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House prices up 12% in last five years

A graph shows average annual price changes in the last five years. Credit: Land Registry

Property prices in England and Wales have increased by 12% since they bottomed out five years ago.

According to figures from the Land Registry, average the value of the average home stood at £169,124 in March this year.

That is up from £150,490 in April 2009 - the lowest point following the crash that began a year earlier.

Price increases have been quickening as the economic recovery has taken hold, with stronger demand leading to a surge in values.

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Capital's Olympic legacy continues

The Government has announced that a four year goal of raising £11 billion pounds in economic benefit as part of the Olympic legacy has been met in just twelve months.

New foreign investment and firms winning contracts since last summer's events, has meant business is booming in the capital.

The total also includes £130 million of contracts won by UK companies for next year's soccer World Cup in Brazil, and the next Olympic Games, in Rio in 2016.

London's older people 'contribute billions to economy'

Figures show older people in London contribute as much to society, or in some cases more, than they receive Credit: Chris Young/PA Wire

Londoners over the age of 50 contribute £53 billion pounds to the economy, according to a new report commissioned by the Mayor.

The Economic Contribution of Older Londoners report found that in addition to a £47 billion contribution to the economy through paid work, older people also provide £4.7 billion as a result of caring for other adults and £600 million providing childcare for their grandchildren.

Around £800 million is contributed by older Londoners through volunteering activities, figures show.

Around two million people in the capital are aged 50 or over, with 905,000 aged 65 and over.

Those behind the report say the findings dispel stereotypes that older people are a financial drain on society and their loved ones, and that they contribute as much to society - or in some cases even more - than they receive.

  1. National

Mum to Clegg: 'You probably think I do a worthless job'

An angry stay-at-home mother attacked the Deputy Prime Minister during his weekly radio phone-in on LBC 97.3, accusing him of thinking what she did was a "worthless job".

The caller, named as Laura from East Dulwich, said to Nick Clegg: "I'm just wondering why the coalition is discriminating against mothers like me who care for their children at home, with the latest announcements?"

Her scathing attack came after it was announced in the Budget that a tax-free childcare scheme worth £1,200 a child for parents earning up to £150,000 would come into effect from 2015.

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Job seekers struggle

A woman searches job advertisments Credit: PA Archive

London is one of the worst areas for people chasing jobs. A study by Unison found there were more than ten jobseekers per vacancy in a third of the capital's thirty two boroughs while in Hackney, there were more than twenty.

"Plain Daft" Not To Consider New Runway At Heathrow

A plane comes in to land at Heathrow Airport. Credit: Toby Melville, Reuters

Two of the country's biggest unions have joined forces with the Institute of Directors to urge the government to increase airport capacity.

The GMB and Unite unions warned that 140,000 jobs were at risk unless urgent action was taken.

They said that Heathrow was "perfectly positioned" to act as the South-East's hub airport, branding the idea of an island airport in the Thames Estuary a "vanity project".

They said that the UK economy could be losing £8.5 billion a year by 2021 unless something was done to help businesses access world markets.

Len McCluskey, Unite's general secretary, said: "It is madness to think that the UK can muddle on without a top-quality international hub airport.

"Heathrow is perfectly positioned to fulfil that role and deliver all the associated economic advantages. Decisive action to maintain the airport's status is needed now.

"What is certain is that the country does not have the time nor the money to pursue vanity 'island airport' projects.

"Our economy desperately needs an airport infrastructure which is better than the patchwork provision we currently have around the capital."