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Sports USA

James McCann gets ‘ultimate’ stamp of approval from Joe McEwing

The Mets won’t regret landing James McCann as their upgrade at catcher instead of J.T. Realmuto, if that’s the direction they choose.

That’s according to ex-Met Joe McEwing, who has been a coach with the White Sox for the past decade — including the last two seasons when McCann was in Chicago.

“He’s the ultimate pro, on and off the field,’’ McEwing said by phone on Friday. “He’s a leader and runs the pitching staff like a second manager.”

Realmuto remains a possibility to land in Queens. But with other high-priced free agents George Springer and Trevor Bauer still available and expected to, like Realmuto, fetch contracts worth over $100 million at over $20 million per season, McCann could prove to be a solid alternative at a position of need. McCann also would cost considerably less than Realmuto but still wouldn’t come cheap.

Some observers believe the drop-off is not steep from Realmuto to McCann and very possibly worth the savings, with McCann more in line for a three- or four-year deal in the $30 million-$40 million range.

“He’s not at Realmuto’s level, but it’s close enough that, if you’re looking to fill other holes, McCann makes a lot of sense, so you can spend elsewhere,’’ said one AL executive.

James McCann
James McCann slides into home.
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After a dreadful season in Detroit in 2018, when McCann had an OPS of .581 and was designated for assignment, he rebounded with a pair of strong years in Chicago, accumulating numbers similar to what Realmuto put up in Philadelphia over the same period.

McCann’s OPS of .789 in 2019 and .986 in the shortened 2020 regular season compare favorably to Realmuto’s .820 and .840 marks over the past two years, and McCann’s defensive metrics have improved, as well.

At the plate, McEwing said McCann went back to basics after he arrived in Chicago, following his brutal final season with Detroit.

“He got caught up in launch angle and hitting home runs and saw things went the other way,’’ said McEwing, who is set to be the White Sox’s third base coach in 2021.

The offseason before he got to Chicago, McCann began making a “huge” adjustment.

“He changed his approach and his swing and got results,’’ McEwing said. “He simplified things and tried not to get big with everything and, instead, hit the ball up the middle and hit mistakes for homers.”

That led to a terrific first half in 2019, when McCann was an All-Star, before he struggled from July on, which McEwing blamed on a heavy workload.

McEwing, though, believes McCann is suited to a full-time role. Since the White Sox already have Yasmani Grandal, it makes sense for McCann to look elsewhere.

There won’t be a shortage of suitors for McCann, with the Cardinals an option if they don’t bring back Yadier Molina, as well as the Angels and the Phillies, if Realmuto leaves.

The Mets, according to sources, remain engaged with McCann, but a signing does not appear imminent.

McCann will be a presence on the field and in the clubhouse wherever he lands, McEwing said.

“The way he communicates with the [pitching] staff and teammates, you won’t have to worry about anything,’’ McEwing said. “He wants that responsibility.”

And he provides what McEwing called the “Holy Grail” when it comes to relaying new information to pitchers in a relatable way.

“He’s a bridge to analytics,” McEwing said. “Being able to combine the information with the human element, he knows how to get the best out of each individual. And when they don’t have something, he adjusts.”

And following years of playing in Detroit and Chicago, McEwing — who played five seasons for the Mets from 2000-04 — is confident McCann won’t melt under the New York spotlight.

“I don’t think he’ll be affected by it,’’ McEwing said. “He’s a simple guy, a family guy, and he has a lot of confidence. He can handle New York.’’

— Additional reporting by Ken Davidoff

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Headline USA New York

Barack Obama says Drake has ‘my household’s stamp of approval’ to play him in biopic


Barack Obama says Drake has ‘my household’s stamp of approval’ to play him in biopic… as pop star posts sweet pic with son Adonis

Former U.S. President Barack Obama quipped that Drake has ‘my household’s stamp of approval’ to play him in a potential biopic.

The 59-year-old politician was on the Complex News podcast 360 With Speedy Mormon promoting his new book A Promised Land.

During the interview he touted Drake as a ‘talented, talented brother’ who ‘seems to be able to do anything he wants.’

So handsome: Drake is pictured winning a Grammy Award last year

What if: Former U.S. President Barack Obama quipped that Drake has ‘my household’s stamp of approval’ to play him in a potential biopic

He hinted though that the enthusiasm for a Drake portrayal of him would come more from his daughters Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, than from him.

‘You know what, Drake has – more importantly, I think – my household’s stamp of approval. I suspect Malia and Sasha would be just fine with it,’ he shared.

Obama shares his children with his wife and former First Lady Michelle Obama to whom he has been married since 1992. 

Several years ago Drake dished to Paper Magazine: ‘I hope somebody makes a movie about Obama’s life soon because I could play him.’

Family of four: His 'household' includes his wife Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, with whom he is pictured in October 2013

Family of four: His ‘household’ includes his wife Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, with whom he is pictured in October 2013

Since then there have been multiple onscreen portrayals of Obama, and the ex-President said on the podcast that he ‘hasn’t watched the whole’ of them.

‘It’s best for me not to worry too much about how I’m being portrayed in that fictional life, because I’ve got a real life with real responsibilities,’ he said.

However the New York Post reports he also shared on the podcast that he feels his mannerisms have been exaggerated by people playing him. 

Meanwhile: Drake posted a heartwarming picture this Black Friday of himself cuddling up on the couch with his three-year-old son Adonis

Meanwhile: Drake posted a heartwarming picture this Black Friday of himself cuddling up on the couch with his three-year-old son Adonis

Meanwhile Drake posted a heartwarming picture this Black Friday of himself cuddling up on the couch with his three-year-old son Adonis.

The pop star shares his little pride and joy with Sophie Brussaux, a French former porn star, and was initially private about becoming a father.

On his 2018 song Emotionless he explained: ‘I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world. I was hiding the world from my kid.’



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Entertainment USA TV

Barack Obama Gives Drake His ‘Stamp Of Approval’ To Play Him In A Biopic: He’s ‘A Talented Brother’


Barack Obama’s ‘thumbs up’ comes a decade after Drake confessed his ‘goal’ was to play the former President in a biopic film!

If a biopic movie about Barack Obama, 59, is ever made, the former President would be thrilled to have Drake, 34, step into the role! “I will say this — Drake seems to to be able to do anything he wants. That’s a talented, talented brother. If the time comes and he’s ready, you know…,” Barack said in a new interview with Complex magazine’s “360 With Speedy Morman” show when asked if the Canadian rapper would have his “stamp of approval.”

It turns out that Barack isn’t the only Obama who would be happy with the potential casting decision — but daughters Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, would also be thrilled! “He has more importantly my household’s stamp of approval. I suspect Malia and Sasha would be just fine with it,” he added. The A Promised Land author has been a fan of Drake’s music for years, including “Work” with Rihanna on his summer 2020 playlist, as well as tune “Too Good” on a 2019 edition.

Obama’s comments come a decade after the Degrassi alum confessed one of his career goals was to play the 44th President in a film one day. ”I hope somebody makes a movie about President Obama’s life soon because I could play him. That’s the goal,” he said in an interview with Paper magazine. “I watch all the addresses. Any time I see him on TV, I don’t change the channel. I definitely pay attention and listen to the inflections of his voice. If you ask anyone who knows me, I’m pretty good at impressions,” he added.

Barack Obama and Drake. (AP)

Drake showed off his acting chops once again on SNL back in 2016, where he brought the laughs in a hilarious “Bar Mitzvah” sketch. The somewhat autobiographical bit walked viewers through his Toronto upbringing, and what it was like having a Jewish mother and a Black father. “It’s 1999 — I’m 13! As a man I would like to announce that I will now be called Drake…I’m sorry, Dracob,” Drake — née Aubrey Drake Graham — hilariously stage on-stage. In another sketch, he even impersonated ex Rihanna’s verse on their catchy duet “Work.”

The 34-year-old has come a long way since his days on Degrassi, and OG Drake fans are eagerly anticipating his return to acting! He has continued to show off his comedic side over the years in various music videos — such a “In My Feelings” and “No Guidance” with Chris Brown — but hasn’t appeared in a feature film or television role in several years. Notably, Drake is also an executive producer on Zendaya‘s HBO series Euphoria.





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UAE

Kinder classrooms: How Dubai is going all out to stamp out bullying in schools


Schools have been urged to tackle bullying early on to check the rampant problem.
Image Credit: For illustrative purpose only

Dubai: Educators in the UAE have been urged to ensure greater kindness among students in the classroom, starting from the early years, as a lasting cure for bullying.

The call came at a webinar hosted by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) yesterday as part of a wider awareness drive under the UAE’s fourth edition of the National Bullying Prevention Week, organised by the UAE Ministry of Education.

NAT SCREENGRAB-1605761446961
Screengrab of ‘Kinder classrooms: Unpacking anti-bullying with practical tips’ – an event hosted by KHDA, on Wednesday. On the right is Henry Platten of GoBubble making a presentation.
Image Credit: Gulf News

This year, there has been a greater risk of cyberbullying globally because of students spending more time online for distance learning and social media use during the coronavirus pandemic at home, the KHDA-hosted webinar heard.

Has COVID-19 led to increased cyber-bullying?

On Tuesday, Dubai Police had warned students against cyberbullying, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Brigadier Eid Mohammad Thani Hareb, Director of Anti-Narcotics Department at Dubai Police, said that many students in the UAE did not know the concept of cyberbullying or how to deal with it. “Many students live under pressure of emotional blackmail as they don’t know the meaning of cyberbullying. As a result, it negatively affects their behaviour at home and their future character.” Dubai Police is listing the channels that cyberbullies use to hunt for victims and how students can avoid them.

Also, nine schools in the UAE recently partnered with Dubai Police to have their students trained in fighting cybercrime and bullying. The schools, part of the GEMS Education group, are participating in the pilot scheme ‘Safety Ambassador Programme’ (SAP) with Dubai Police as part of a series of programmes to support the bullying prevention week. Following the success of the new initiative, GEMS aims to roll it out further.

Joint effort

Meanwhile, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is participating in the prevention week with 28 local and federal authorities, seeking to especially address cyberbullying among students in private schools in Dubai. DHA’s school health department organised many events and activities through various virtual educational platforms in cooperation with the Medical Education and Research Department. More than 25 mental health specialists from the DHA, Dubai Police and various partners in the private sector participated in the event to virtually reach out to 213 private schools in Dubai.

‘Number one concern’

On Wednesday, the KHDA organised a webinar on ‘Kinder classrooms: Unpacking anti-bullying with practical tips’ as part of its ‘What Works’ series. Webinar presenter Henry Platten, CEO of GoBubble, a secure and free social media platform for children and schools, said like the coronavirus, cyberbullying can happen anywhere, anytime. Citing various research, and calling it a “global issue”, Platten added that over 60 per cent of children are exposed to the risk of cyberbullying, which rose during the stay-at-home periods with more time spent online. There has been a 44 per cent spike in the reporting of cyberbullying-related “problems”, with almost half of that (20 per cent) increasing during the pandemic era. 11 teaching days are lost annually at school because of schools having to resolve issues stemming from cyberbullying or bullying outside school. Parents have called it their “number one” concern, according to research by University of Michigan, USA. Out of every 10 victims, three will resort to self-harm, there will be one failed suicide attempt, and one will develop an eating disorder, Platten said, citing other research.

Early intervention

To effectively address bullying, intervention must start as early as KG “to set positive behaviours for later on in life”, Platten, who himself was bullied at school, added. Trying to ensure, for example, that young children have “a strong and wide friends’ network” reduces the chance a student – a potential bully – will feel jealous of someone who only plays with one friend. In elementary and primary age, children tend to develop a more conscious sense of “self and worth, and how they’re fitting into the world… what behaviour gets rewarded, what doesn’t”.

‘Reward kindness’

Platten said: “If you actually reward kindness in the classroom, particularly for the primary ages, you’re showing the importance that the school places on kindness; and likewise at home. That helps that moral character, that helps people understand the impact that they have on others.” Teachers and parents should “articulate and explain” to children whenever they spot an act of kindness. “The power of kindness can never be expressed enough. It’s value in terms of self-belief, the impact on grades and attendance is transformational.”

He added: “In teenage years, bullying and cyberbullying increases, but the way to cure or amend those behaviours in secondary school is very much in the early years’ bracket. If we can layer and establish a framework of positive behaviours earlier on, at school and at home, then it will help have an impact later on within the school culture, where bullying traditionally and statistically is more likely to occur.”

Also, if there is “a safe environment to do so”, and “on a case by case basis”, bullies and their victims should be encouraged to meet each other after an incident for “issue resolution” under the school’s supervision. This interaction can bring about a long-term or permanent solution to the incident.



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Headlines UK

Backlog could see thousands miss out on stamp duty holiday as number of mortgage deals halves


Triple trouble for house sales: Backlog could see THOUSANDS miss out on stamp duty holiday as number of mortgage deals halves and cost of a two-year fixed deal goes up by £600

  • Figures show 325,000 buyers will not complete before the March 31 deadline  
  • Buyers are also facing rising interest rates on mortgage deals 
  • There are delays in everything from buyers securing mortgages, to getting searches done and to completing all the legal paperwork

Homebuyers are facing a triple blow which could see hundreds of thousands miss out on the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday because of delays in getting purchases over the line.

New figures suggest some 325,000 buyers will not complete before the March 31 deadline because of issues with conveyancing, surveying, mortgage and search services.

At the same time, buyers are also facing rising interest rates on mortgage deals, with borrowers now typically having to pay £600 more over the course of a two-year fixed deal than at the start of the summer.

And there is a mortgage deal drought, with the number on offer from banks and building societies halving since the start of the year.

It is currently taking buyers an average of 160 days – more than five months – to go from agreeing a sale to moving in 

Experts warn that lenders are increasingly nervous about the ‘fragile’ state of the housing market and fear there are ‘darker times ahead’.

Last week official figures revealed house prices surged in every region in August as the stamp duty exemption on property values up to £500,000 fuelled a sales boom. 

But economists have predicted that the rally could soon reverse as the Government scales back financial support for households and businesses.

Earlier this year, the Chancellor increased the threshold for paying stamp duty from £125,000 to £500,000 until the end of March next year. 

The move saves buyers an average of £4,400, with savings of up to £15,000 for properties worth £500,000 or more.

However, the property market, from lenders to solicitors, is currently struggling to cope with unprecedented demand from buyers looking to cash in on the tax holiday. 

There are delays in everything from buyers securing mortgages, to getting searches done and to completing all the legal paperwork.

It is currently taking buyers an average of 160 days – more than five months – to go from agreeing a sale to moving in, up from 95 days last year according to property data analysts TwentyCi.

And as the stamp duty deadline draws closer, experts fear delays could spiral further.

It means an estimated 325,000 property owners with sales agreed between September and January may fail to complete in time as they get caught in the logjam, at a cost of £4 billion to the economy, according to the data firm. 

At the same time, the total number of mortgage deals available has dropped 55 per cent since January, from 2,477 to 1,099, according to figures from analysts Defaqto.

Many high street banks have axed deals for borrowers with small deposits of 5 or 10 per cent altogether.

But there is also increasingly less choice for buyers with medium and even large deposits. 

There are now just 125 two-year deals for those with a 15 per cent deposit, down from 264 in March, according to separate data from Moneyfacts. 

The number of five-year deals for those who can put down 20 per cent has dropped from 257 to 164.

Dominik Lipnicki, of advisers Your Mortgage Decisions, said: ‘Lenders appear to be worried about just how fragile the property market really is and if the current crisis will result in house price falls.

‘We have seen a post-lockdown boost, aided by Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty scheme but many agree this may well have been a temporary recovery with darker times ahead.’

A spokesman for banking body UK Finance said: ‘Rates offered will be influenced by several factors including the lender’s funding and operating costs, risk appetite and provision for any potential losses over the life of the loan.’



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Headlines UK London

Stamp duty holiday sees landlords treble appetite for extra buy-to-lets


Stamp duty holiday prompts the number of landlords wanting to buy more buy-to-let properties to treble

  • One in 10 property investors said they were looking to expand their portfolios
  • Landlords can make use of the stamp duty holiday but still pay a 3% surcharge

The number of landlords looking to buy another buy-to-let property has increased more than three-fold as they try to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.

One in 10 property investors said they are looking to expand their portfolios, compared to only 3 per cent before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the findings by landlords insurance provider Simply Business.

It suggests that landlords are seeking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday that is available until the end of March next year, as while they must still pay a 3 per cent surcharge they can benefit from the underlying tax cut.

Rental properties: This four-bed detached house in Lymington, Hampshire, is available to rent for £1,400 a month

Landlords cannot get zero stamp duty bills as they are still required to pay the buy-to-let and second home surcharge of 3 per cent, but as with owner occupiers they can still save a substantial sum from the removal of the standard rate of tax below £500,000.

Following the stamp duty holiday, Simply Business surveyed 1,385 landlords. It found that 10 per cent said they plan on buying more rental properties, while only 5 per cent said they had any intention of selling existing properties.

The rise in confidence among landlords could lead to a spike in property investments in rural and coastal areas, according to Simply Business.

It said that landlords may shift their attention to these areas to meet demand from tenants seeking more indoor and outdoor space amid the global pandemic.

Pictured: Kingswear in Devon. Are landlords using coastal properties to meet tenant demand?

Pictured: Kingswear in Devon. Are landlords using coastal properties to meet tenant demand?

This three-bed semi-detached house in Paignton, Devon, is available to rent for £875 a month

This three-bed semi-detached house in Paignton, Devon, is available to rent for £875 a month

Before the pandemic, Simply Business had already revealed in separate research that 29 per cent of landlords believed city properties no longer represented a worthwhile investment.

Rental properties cities typically produce lower yields, which are calculated using the price of a property.

House prices in cities tend to be higher, which in turn lowers the yield or rental return that investors can achieve. However there are other reasons for investors to invest in cities, such as potentially high capital growth. 

What rentals are available in the city? This three-bed flat in north London's Haringey, is for rent for £2,149 a month

What rentals are available in the city? This three-bed flat in north London’s Haringey, is for rent for £2,149 a month

Several other pieces of research have recently highlighted the trend for people looking to move to the country, having been stuck in their homes during lockdown.

It includes data from estate agent Savills that revealed village locations have become so desirable that 40 per cent of house hunters say this is the type of area they would now like to live in – shifting focus away from traditional favourite aspects, such as walking distance to the station.

And property website Rightmove revealed that property searches have doubled for homes in small towns and villages with less than 11,000 residents.

For rent: This four-bed terraced house in Pewsey, Wiltshire, is available for1,100 pcm

For rent: This four-bed terraced house in Pewsey, Wiltshire, is available for £1,100 a month

Alan Thomas, of Simply Business, said: ‘The coronavirus outbreak and consequent lockdowns have been transformational in renters’ attitudes towards property, and therefore where landlords are looking to make their next investment.

‘The pandemic has resulted in people spending more time at home – both for work and leisure, while many of the benefits of city living have been impacted. It’s no surprise to see that renters are valuing larger properties with outdoor space. 

‘There appears to be a shift in terms of what is considered a desirable property by tenants, and residential landlords – crucial to both the economy and the local communities where they provide housing – along with the market in general, are reacting to this. 

‘What is clear though, is that the buy-to-let market is going through somewhat of a transition, driven by a move away from the previous demand for city centre properties.’





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Headlines UK

Should you buy a home in the stamp duty holiday or will it cost you more?


Property experts have warned prospective home buyers to start their search by the end of the month latest to avoid missing out on a saving from the stamp duty holiday.

Financial giant L&G said purchases can take three to five months to complete, but with asking prices hitting a record high as people clamour to take advantage of the tax break, according to property listing site Rightmove, rushing to buy could prove a false economy.

Potential buyers must not only weigh up the the maximum £15,000 saving from the stamp duty holiday against how much extra they will pay for a property in a seller’s market, but also whether they will get more for their home too to balance that out.

Figures from Rightmove revealed that average asking prices for homes are now nearly £17,000 higher than last year, with the average price reaching a new all-time high of £323,530. 

National picture: How average property asking prices have shifted in recent months

In July Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a stamp duty tax holiday on the first £500,000 of a home’s purchase price, saving buyers up to £15,000 on homes bought before the end of March next year.

That leaves five months from the start of November to find a home, offer and complete on a purchase and still benefit from the tax break, but now financial giant Legal & General has warned that even this is cutting it fine. 

According to the firm, which offers mortgage advice through its mortgage club, the home buying process can now take months to complete.

L&G’s Kevin Roberts said: ‘Those wishing to take advantage of the holiday will need to plan carefully to avoid missing the deadline, particularly if they have their own property to sell first.’ 

In theory, taking advantage of the tax cut looks like a no brainer, but it could be a false economy.  

New house price data suggests that rushing into a home purchase may end up costing you more in the long run despite the savings made on stamp duty. 

Asking prices are £17,000 more than a year ago, according to Rightmove. This sizeable jump means asking prices have risen at 5 per cent annually, the highest annual rate for over four years.

Rightmove warned asking prices could peak soon, with an annual growth rate of 7 per cent in December this year, before starting to drop off at the turn of the new year. 

ONS figures based on Land Registry sold prices data show the average house price up £8,900 since the start of lockdown.

Yet a growing body of property insiders and analysts think the housing sector’s ‘mini-boom’ will start dropping off once the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday comes to an end on 31 March. 

The restricted availability of mortgage deals, rising unemployment and mounting economic turmoil, they argue, means the optimism and buoyancy seen in the market now stands on a knife edge. 

This could mean buying a home when prices are artificially inflated by a surging market could cost you more – even if you save on stamp duty. 

You could also be left with a bigger mortgage than your home is worth if house prices were to fall significantly.

Stamp Duty Calculator

How much tax would you have to pay on a home or buy-to-let?

Clouds on the horizon?

Rightmove noted that activity in the sector had started ‘easing off’ this month as the scale of the economic damage of the pandemic becomes more apparent. 

Even in many popular areas, many sellers have not been getting the offers that they hoped for and some are opting to reduce prices to try to get moving. 

While the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday has given the sector a boost, lenders have been slashing higher loan-to-value mortgages, meaning many prospective first-time buyers remain locked out of the market. 

Official figures published last week also revealed that Britain’s unemployment rate has already risen to its highest level in over three years. 

With increasing supply and uncertainty around Covid, we expect prices to flatten out now we are past the peak autumnal market 

 Dominic Agace, chief executive of Winkworth estate agents

Expected to rise significantly over the coming months, the unemployment rate grew to 4.5 per cent in the three months to August, compared with 4.1 per cent in the previous quarter. 

Redundancies rose to their highest level since 2009, the Office for National Statistics said. 

Dominic Agace, chief executive of Winkworth estate agents, said: ‘With increasing supply and uncertainty around Covid, we expect prices to flatten out now we are past the peak autumnal market.’  

Moving up: Average asking prices on homes coming up for sale are on the rise

Moving up: Average asking prices on homes coming up for sale are on the rise

Should you wait to see what happens to house prices?

Before the pandemic a mortgage application for a borrower with straightforward circumstances took less than two weeks. Since the re-opening of the market, this process is taking much longer, according to L&G.

Some 30 per cent of mortgage applicants said it is taking three to four weeks with a further 32 per cent saying it is taking four to eight weeks – just to get a mortgage approval. 

Those with more complex backgrounds, such as those with impaired credit histories or who have been on furlough, may need to allow up to six to eight weeks to get approved for a mortgage. 

In theory a buyer with good credit could wait to see what happens to house prices in the new year and still buy in time to take advantage of the tax break.

That depends on speedy processing, valuation and legal work however – and this can typically take around three months. 

Bear in mind also that there could be a surge of people applying for finance leading up to the deadline, leading to further delays from banks and building societies.

Mortgage lenders have already pulled half of all deals since March, citing the current spike in demand and an inability to process a wave of new loan applications.

This means a further surge in activity could cause lenders to be even more cautious about the deals they offer. More mortgages could be pulled from the shelves, leaving a waiting buyer with fewer deals to choose from.

National picture: Average asking prices up and down the country, according to Rightmove

National picture: Average asking prices up and down the country, according to Rightmove 

Sellers shouldn’t be ‘too optimistic’ on asking price  

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: ‘Previous records are tumbling in this extraordinary market, and there are still some legs left in the upwards march of property prices. 

‘We predict that the annual rate of growth will peak by December at around 7 per cent higher than a year ago. 

 There are some signs of momentum easing off from these unprecedented levels

 Tim Bannister, Rightmove

‘Many buyers seem willing to pay record prices for properties that fit their changed post-lockdown needs, though agents are commenting that some owners’ price expectations are now getting too optimistic, and not all properties fit the must-have template that buyers are now seeking. 

‘Not only is the time left to sell and legally complete before 31 March stamp duty deadline being eaten away by the calendar, but more time is also needed because the sheer volume of sales is making it take longer for sales that have been agreed to complete the process.’

Bannister warned sellers and their estate agents against being ‘too optimistic’ when it comes to their initial asking price. 

He added: ‘Whilst activity levels continue to amaze there are some signs of momentum easing off from these unprecedented levels.’ 

Getting quicker: The average time it takes to sell a home in Britain

Getting quicker: The average time it takes to sell a home in Britain 

Trends: Average asking price fluctuations in Britain since October 2015

Trends: Average asking price fluctuations in Britain since October 2015

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