactions that rose. Prices in Midlothian rose by £20,000 in the last year, with those in Edinburgh rising by almost £13,000.

Source WARREN LEWIS Property.

Buy To Let Increase

Buy-to-let lending has increased by nearly a fifth in the last year amid strong growth in the rental sector.

New figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, confirmed that more than 33,000 loans worth £3.9bn were advanced in the three months up to June, an increase of 18pc on the amount advanced compared with the same period in 2011.

However buy-to-let lending is still recovering from its low point in 2009 and lending volumes remain at about a third of their peak in 2007.

Buy-to-let is continuing to show signs of recovery, the rental sector having grown strongly over the last decade or so and buy-to-let continues to help deliver a wider choice for tenants.

Tesco Bank Launches Mortgage Products

Today Tesco Bank will be launching their first mortgage products. Tesco Bank’s mortgage range includes two, three and five-year fixed rate mortgages, and a two-year base rate tracker. Rates start at 3.19% (2 year fixed, maximum LTV of 70%) and Tesco Bank offers mortgages up to a maximum of 80% LTV.

All products will move onto the Tesco Bank Standard Variable Rate at the end of the initial fixed or tracker rate period. There is a booking fee of £195 on all products and customers can choose between a £0 or £800 product fee option to suit their needs. Early Repayment Charges apply during the initial rate period.

2.95% 5 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

Today NatWest is launching a 5 year fixed rate mortgage at 2.95%, the lowest ever 5 year fix offered in the UK. This rate is only available to a maximum of 60% LTV and the arrangement fee is high at £2,495, but even so this still represents great value for mortgages of at £100,000 or more. Remortgages also qualify for free valuation and legal fees.