London’s Wealthy Seek Slice Of Downton As Prices Rise

VIDEO: Magician helps woman propose to boyfriend during enchanted evening in London

Country homes are coming back into fashion, after lagging behind urban locations such as Londons West End since the 2007 financial crisis when banks cut off mortgages. Prices for manor houses, farmhouses and cottages valued at more than 750,000 pounds climbed at the fastest rate in more than three years in the third quarter, Knight Frank LLP said in a report today, as Prime Minister David Cameron makes reviving the housing market central to his efforts to pull the economy out of recession. Its U.K. economic growth and broader housing-market confidence, said Liam Bailey , global head of residential research at the London-based property broker. The government last week introduced the second phase of its Help to Buy program, which offers mortgage guarantees that allow purchases with down payments as low as 5 percent. The first phase, which began in April, provided interest-free loans for buyers of newly built homes. Bigger Appetite The program has contributed to the most buoyant housing market since the financial crisis, even as two thirds of 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg described it as bad policy. The governments measure will lead to a stronger market without causing a bubble, the EY Item Club, a London-based group sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP, said in a report today. Help to Buy has obviously been a catalyst that has encouraged people, Bailey said by phone. Its stimulated appetite to get into the market and thats not only the lower-end first-time buyers — its right through into the prime sector. In July, homebuyers took out 3,900 loans of 500,000 pounds or more, the most since September 2007, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Theres also more willingness to lend at higher loan-to-value ratios, according to Henry Knight, managing director at mortgage broker Springtide Capital Ltd. Two years ago, Barclays Plcs Woolwich unit, Nationwide Building Society and Lloyds Banking Group Plcs Halifax stopped agreeing mortgages for more than about 1 million pounds, but now theyve moved up to 2 million pounds and some have gone to 3 million, Knight said by phone. There are just more lenders playing in that market now. Virginia Water Knight Franks prime country-house index, based on data from the firms U.K. branches, shows that prices rose 0.8 percent in the third quarter from the previous three months. Gains were led by Virginia Water, Berkhamsted and Cobham, just outside London.

London cabs will promote Philadelphia

And heartwarming video shows the exact moment he realized what was going on and immediately agreed to spending the rest of his life with her. Gillian Douse pops the question over dinner in Londons Eastbourne. The footage begins with London performing for other diners at the Prezzo restaurant in Eastbourne. As Douse finishes her dessert, the magician moves in to perform some close-up tricks including changing a 20 bill into a 50 one. RELATED: VIDEO: MAN HIT WITH UKULELE AFTER PROPOSING IN MALL Tom London via YouTube With the help of a little magic, Tom London made Bernies ring disappear reappear and then disappear again! He then takes a ring from Bernie’s hand and makes it vanish, before pointing to Douse’s pocket. To her boyfriend’s surprise, she pulls out a ring box and slowly opening it up asks: “Will you marry me?” A shocked Bernie smiles and leans in for a kiss before saying: “Yes.” Tom London via YouTube HE SAID YES! The happy couple embraces after Gillian Douse’s proposal is accepted. London wrote on his blog that, despite Douse helping him come up with the routine, he was still “extremely nervous” before the trick. “But it was wonderful. Gillian acted it out so well, Bernie really had no idea,” he added.

Crest Nicholson Says U.K. Way Off Housing Bubble

The campaign was launched this week by Mayor Michael Nutter and the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn London cabs are bearing advertising promoting Philadelphia. The campaign launched this week by the city, the airport and the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau is promoting Philadelphia as a destination for trade, conventions and leisure travel. Next month Mayor Michael Nutter will take a trade mission to London and Tel Aviv, Israel. In London, hell attend the World Travel Market trade show, where some 47,000 travel professionals are expected. Philadelphia will have a group at the London show, including Jack Ferguson , president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. The delegation will host an event for airline executives, urging them to add international flights to Philadelphia International Airport a move that could net business and leisure travelers. Through these relationships, we will attract new international travelers, students, investment and trade opportunities for Philadelphia businesses, and create new jobs for Philadelphians, Nutter said. Nutter and Ferguson will attend the World Travel Markets ministerial dinner on Nov. 5. It will include tourism ministers from around the world. The magnitude of this mission is powerful with so many partners from various business sectors coming together to promote our great city as a hub for trade, travel, education and innovation, while positioning Philadelphia a world-class destination, Ferguson said.