Leona Lewis, the 22 year old winner of the popular British television talent show The XFACTOR, has become Britain’s biggest selling debut artist. With the most played song on radio around the world, Leona has conquered Britain and Europe and is about to take America by storm.
“Spirit,” her recent album, has already sold 2.5 million copies worldwide and will finally be released on J Records/Syco on 8th April in the United States. Leona will be working hard in promoting herself across America with a host of appearances on TV channels, this month.
Comparisons with Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion from many within the industry has lifted Leona to even greater expectations. In reply Leona said, “Those women are the true divas. They’re amazing performers, whom I’ve listened to for years. These are the women who have inspired me to sing, so it’s flattering that I’m being compared to them, but I have a lot of hard work to do first.”
Like thousands of prospective first-time buyers in search of a new and affordable home, Leona is currently renting a flat with her boyfriend. Affordability has become the main talking point throughout the UK. In London, home buyers need an average £25,000 deposit to get on the property ladder. Given the present economic uncertainty within the market place, many individuals are opting to stay in the rental sector.
Letting agents are seeing booming demand for rental property as buyers defer buying homes, amid continued uncertainty. Letting agents around London and the South-East in particular are seeing more activity in their letting business. Much of this rental demand is coming from young professionals, city workers and first-time buyers who are waiting and preparing to purchase a bargain in a weak housing market.
Lucinda Richardson, lettings manager of Winkworth (Notting Hill Branch) said, “January saw our best month this year with incredible levels of activity supporting continued price growth. Overall business was up by 20 per cent year on year, much of which resulted from new business. Renewals remain extremely strong as well, most being agreed with rent increases of between five and ten per cent. The driving forces behind this activity as been the uncertainty of the housing market; those who might otherwise be buyers have rented instead.”
The number of buy-to-let loans rose by 23 per cent in 2007 and accounted for 10.3 per cent of all outstanding mortgages. Tenant demand for private rented property remains strong and is predicted to continue into 2008. With house prices expected to fall further this year, buyers should be patient for bargains opportunities to materialise in the market place.
Editor: Simon Weston-www.myfirsthomeltd.co.uk
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