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Lack of choice blamed for fewer people buying houses

Fewer people are buying and selling houses in the East of England. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The number of houses being bought and sold in the East of England is declining, with industry leaders blaming the lack of choice for new buyers.

The number of enquiries about homes and newly agreed sales fell during April, according to research by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Uncertainty due to the upcoming general election and the ramifications of stamp duty changes were also blamed for fewer people buying houses.

Lack of choice for new buyers is being blamed for the decline in house buying. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"The bulk of the feedback we are receiving points to a fairly flat summer for both activity and prices.

"Lack of stock on the market remains a key challenge for the sector with recent and forthcoming tax changes having a material impact on transaction levels, particularly at higher price points.

"Uncertainty relating to the forthcoming general election is also highlighted by some respondents as a reason for inertia."

– Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

Essex housing scheme could see 40,000 new homes built

Three sites have already been earmarked for the new homes. Credit: ITV News Anglia

More than 40,000 new homes could be built across north Essex as part of a scheme to create more so-called 'Garden Communities'.

The plans are in the very early stages but three possible sites have already been earmarked:

  • West Colchester - 20,000 homes
  • West Braintree - 13,000 homes
  • Tendring/Colchester border - 9,000 homes
Braintree is one of four councils involved in the scheme. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It is the brainchild of four councils across Essex, who are bidding for money from central government to fund the scheme.

We think it's vital that local authorities actually plan the developments and it's not just left to builders and speculators.

We want proper communities built for the future with, most importantly, the infrastructure in the beginning.

– Cllr Graham Butland, Leader, Braintree District Council

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Plans for new moorings on River Cam but fees could be increased

Credit: ITV News Anglia

People living on boats in Cambridge say they're facing a double whammy of less mooring spaces and increased fees from the city council.

There are currently around 70 moorings along the River Cam but that number is set to be reduced. At the same time some owners face having to pay several hundred pounds a year more for their places.

Credit: ITV News Anglia

However Cambridge City council says some of the current moorings aren't safe to use.

Now if councillors approve the proposals, which have come in response to feedback from a public consultation, up to seven new permanent moorings could be developed at Riverside.

Credit: ITV News Anglia

We've been able to come to a compromise and we've been able to allow for seven boats to be moored in an area which is safe for them to get in and out of the boats. The problem was we were concerned that we have a duty of care for people and they were climbing over very high railings to get in and out of boats.

– Richard Robertson, Cambridge City Council

Charity raises concerns over cost of childcare

  • Interview with Claire Harding from the Family and Childcare Trust by ITV News Anglia's presenter Jonathan Wills

A new report has raised concerns about how much families are spending on looking after children.

The government says it's spending more money than ever on helping to support parents, but not all families are feeling the benefits.

Parents now pay an eye-watering average of £116 per week for a part-time nursery place - over £6,000 every year - more than double what families spend on food and drink in a year, according to new

Research by the Family and Childcare Trust found mums and dads in the East of England working part-time pay just under £106 per week for 25 hours of nursery care for under 2s. The average in England is just over £117.

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