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Millionaire London developer donates profits to charity

A developer in London is causing a stir in the property market with an unusual business plan - she builds properties, sells them, and gives all the profits away.

Charlotte Grobien has already raised a million pounds, and has a target of a half a million more by Christmas.

Ruth Zorko went to meet her and representatives of two of her chosen charities, Whizz-Kidz and The Eikon Charity.

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Average price of London property passes £500,000

Property values in London have surged ahead of the rest of the country, recording a 19.1% year-on-year jump and taking the average property price in the capital to £514,000.

Homes up for sale in Lambeth Credit: PA

Nationally prices have reached a new record high of £272,000 on average after rising by 11.7% over the last year, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

London rent double that outside the capital

London rent now double that outside capital Credit: Reuters

For the first time ever, the cost of renting in London is double what it costs across the rest of the UK.

New figures from the HomeLet Rental Index show the average rent in the capital is now £1,412, compared to £694 elsewhere.

It also revealed rent in London has increased 11.2% in the last 12 months.

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Businesses evicted to build new homes

A growing number of businesses in London are being evicted so their buildings can be turned into flats.

It follows a change to the law, which means full planning permission is no longer needed to convert commercial property in new homes.

Some councils are now criticising developers taking advantage of the situation to make a profit from the capital's booming housing prices.

Islington Council's executive member for housing and development, Councillor James Murray, said: "I'm very frustrated by the planning minister's decision to stop us doing what's right for Islington.

"We're already seeing small businesses and charities being evicted from offices to make way for bedsits. People in Islington are losing out on jobs, affordable housing, and any community benefit."

'Help to Buy' has less impact in London and South East

The government's flagship policy to help would-be home buyers is having the least impact in London and the South East across the whole country, according to a committee of MPs.

The Public Accounts Committee found that the 'Help to Buy' scheme has gained less traction in London and the surrounding region than the rest of the country, despite those areas having the greatest housing need.

It claimed that the policy has yet to prove that it will provide value for money in the long term, although it did note that the scheme had helped 13,000 home-buyers within nine months after launching last year.

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