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First-time buyers now need an average income of £54,000 to purchase a typical property in a UK city, but the priciest locations have become a little more affordable, according to the latest data. This average income required has risen by 9% since 2016, when it was £49,900, largely down to higher house prices, said the property website Zoopla.

Earlier this week, official data showed average UK house prices increased by 1.4% in the year to April, down from a 1.6% rise in Zoopla looked at 20 cities that account for more than one-third of the UK’s housing stock and found Liverpool had the lowest gross household income required for first-time buyers at £26,000.

In London, meanwhile, those who have never owned before need an average household income of £84,000 to purchase a property. While this may seem unattainably high for many would-be purchasers, Zoopla said it was the lowest figure for four years and £3,250 less than the amount required in 2016. Read more HERE.

Published on 27/06/2019 @ 0:44 PM  | Top

Homebuyers in a town where properties typically cost almost 12 times local salaries may soon have a low-cost option from Ikea after a UK council agreed to work with an affordable housing developer co-owned by the retailer. Worthing council has signed up with BoKlok, a company jointly owned by the Swedish retailer and construction firm Skanska which specialises in factory-built housing that can be constructed at a low cost.

The firm sets property prices so that buyers have money left to live on after they have paid their housing costs, and its website says “a single parent can afford to buy and live in a newly built two-bedroom BoKlok apartment”. It has built 11,000 homes across Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway, and is keen to break into the UK after a false start more than a decade ago. Read more HERE.

Published on 26/06/2019 @ 10:52 AM  | Top

All-female astronaut crews could reproduce in space without the help of accompanying men, new research suggests.

The study found that frozen samples of sperm exposed to microgravity retained similar characteristics to sperm samples kept on the ground, raising hopes that a sperm bank could one day be set up in space to help populate new worlds.

This could prove interesting for female astronauts, amid reports that future missions to Mars may involve women-only space crews.

Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut, said at a conference in 2017 that there had been an unreleased Nasa report exploring sexual desires of space crew members during potential missions to Mars. Sharman said the report had recommended space crews of the same gender – “all men or all women” – because they have better team cohesion. Read more HERE

Published on 24/06/2019 @ 1:18 PM  | Top

Iran has shot down an US drone in the strait of Hormuz, accusing Washington of breaching Iran’s national sovereignty and trying to deepen tensions in the region.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday that they had used a surface to air missile to shoot down what they called a US “spy” drone they claimed was flying in the country’s airspace. US Central Command confirmed that one of its unmanned aircraft had been taken down, but said it was in international airspace. A CentCom spokesman, Capt Bill Urban said it was a US navy Global Hawk surveillance drone, which had been downed by an Iranian surface-to-air missile over the Strait of Hormuz at 11.35pm GMT.

“Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false. This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace,” Urban said. Read more HERE.

Published on 20/06/2019 @ 2:28 PM  | Top

Villages in Russia’s Urals region have been invaded by vast swarms of flies that have sparked health concerns and fears for local harvests.

“You can’t hang out your washing to dry or open your windows, let alone go outside,” a woman in Lazorevy told state television, which aired images of thick clouds of flies crawling and buzzing through the village.

Another local was shown sweeping up piles of dead and dying flies from the floor of his home. “Every day or two there’s enough to fill a bucket, half a bucket,” he said. Residents described scenes as “like something from a horror film”. Read more HERE.

Published on 14/06/2019 @ 2:29 PM  | Top
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