The Australian owner of struggling DIY chain Homebase has begun sounding out potential buyers just two years after a dismal £340m takeover. Wesfarmers cleared out the British retailer’s managerial team after buying it in 2016, but has failed to turn it around, to the dismay of investors. Homebase slumped to a £97m trading loss over the second half of last year and Wesfarmers was forced to write-down the value of the UK business by £550 million. Wesfarmers has begun approaching potential buyers in recent weeks, including private equity firms, Sky News has reported. Investment bank Lazard was drafted in to conduct a strategic review of the Homebase business in February. At the time Wesfarmers revealed plans to close up to 40 stores, with the potential loss of around 2,000 jobs. Rob Scott, the managing director of Wesfarmers, said at the time that he was “keeping all options open” for the Homebase business, including a potential sale. A spokesman for … [Read more...] about Homebase owner seeks buyers as DIY chain turnaround flounders
If you want to sell your home, get rid of your furry toilet seat cover. Online estate agent Hatched asked 1,000 people how 50 different interiors trends from the past five decades would impact their decision to buy a house. The Seventies did not fare well, with 44 per cent declaring the decade’s once-loved furry toilet seat cover (yes, even the pink fluffy ones) their most loathed interiors no-no. Taxidermy was the next most-hated with 38 per cent of the down votes, followed by spray-on popcorn ceilings (also known as cottage cheese or acoustic ceilings) and wavy plastering. Read more Under £100: give your interiors a spring makeover on a budget Surprisingly, velvet sofas completed the bottom five, despite the plush fabric enjoying a revival this year. Beaded curtains, animal print, pebble dashing, acrylic furniture and deep shag pile carpeting also make us groan. Granite worktops, meanwhile, are still proving a hit, with 37 per cent declaring them their biggest … [Read more...] about the interior styles that will attract buyers — and the design features that will put them off
THE Help To Buy scheme offers a way for Brits to get on the property ladder by reducing the amount of cash they need to stump up for a deposit. Here's everything you need to know about the government's scheme to help first-time buyers. What are Help To Buy schemes? Do I qualify? Help To Buy is a government scheme designed to help people get on the property ladder without the need for the large, up-front deposit which puts most young buyers off. It consists of Help To Buy equity loans and Help To Buy ISAs, both designed to offer first-time buyers a way to make their deposit more affordable. Which? reports that to qualify, you must: Have a deposit of at least five per cent Be looking to buy a home worth £600,000 or less (this limit changes for Help To Buy ISAs) Be purchasing a property you intend to live in most of the time How do Help To Buy equity loans work? One of the most popular ways to get a foot on the housing ladder, Help To Buy equity loans can be used to buy … [Read more...] about What’s the Help To Buy scheme, how do the government Equity Loans and ISAs work and do first-time UK buyers get dibs?
On November 22, 2017, Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered his Autumn Budget, writes Chris Brierley. With it, he announced a First Time Buyers Relief against stamp duty. This was heralded as great news for first-time buyers, but what does it mean and what effect will it actually have? Stamp duty is a tax that is paid when you engage in a property transaction in the UK where the value is more than thresholds set by the Inland Revenue. In simple terms, it is a tax paid when you buy a house – and it can be an expensive part of the transaction. For example, if you were buying a house for £350,000 as your new main home, having sold your existing or last home, the tax you would pay is £7,500. Prior to the budget, a first-time buyer would pay the same amount of tax. However, the Budget has introduced a reduction, called a relief, for people buying a house for the first time, known as ‘First Time Buyers Relief’. The relief applies where you, … [Read more...] about First Time Buyers Relief on stamp duty; it’s too early to see its effect
By March 27, 2018, 4:07 PM EDT Foreign buyers of real estate in Quebec are putting “marginal” pressure on prices while accounting for a tiny sliver of the market relative to Vancouver and Toronto, according to new data released by the French-speaking province.Non-Canadian residents generated 1,307 property transactions in Quebec last year, representing 1 percent of all deals, finance ministry documents show. That’s little changed from 2008, when they made up 0.8 percent of the total. Foreigners mostly purchased high-end properties, averaging C$559,000 ($434,343) apiece, the finance ministry said Tuesday.U.S.-based buyers made up the biggest share of foreign acquirers with 32 percent of all transactions. French buyers were next with 20 percent, followed by Chinese nationals at 16 percent. That’s a marked contrast from 2006, when Chinese residents accounted for just 1.3 percent of all home transactions in Quebec.Quebec recently began tracking and releasing … [Read more...] about Foreign Buyers Starting to Drive Up Housing Prices in Quebec