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main copy.qxdHouse prices in the South East will see an increase of seven percent over the course of next year while the cost of renting a home should rise by a further two percent. This growth is being driven by the acute imbalance between burgeoning buyer demand and sluggish supply with new instructions to estate agents close to stagnating.

Although significant challenges remain to achieving a sustainable economic recovery, 2014 may well see the nascent pick-up in activity gather pace and this will be reflected in the housing market. In addition to rising prices, the number of transactions should also see a further increase, moving up to 1.2m (from 1.05m in 2013). Although this represents an improvement, to put this in context, total sales in 2006 were well above this at 1.67m.

With the shortage of homes coming onto the market a key factor behind the price rises, some comfort may be drawn from a likely twenty percent jump in new starts in England over the next year. That would push the total towards the 155,000 mark compared to 125,000 this year and only around 100,000 in 2012. While this is an encouraging trend, it is still insufficient to address the more rapid growth in population and will leave significant shortfalls in all tenures.

Across the UK, all parts of the country should see prices rise next year. Predictably, the biggest increases are to be seen in the capital, where the cost of a home will jump by around eleven percent. It remains to be seen what impact the recently announced increase in capital gains tax for overseas vendors will have on the prime central London market.

Meanwhile, the North East and Northern Ireland will experience the lowest rises with prices increasing by five percent and four percent respectively.

2014 UK housing market at a glance

UK REGION GROWTH

East of England ——————10
East Midlands———————10
London—————————-11
North East————————-5
Northern Ireland——————-4
North West————————-7
Scotland—————————7
South East————————-7
South West————————-7
Wales——————————7
West Midlands———————-7
Yorkshire and Humberside———–7
UK———————————8

• Cost of renting to grow by two percent
• Transactions to increase to 1.2 million
• Housing starts to edge up to 150,000 in England

Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, commented:
“The cost of a house is now picking-up right across the country and next year should see more of the same. We expect all areas of the country to see prices increase with London, predictably, recording the biggest rises. The improving economic picture aside, this is largely down to the fact that buyer numbers considerably outweigh the amount of homes on the market. While the number of new homes being built is now on the rise, it still won’t be anywhere near enough to meet demand and we expect the problem of insufficient housing stock to be the main driver behind price increases over the next twelve months.”

John Getley with wife Katrina Getley and granddaughter Olivia aged 13Local man John Getley who has recently recovered from a stroke is encouraging other stoke survivors to attend a new support group which meets for the first time in Medway in September. More

The Stroke Association is calling on South East people to get their nominations in for the Life After Stroke Awards (LASA) before the closing date on 1 March. With over 170,000 people living with the effects of stroke in the South East, the charity is seeking nominations to honour the stroke survivors, carers, organisations or groups who have shown dedication, determination and courage in the world of stroke.

The ceremony will take place at London’s Dorchester Hotel on 26 June 2013. Nine categories including Adult Courage, Creative Arts and Fund-raiser of the year will be presented by a host of celebrities.

This year the charity is welcoming the first patron of the awards, ‘Apprentice’ star Karren Brady. Karren said; “I was in danger of having a stroke myself and so this is a cause that is very close to my heart. I’m still at very high risk and know how frightening the condition can be. A stroke happens in instant but its effects last a lifetime. The Stroke Association is doing great work supporting people affected by the condition and celebrating life after stroke. “I am thrilled and delighted to be the first LASA Patron and am calling on everyone affected by stroke to nominate someone they know for these very special awards.”

Celebrities attending the event included TV’s Angela Rippon, rugby star and stroke survivor Michael Lynagh and Olympic medallist Shelley Rudman. Katherine Staley, from the Stroke Association said: “As stars of stage and screen are being honoured for Oscars, BRITs, Grammys and BAFTAs, this is the chance to shine the spotlight on stroke survivors, their carers and professionals working in the world of stroke to celebrate some of the amazing achievements made.”

You can make your nomination online at http://www.stroke.org.uk/LASA. Alternatively, you can call 0207 566 1540 or email lasa@stroke.org.uk and we can send you a form in the post.

Get fit, de-stress and have fun at one of the Active Life classes with Medway Community Learning.

Exercise to music
All Saints Church, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham
Mondays 7-8pm

Tai Chi
Medway Community Learning, Eastgate, Rochester
Tuesdays Noon-1pm

Pilates
St Thomas Church Hall, Rainham
Tuesdays 2.30-3.30pm

Exercise to music
Woodlands Arts Centre, Gillingham
Wednesdays 7-8pm

Classes run term-time only and each class costs £2.50. Please phone 01634 338400 to book a place.

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