UK House Prices Surge to Record High

Despite the latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) showing that house sales in January fell by 10.6% compared to the same time last year, both average house prices and asking prices continue to hit new heights. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average price of a UK home increased by 10.8% in December 2021 year on year to reach a record £275,000, while Rightmove reported in January that asking prices across the country have reached a new average high of £348,804.

Even after the temporary stamp duty holiday ended at the start of October, UK housing market demand remains strong and prices have continued to increase. A lack of available properties is a key reason for house prices rising to record levels, with recent research by Savills finding that 90% of prospective buyers believe lack of supply is hindering their ability to find a suitable home. Furthermore, many potential sellers are reluctant to put their properties on the market currently due to concern about their own ability to find a new home.     

Low unemployment (even after the end of the furlough scheme) and low borrowing costs are two other factors driving the UK housing market, although with inflation hitting a 30-year high of 5.5% in January, household finances are likely to deteriorate in the coming months. With real wages remaining flat or declining, applicants are likely to have less money to spend following a mortgage affordability assessment, and this combined with a general rise in the cost of living should at least take some of the heat out of the market. However, while demand continues to outstrip supply, the market’s upward trajectory may easily continue, albeit at a slightly slower pace than in recent months.

Bartletts represents property buyers and sellers in Liverpool and across Merseyside. Louise Nelson is a solicitor with 39 years experience of helping people buy and sell property in the area. Louise heads a friendly team of experienced conveyancers. Our firm is Law Society Accredited for Conveyancing Quality, and offers free no obligation quotations, competitive fixed fees and no hidden costs:

Bed Bugs to Surge as Covid Restrictions Ease?

The recent easing of Covid restrictions has led to warnings from experts that bed bug infestations are likely to surge in the coming weeks and months, as cities fully reopen, the weather improves and people start to travel again. This increases the likelihood of bed bugs hitchhiking from hotels and holiday accommodation back to guests’ homes causing domestic infestations which can be difficult, stressful and expensive to eradicate. Guests may also bring bed bugs with them when they travel, infesting their accommodation and potentially spreading the pests to multiple locations.

Bed bugs are adept at stowing away and concealing themselves, and with many people planning holidays in the UK and abroad, and the majority of workers returning to the office, conditions are ripe for a rise in bed bug infestations. There are also concerns that a shortage of staff in the hospitality industry means that some locations are not being checked and monitored sufficiently thoroughly to prevent bed bugs. The pests are usually transported in luggage, clothing, bedding and personal belongings like wallets and purses. Once they infest a room, they commonly hide in mattresses, bed frames, furniture, floorboards, and other suitably obscure cracks and crevices.

Hotels and other providers of holiday accommodation owe their guests a duty of care and must maintain their premises in a safe state, which includes preventing bed bug infestations and guests being injured, both physically and psychologically, by the pests. Our firm has particular expertise in bed bug bite claims, and has successfully represented hundreds of clients in these specialist claims over the years. Contact our specialist bed bug bite injury team for a free consultation if you have been bitten by bed bugs in a hotel or other commercial premises:

Little Liverpool at Museum of Liverpool

The Little Liverpool gallery at the Museum of Liverpool runs six sessions a day, each lasting around 30 minutes, during which time children under the age of six can play and learn in a unique hands-on fantasy world.

Highlights of the Little Liverpool gallery’s activities include Liverpuddles, a water play interactive based on the progress of the River Mersey, with children able to sail boats through the city, fish in the river and navigate cars through tunnels. Apart from being great fun, Liverpuddles aims to engage children with environmental issues, particularly their responsibility to wildlife for keeping our waters clean.

Little Liverpool also features an A to Z of objects on its dock wall, with each ‘letter station’ encouraging young children to discover more using a hands-on interactive and learn through speaking and listening. Finally, the Liver bird’s nest is a multisensory pod where babies and very young children can relax with their carers in a safe and cosy nest which is perfect for kicking off the shoes and crawling around.      

The six daily sessions at the Little Liverpool gallery are at 10.15am, 11am, 11.45am, 1.15pm, 2pm and 2.45pm each day. Entry is free and tickets can be collected from the Museum’s welcome desk. You can found out more about the Little Liverpool gallery at the Museum of Liverpool on the National Museums Liverpool website: