luxury homes had plunged in the wake of the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and the ensuing credit freeze and recession. Average prices of homes in Londons most expensive neighborhoods fell 25 percent in 2008, while those in the countryside declined 20 percent, Knight Franks Bailey said. Mortgages of more than 500,000 pounds to home buyers dropped by almost 50 percent between 2007 and 2008, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders . Affluent Foreigners Londons property market began to recover in 2009, in part because of affluent foreigners seeking a haven from turmoil in the Middle East and the wider European debt crisis . These buyers, attracted by mansions a short walk from Harrods and Buckingham Palace, helped push the price of luxury homes in central London up 23 percent since their last peak in the autumn of 2007. Prices of prime country homes remain down 20 percent, according to Knight Frank. Now the recovery is spreading beyond London. The number of homes sold in the U.K. reached the most in nearly four years in July, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors . That helped push the value of prime country homes up for the third consecutive quarter, Knight Frank said. House prices in affluent areas about an hour from London climbed 1.6 percent during the three months, while those in the remainder of the south of England climbed 1.2 percent, according to Savills. Homebuilders Rise U.K.s homebuilders have been among the biggest beneficiaries of revived housing demand, with an index of the companies gaining 47 percent this year, compared with the 10 percent advance for the FTSE 100 Index. Persimmon Plc (PSN) , the largest U.K. builder by market value, rose the most in almost two months on Oct.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO Miley who? Britney cracks a big smile as she enters the Capital FM Radio studios in London to promote her new album Working it! Britney Spears wore a suitably business-like all black ensemble for her first day of UK PR duties Last week Brit tweeted that she was ‘so excited to come visit London’ and that she was ‘looking forward to seeing a few of my favourite peeps’. In London and loving it! A glam and gorgeous Britney couldn’t wipe the smile off her face thanks to finally being back in London after a two year break Britney had another reason to feel pleased to be back on British soil though. The new Miley Cyrus album, Bangerz, which features a duet with Britney called ‘SMS (Bangerz)’, debuted at number one on the charts yesterday, a good omen for Britney’s upcoming solo release. She told fans her eighth album will be a very special CD tweeting: ‘This next record is going to be the most personal record I’ve EVER made.which means that I need my #BArmy to be a part of it!!’ Britney was filmed recording her vocals for the SMS (Bangerz) duet in Miley’s recent TV documentary. The pair can be seen chatting in a recording studio, where Miley confessed to once being an eight-year-old fan who looked up to Britney.. Working mom! Last week in LA a not-so-glam Britney snuck out of rehearsals for her upcoming Las Vegas shows to hit Starbucks, hoping to fend off the munchies In the meantime there’s plenty to be done to get her racy ‘Work B****h’ single to the top of the British charts when it finally gets a release on November 2, some two months after it has been released worldwide. The raunchy video for the song has already run into trouble with some TV networks only playing it after 10pm.
Four suspects detained in London terror raids
Reports in the British media said the men had been arrested in coordinated raids across London on Sunday night that were aimed at preventing an alleged terror plot involving the use of guns. Police said they were still searching six premises and two vehicles on Monday. Armed officers arrested two men both aged 25 in a street in east London, one man aged 28 at a house in Notting Hill, west London, and a fourth man aged 29 in a street in Peckham, southeast London. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said so-called Hatton rounds — special shotgun ammunition used to breach doors and tyres — were “specifically used to disable a car” in the arrests in east London. “They were used to shoot at tyres. No one was injured,” the spokesman told AFP. The arrest took place in a street about 200 metres from the Tower of London, one of London’s busiest tourist attractions. Armed officers were involved in all of the arrests. All four men were being held at a police station in south London on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. Under British terrorism laws the suspects can be held for 48 hours and then can apply for warrants to hold them for up to 14 days from the time of arrest. Police said the raids were the result of a “pre-planned intelligence operation” and added that “public safety remains our overriding concern.” The BBC quoted government officials as saying that a decision to act was taken on Sunday to dismantle the “potentially very serious” plot, although it was not on the scale of previous large-scale bomb plots. A witness to the arrest in Notting Hill, in an upmarket street lined with boutiques and restaurants, said the arrested man “didn’t look like a terrorist.” Ramin Massodi, a worker at a Persian restaurant, said specialist officers in several cars pushed the suspect up against the glass of the restaurant. “I heard shouting then I looked outside and saw four cars…