U.K. Housing Market Was Starting to Revive Before Tax Holiday
The U.K. property market was showing signs of returning to life last month even before the government announced an enormous tax break for most home buyers.
Listings and inquiries picked up in June as the coronavirus lockdown started to ease, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said Thursday. The report comes a day after Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced that most buyers won’t have to pay stamp duty, a tax on the final sale price, until March.
The tax cut removes the levy on the first 500,000 pounds ($630,000) of the selling price, leaving almost nine out of 10 buyers paying nothing to the government. The move promises to lift the market after realtors in the RICS survey had become pessimistic and the headline price index had fallen for a third month.
“Lockdown prevented 175,000 would-be sellers from coming to market,” said Miles Shipside, a director at property website Rightmove Plc that publishes it own indicator of asking prices. “They will find there’s currently record demand for their properties from prospective buyers.”
Rightmove said traffic on its website jumped 22% in the first half hour after Sunak spoke on Wednesday.
The RICS survey, completed before the announcement, showed that realtors had expected sales to decline over the coming year amid rising unemployment and tighter lending conditions.
— With assistance by David Goodman
Former Vernon, B.C., physiotherapist spared jail time for sex assaults
Former physiotherapist Stephen Witvoet has now been sentenced after pleading guilty last year to nine sexual assault charges.
The 47-year-old worked as a physiotherapist in Vernon for over a decade, where he sexually assaulted nine different women who were his clients between 2009 and 2016.
3 separate drownings reported in northern Saskatchewan, including two 6-year-old boys
Saskatchewan RCMP is warning the public to stay safe near lakes and rivers after responding to three separate drownings in the north within two weeks.
A six-year-old boy was playing on a sandbar near Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation on Makwa Lake where he was swept away by strong currents. Loon Lake RCMP, nearby residents and search teams responded and continue to search for the boy.
Board-initiated review of Lethbridge supervised consumption site released, provincial audit still to come
The organization that runs Lethbridge’s controversial supervised consumption site (SCS) has released the early results of an organizational review initiated by its board of directors.
Cree artist beads mask in Saskatoon amid coronavirus pandemic
Vanessa Hyggen learned beading by watching her grandmother.
Stuck at home in Saskatoon since March amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Cree artist decided to channel her creative side when making a mask.
Cheers! Penticton agrees to beach booze bylaw at select beaches, parks
It took a little longer than expected, but residents and visitors to the South Okanagan’s largest city can now sip chardonnay in the sunshine or mull the world over merlot at select beaches and parks.
On Wednesday, Penticton city council approved a bylaw that allowed public drinking at select places.
Beijing reports zero new coronavirus cases for July 8
SHANGHAI (REUTERS) – Beijing’s city government reported no new confirmed coronavirus cases for July 8, the third straight day of no new cases as the city curbs the spread of the disease.
More to come.
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Prince Albert Grand Council, police discuss use-of-force after arrest video posted online
A video of an arrest that surfaced on social media has generated discussion between leaders in Prince Albert, Sask., around use-of-force by police.
Loon Lake man sentenced for child pornography, child luring
WARNING: This story contains details that may be disturbing. Discretion is advised.
Steven Lasas will be behind bars for five years after being convicted for possession of child pornography and child luring.
West Village firehouse turned townhouse finds a new owner
A former West Village firehouse at 78 Morton St., which was later converted into a grand townhouse, has just entered contract for close to its $21.8 million asking price.
“It’s a self-sustaining home, at a time when people may be shying away from shared spaces like garages and gyms at condo and co-op buildings,” says Christopher Riccio, a broker at Leslie J. Garfield, who shares the listing with Matthew Pravda and Elana Zinoman.
The soon-to-be owner and final price paid are not yet known.
Built in 1864, the renovated 25-foot-wide home is 7,281 square feet, and comes with three bedrooms, four bathrooms and two powder rooms. And thanks to its previous firehouse use, there’s also a garage with space for four cars — a rarity in the city — and an excavated cellar.
Fun details include a gym, a sauna, a wine room and an entertainment lounge with a pool table. The home also has a hidden office, up to 27-foot ceiling heights, and a wood-burning fireplace.
Design details show the home’s firehouse history, from framed payroll records and local neighborhood advertisements to the firehouse’s original spiral staircase.
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Alec Baldwin is hush-hush shopping his Village penthouse
When Alec Baldwin isn’t drinking Clorox while impersonating President Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” he has quietly been shopping his sprawling penthouse off-market at Devonshire House, a prewar condo in Greenwich Village, sources exclusively tell Gimme Shelter.
“He started shopping it in February but has been actively shopping it during the pandemic as well,” a spy says.
Though its targeted price isn’t clear, we hear Baldwin and his family have been looking to move to the Westchester town of Bedford — and had been even before the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a source.
Baldwin bought this penthouse for $11.7 million in 2011, marking his move from the famed Eldorado at 300 Central Park West. It’s located at 28 E. 10th St.
In the Village, Baldwin’s 4,137-square-foot home comes with outdoor space — and since it’s off-market, many other details aren’t public. It’s in an Emery Roth-designed building, which dates to 1928.
Current listings in the building span from a $1.99 million one-bedroom to a $4.99 million three-bedroom, according to StreetEasy. The building features a landscaped rooftop terrace, a gym and a children’s playroom.