London Homes Under $3.2 Million Lure Tax-conscious Luxury Buyers

Vikings Blog: An American Football Fan In London

The average value of a house or apartment in the citys most expensive neighborhoods climbed 0.7 percent from August, an index compiled by the broker showed. That brought the gain for the past 12 months to 7 percent. Homes selling for less than 2 million pounds in districts such as Chelsea and Knightsbridge have climbed 16 percent since the government in March 2012 raised a transaction tax known as stamp duty to 7 percent from 5 percent for properties priced above that level. By contrast, values for properties subject to the tax gained 8.7 percent, the broker said. The stamp duty issue is definitely in effect, Liam Bailey , global head of residential research at London-based Knight Frank, said by phone. Theres no doubt that investors have been concentrating their firepower in the 1 million-pound to 1.8 million-pound bracket. Thats been pushing that market. Prices in central London have climbed for 35 straight months. Although the rate has slowed, the markets strength this year has exceeded most brokers expectations. Knight Frank as recently as June said there wouldnt be a significant price increase this year. A month later, the firm forecast a 6 percent gain. Discretionary Market Theres a push-back from buyers, Bailey said. Its a discretionary market and people are looking for value. They arent desperate to buy anything at any price. Notting Hill and the City of London financial district led the increases with gains of 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, in September. Belgravia, where values declined 0.2 percent, was the only neighborhood that didnt see a gain. Rents in prime central London fell 0.1 percent in September from the previous month, the fourth-straight decline, Knight Frank said in a separate report.

Game plan London: The NFL abroad

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Hyland arrested the suspect, who confessed after questioning. “If I’ve met someone before and see them again, I’ll usually know where I know them from, even if I can’t remember their name,” he said. How does Hyland do it? Nobody knows. But since 2011, about 200 London police officers have been recruited to an elite squad of super recognizers. Officials say they have tripled the number of criminal suspects identified from surveillance photos or on the street each week, and even helped prevent some crimes like muggings, drug deals and assaults. “When we have an image of an unidentified criminal, I know exactly who to ask instead of sending it out to everyone and getting a bunch of false leads,” said Mick Neville, Detective Chief Inspector at Scotland Yard. Neville started the super recognizer unit after realizing the police had no system for identifying criminals based on images, unlike those for DNA and fingerprints. The unit proved especially valuable after riots hit London in the summer of 2011. After the violence, Scotland Yard combed through hundreds of hours of surveillance video. So far, there have been nearly 5,000 arrests; around 4,000 of those were based on police identifications of suspects from video images. The super recognizers were responsible for nearly 30 percent of the identifications, including one officer who identified almost 300 people. A facial recognition software program made only one successful identification, according to Neville. Weeks before the Notting Hill Carnival, the biggest street festival in Europe, kicked off last month, the super recognizers were given images of known criminals and gang members. After the carnival began, 17 super recognizers holed up in a control room to study surveillance footage and spot the potential troublemakers.

There’s also the cost of the equipment,” he says. The modest amount of padding permitted but not required, for example, for players of rugby pales in cost compared to a helmet, shoulder pads, leg padding and other accessories deemed absolutely necessary for football players. NFL titans Troy Polamalu (43) of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings met Sept. 29 as the NFL returned to London and Wembley Stadium. The Vikes outlasted the Steelers 34-27, thanks in large part to Peterson’s efforts. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports Last Slide Next Slide Still, growth for the game at the grass-roots level at the field level does nevertheless appear to be taking place in the U.K. “It’s an upward trajectory in terms of participation,” says Andy Fuller, the director for student football at the British American Football Association, the national governing body for the sport here. BAFA’s Fuller says that there has been “rapid and tremendous growth within the higher education sector” with a full 76 college teams now competing and what he called a “tranche more” ready to launch for the 2014 and 2015 season. In 2008, there were 42 teams playing college football in the U.K. But to misquote Shakespeare, there are more things between heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your desire to see football matches played in Britain, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “No other sport will ever be as big as soccer as it is part of the psyche of the country, ” says Lawrence Vos, a British-based corporate brand manager and NFL blogger. “I think we can sustain a long-term franchise in London but they would need to win early,” says Vos, referring to the oft-touted idea that the capital city may one day host a permanent NFL franchise. Vos’ local team, the University of Birmingham Lions, were crowned BUCS American Football National Champions in April, but of the four NFL teams playing in London this fall, only the 49ers have managed to win a game this season. NFL EXEC: London getting ‘huge game’ of winless teams “I will be there on Sunday for the Steelers-Vikings game, but I would much rather be there to root for an NFL team that is based in the U.K. The fans that go to Wembley support all 32 teams so it’s always a bit of a weird atmosphere,” Vos said. Ahead of that, on Saturday, Londoners will be presented with the full basket of goods that the NFL has to offer when the central shopping street of of Regent Street will be closed for traffic, giving way to an NFL block party replete with “interactive NFL content, team zones, music and entertainment, cheerleader performances” and more.

London Police Use Super Recognizers to Fight Crime

Dressed in a Randy Moss, jersey he said his dream was to come to the United States to watch a Vikings game in person and was thrilled he was finally able to see his favorite team in person for the first time. He told me he also wanted to get to the Metrodome to see a game before it was torn down. I told him to save his money and come over in a couple years when the new stadium is built. Hell appreciate it more. As you know by now, Minnesota ended up defeating Pittsburgh 34-27. After the game I had a chance to talk to a couple of the players about what it was like playing over in London. I enjoyed it over here, Vikings Defensive End Jared Allen said. Its tough being away from my family and the routine is a little different, but sometimes that can be a good distraction. Maybe this was the break we needed. Chad Greenway added by saying, I loved the idea of the flags waving in the stands. We need to add that to the Metrodome. No player enjoyed being in London more than Greg Jennings, who caught his first two touchdowns as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. I like playing in London, he said, I think its impressive what the fans do and the love the city gave us. Jennings also added that he thinks there will be a team here in London someday. I spent all of Monday walking around London and there were still pockets of fans wearing NFL team apparel throughout the city. The Vikings fans that I did see seemed to have an extra spring in their step.