However, from April 6 2013, personal allowance will be frozen for current pensioners and not available for anyone retiring after that time. Another scheme known as ‘Granny Tax Mark II’ may see 100,000 people lose up to 897 pounds a year. Targeting savings credit benefit, the government may try and cut payments and dump them completely by 2016, which would mean single pensioner hand-outs cut from 20.52 pounds a week to 18.54 pounds with new pensioners hit even harder.

The feeling that the government is targeting the elderly may well prompt many to move overseas, according toDanny Silver, an expert in French real estate and managing director of The Villages Group, observes. According to the DeVere Group, a leading international advice firm, the scrapping of the age-related personal allowance will mean that there will be fewer incentives for people to hold pensions in the UK. House prices still static UK house prices went up 1.11 per cent during 2011, according to Nationwide. But in inflation-adjusted terms, UK house prices were down by 3.4 per cent, following a series of annual house price drops during the past three quarters. In early 2009, UK’s housing house prices began to fall due to the global credit crunch. However, house prices recovered in 2010,but fell again in 2011 and continue to be weak. Nationwide says average house prices increased by 0.1 per cent over the year to February 2012, to 162,712 pounds. Halifax says house prices dropped by 1.9 per cent from a year earlier, to 160,118 pounds.

Key features of the UK’s housing market is location: London has had positive house price growth over the past year, the south has had slight price drops while the midlands and the north have experienced significant price falls. Super shed on the market A shed is on sale in London – costing more than most houses. It may not look much, but this shed is in London’s expensive Highgate, and tries to be as classy as the posh properties around it. The tiny brick structure has a kitchenette, a shower, multiple skylights – and an asking price of 260,000 pounds (about 12 million baht). The shed spans a total of 250 square feet, but you couldn’t even stay there the whole time because of restrictions in the property’s lease.

“It was an old barn and there are restrictions to how many nights a week you can sleep there. It is a niche market - I have had a couple of artists interested in using it as a studio, or it could be a crash pad for someone who was only in London part time,” Mark Newton, associate sales director at the shed’s agent, Taylor Gibbs.

 “The question is whether anyone is willing to overlook the limitations of a property like this for the sake of a prime location,” said another agent. Malta eases its way into top ten list Malta has made its way into the Top 10 overseas property destinations, according to themovechannel. com. However, Thailand has slipped five places to 14 in the new list. The European islands made up 2.59 per cent of enquiries on the overseas portal, enough to climb four places in the international chart and become the eighth most popular place in the world for real estate buyers. Despite being the EU’s smallest country, Malta saw more interest than places such as Germany and Cyprus. 

Demand for traditional destinations has dropped of late, with Spain and the US receiving 1.77 per cent and 3.22 per cent fewer enquiries respectively. The only traditional countries to see increases in enquiries were third-place France and fourth-place Brazil, as investors targeted more resilient property markets.