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Average house now £189,000 as prices hit all-time high

House prices hit an all-time high this month as the price of the average property reached £189,333, according to Nationwide Building Society.

Values were up 9% compared to the same time in 2013, although a slowdown in the year-on-year price growth means the market may be cooling.

Year-on-year house price growth had consistently been in double digits over the summer as house prices hit a string of new all-time highs

Sales were lower in September than at the start of the year, according to Nationwide. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The more modest year-on-year growth in October led Nationwide's chief economist, Robert Gardner, to say the market appears to have "lost momentum".

"The number of mortgages approved for house purchase in September was almost 20% below the level prevailing at the start of the year," he added.

Amazon hope to grow 'talented team'

Amazon's Director of UK Operations, John Tagawa, has said he's delighted to be providing more jobs at the company.

A worker at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Swansea Credit: PA

Over the past two years, we have added well in excess of 2,000 new employees to our workforce and we are delighted to be able to add a further 1,000 to that number over the coming months.

We have continued to focus day in, day out on providing the very best shopping experience for our customers and as we see greater demand, we are able to rapidly grow our talented team across the UK.

– John Tagawa, Director of UK Operations at Amazon

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DVLA website under strain as paper tax discs abolished

The DVLA's online vehicle tax service has been struggling to cope with 'huge demand' from users trying to access electronic versions of their tax discs. The traditional paper tax disc becomes obsolete today. According to a tweet sent by the Swansea-based organisation last night, the online and phone service had to be suspended for maintenance.

A spokesperson for the DVLA said that more than 270,000 people used the online service yesterday but stressed the system had not crashed.

We are currently experiencing unprecedented demand which means that some customers may be experiencing slow response times or having difficulty accessing the service.

We are of course very sorry for any inconvenience and we are urgently investigating to improve service quality for the minority of our customers that are experiencing issues.

The system has not crashed - it's just slow at the moment. We are advising people to keep trying.

– DVLA spokesperson

Don't forget! New car tax disc rules in force from today

Paper tax discs become obsolete from today Credit: PA

From today paper tax discs on cars will become obsolete and will be replaced with an electronic register.

According to recent figures, more than a third of us don't know about the changes. The authorities say they will save money and make it easier to detect untaxed vehicles.

For more on what it all means for you, click here.

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'Probably' the best (real ale) pub in Wales!

The Pilot Inn at Mumbles has been named one of Britain's best in Camra's latest Good Beer Guide.

Credit: swanseacamra.org.uk/

The Campaign for Real Ale described the Pilot, which brews its own ale, as pub as "welcoming and friendly."

This historic pub, built in 1849, is next to the coastal path and is popular with lifeboatmen, locals, real ale fans, walkers and cyclists.

– CAMRA
Jo and Richard Bennett receiving the Swansea Pub of the Year Award. Credit: swanseacamra.org.uk

The pub which was run down and derelict looked as if it had closed for good two years ago said the Swansea branch of CAMRA. The Pilot was reopened by Jo and Richard Bennett in 2012. It was an instant hit with locals and real ale fans and six months later The Mumbles Brewery was started from the back of the premises.

They have developed their own range of ales that includes Mumbles Mile, Mumbles Gold, Lifesaver and Oystermouth Stout.

Seized cigarettes contain "human and rat waste"

Trading Standards say counterfeit and illegal tobacco seized in a shop in North Wales contains rat poison, rat waste, blood, plastic and human waste.

The cigarettes are said to contain rat poison. Credit: Conwy Trading Standards

On Tuesday, Trading Standards in Conwy along with North Wales Police and Immigration Officers search a premises and uncovered a large quantity of illicit cigarettes and tobacco.

We would ask that you share this information on your facebook pages and urge anyone you know who smokes to be careful where they buy their tobacco from. If someone offers you a deal for cheap tobacco just think what you might be smoking.

– Conwy Borough Council

Toy retailer removes loom band charms 'as precaution'

A spokeswoman for The Entertainer said customers will be offered a full refund or exchange on its loom band charms.

The charms have been taken off its shelves amid concerns they could contain potentially harmful chemicals.

The spokesperson also stressed that the loom bands themselves are not affected.

It was brought to our attention today that loom charms purchased from one of our stores may contain phthalates. At The Entertainer, children's safety is our number one priority, so as a precautionary measure we have removed all loom charms from sale with immediate effect whilst we conduct a full investigation.

– The Entertainer spokesperson
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