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Spooky Halloween Chiller

spooky halloween pumpkin face chiller

spooky halloween pumpkin face chiller

“Darkness falls across the land
   The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
   To terrorise y’alls neighbourhood
And whosoever shall be found
   Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the Hounds of Hell
   And rot inside a corpse’s shell “

As I Awaited our immaculate Chancellor

. . . . to take to his feet in what every press outlet had promised to be a Spooky Halloween Chiller Budget!  So as the witching hour approaches this weekend, what can the property industry hope for?  Now the papers have returned to the red box?

160,000 Affordable Halloween Homes

Jumping straight out of the red box was a massive declaration of the government’s desire to give every Englishman his castle. (And perhaps not actually “give”).

Immediately I suspected many of my colleagues in property development were salivatinvg at the idea of getting That Contract – until the horrible words were uttered from the Chancellor’s mouth, “affordable home!”

A Spooky Halloween Chill Descended

We all know what that means.  Section 106 notices slapped on every development in the land.  And no wriggle room.  Even in tight constrained sites.  No chance to avoid local council planners’ demand for greater percentages of affordable homes.

What can you afford?

rosy halloween apple on black backgroyubnd


What is an affordable home?  In London the average house price is a whopping £659,000.  In Carlisle, it’s £173,000.  So, something in between?

The government’s own definition is – social rented, affordable rented, and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market (that sounds like everybody!)

The average rent in London is currently a staggering £1,572 per calendar month.  That would have an average annual yield of 2.7% return.  But looking at the local government stats for affordable housing in London, rents are between £172 – £200 per week around a 1.5% yield.

Back in Carlisle it’s slightly better with average rents now around £592 a calendar month, providing year on year returns for landlords of 4.1% add in social housing and the returns drop to 2.3%.

So What’s the Spook?

My point?  Who will be motivated to build these properties?

I am sure many are penning a riposte to the various schemes and projects that try to prevent developers from making large losses on supporting affordable housing.  However, there are some rather uncomfortable truths out there.

Yes, developers can and do build additional homes for social housing in their developments.  But, to make that project work you are going to build a lower grade of home.  Or you need to increase your costs for the private market.  So we are inflating the private housing sector to pay for the affordable housing in the UK and simultaneously driving the prices up year on year.  How is that going to sustain the market long term? 

It’s scary!

derelict timber house

We have seen the issues arising from our sticking plaster continually applied to post-war social housing with all its rot and hidden nasties that reveal themselves with great gusto.  Dry rot, asbestos, subsidence, Oh yes!  And the cover up of cladding on high rise buildings.

Why have we not learned anything? We built poor quality social housing, it killed people or made them ill, then we sold the same properties, refurbished, to the public and the private sector and tried to make them last.  But as the cost of repair became too much, the sticking plasters fell off, and we were left to deal with the likes of Armley and, of course, Grenfell.

Developer’s Tax Bogey Man?

spooky ethereal figure

It was billed as a contribution to the safety and remediation of properties in the UK and would only affect the largest developers in the housing sector.  However, adding to the points above it does seem as though yet again the the Treasury has not thought this through.  How will the largest developers fund this new tax? By adding it to the cost of the properties they build and so continue to push house prices upward and further away from the next generation of home buyers.

We are in a continuous cycle of increasing property prices: demanding a low-cost provision of social housing; and higher taxation for developers.  In turn, that leads to increasing property prices, which makes the government’s dream to deliver everyone their own home an impossibility.

Scaredy Cat?

At this time of year, there are two types of Halloween participants: the scarer; and those that get scared very easily.

For the scarer it’s all about making things happen; get the right costumes and adding red lights to the house entrance,  then covering the front garden with cobwebs and skeletons and placing the unwelcoming headstone with the words “enter, if you Dare!”

Those who scare easily have an easy job. – just to be critical of every effort that the scarers have made.  Say things like “That won’t scare me!” or “That is not going to scare anyone!”

Haunted House

Hide in the house and switch off the lights.  That way there’s no chance a trick or treater will think you are interested.  And if it gets too scary run away and call the police.

Beastly Halloween Budget

big cat with ears pricked on black background


This budget was a forecast for the easily scared!  A Spooky Halloween Budget!  Mr Sunak said it was about investment and infrastructure – but really, he was just running scared. He has thrown money at some high-profile schemes such as improving tech in the planning process.  But no changes to the planning process itself.  Brownfield site reclamation, but no guidance on how to tackle the added high costs of developing these contaminated sites.  Encouraging investment in social housing with no incentive – just added costs that erode the investment itself.

Successfully Scared?

It’s down to the scarers to make this Spooky Halloween Chiller Budget a success: just like every year.

We need to start work on making private renting a safer more reliable partnership between landlord and tenant.  We mustn’t punish and frown down on private landlords who are supporting the housing crisis.

We need a partnership between government and developers to clear the issues on brownfield sites.  We need support for smaller developments in rural settings.  We mustn’t keep putting up costs and barriers driving affordable housing into an unaffordable dream.

Shiny coins on black background

So, this year as you gaze fondly at the hard work you put into your costume, garden and house to make those screams of terror sound like screams of joy.  Just spare a thought for little Rikki and Bonzo lurking, shivering and shaking behind their curtains as the night’s activities take hold.

And perhaps we can pop over in the morning?  And show them all the effort and hard work that we have put into making it a fun and friendly night?  And maybe they, too, will come over to the dark side and see behind our skeleton mask?  We really are nice, fun people who know what it takes to make Halloween a Chiller!

And though you fight to stay alive

    Your body starts to shiver

For no mere chancellor can resist

    The fun that is the Chiller!”

                                       With apologies to all Spooks and Scribes of Yesteryear


For more information (and Spooky Halloween Chillers) on Mulberry House Properties or about Mulberry House Investments

To contact Mulberry House or email






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Mulberry House Law SVG –

International in Outlook


Mulberry House Law SVG is the international practice associated with Mulberry House Group based in the UK.    The UK-based teams have been working with law firms in the Caribbean for more than a decade.  So it made sense to open an office of Mulberry House Law on the Eastern Caribbean island of St Vincent.

Mulberry House Law SVG cityscape at night

First Rate Vincentian Lawyers

The flourishing Mulberry House Law forward looking, practice in SVG is led by former Supreme Court Justice, Ianthea Leigertwood-Octave together with directors of Mulberry House Group.  Ianthea Leigertwood-Octave is a Vincentian-born jurist who served as an Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Judge.  From 2007, Ms Leigertwood-Octave presided in the High Court with jurisdiction over St. Kitts and Nevis.

While supported by international legal professionals, Mulberry House Law SVG offers clients in the USA, Canada and Caribbean, the highest standard of legal and related services to international business and professional clients.

Mulberry House Law SVG lawyers conferring

Mulberry House Law SVG – Caribbean Springboard

The Caribbean is a wonderful, exciting environment for our business.  And one where we can see many ways to assist and develop both old and new clients’ needs.  Within the global British Commonwealth family, St Vincent and the Grenadines, has a special role in the Eastern Caribbean and worldwide.

UK director Brian Morrison believes “think of a very large office full of the best of professionals all at your disposal, then this is what our clients enjoy every day”

Bespoke International and Corporate Law

In SVG Mulberry House Law offers bespoke legal support to our North American and Caribbean clients.  With the additional benefit of a large global resource of top professionals, our SVG lawyers have wide horizons.  Mulberry House Law team on St Vincent offer the very best service to international and corporate clients.   While Mulberry House Law SVG works closely with the leading Investment and Property teams at Mulberry House Properties.

Mulberry House Law SVG based in Kingstown SVG

The Sky is Clearing over St Vincent

St Vincent and the Grenadines weathered the global tragedy of 2020 only to suffer a traumatic spell in early 2021.  Physical destruction on a huge scale necessitates a period of rebuilding and consolidation on St Vincent.  However, expansion is the focus as Mulberry House Investment and Mulberry House Properties consolidate the Caribbean and UK teams’ expertise.  And on SVG Mulberry House L is innovating with new, dynamic services and support for our Caricom region and North American clients.

We invite clients old and new to contact the team – either in SVG or the UK.  Alternatively email , who will be delighted to assist you.  Or to contact the UK teams, please email or phone +44 (0)1793 493099

Why not enjoy the support of one of the most prestigious global professional networks?

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Market Movers – Moving On

Mulberry House Group – the South West Property Experts know the market.  The Market Movers who understand that as times and seasons change, it’s time to move forward.

So whether you are looking for an investment, or for the now essential home-office, our experts are here to advise. At times durind the year, it seemed as though the whole of the property market’s on the move.

For several months, everyone has has felt it was the time for action! But what action? And how?

And was there ever a better time to consider a property investment?   And potential savings for investors by good advice and careful choices.

For house buyers, there are still relative bargains to be hunted down, but it takes clever and persistent research to find dream properties. onThe Market, Rightmove, Zoopla, Boomin, and several other property portals are your friends.  But your best friends of all?   Our real life property experts are South West Property Experts at Mulberry House Properties and Mulberry House Law.

Mulberry House Properties for residence and investment

Whether your are Moving On or Moving In

Our Mulberry House Group teams can help and advise and make your property move so much more achievable. And that’s true whether you are looking for a fresh start for home and work; or whether your goal is investment.

When you talk to one of our knowledgeable, approachable experts, the weight lifts from your shoulders.  And soon the property of your dreams, fulfilling your wish-list is within your grasp.

For commercial, investment and residential property in Wiltshire and the South West, talk to Mulberry House Properties on 01793 493099, use our Contact Us form or email us to

Investors and property buyers may find our investment outlook helpful



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