Apex Estate Agents

The best rate on a 20-year fixed mortgage for Britons drops to 3.1pc. With prices in London roaring ahead, everyone wants to predict the next investment hot spots. Has the West fallen prey to crony capitalism? With property prices on the rise, first-home buyers are prepared to move into unknown areas. A jump in house prices used to be cause for celebration. The proportion of landlords renting to tenants on benefits has dropped from 34pc to 27pc as welfare reforms began to kick in. Mortgage arrears and negative equity remain higher among northern households, according to S&P. The Building Societies Association has become the latest critic of the Government's Help to Buy property scheme, warning that it could inflate property prices. Blackpool, Slough and Portsmouth are the unlikely hotspots for investors looking for the best returns. Four in ten homes bought after 2007 have been sold at a loss as the UK housing market stalled in the global financial crisis.