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Nearly half of people have been put off buying or renting a property by the condition of the garden, a survey has suggested.

Some 47 per cent of people surveyed had been put off by shabby gardens in the past, property website Zoopla and the Society of Garden Designers found. Half of the 2,000 people surveyed believe a good garden layout is as, or more important than, a well-designed bathroom or kitchen. Nearly nine in ten home owners surveyed said they consider their outside space to be either very or extremely important.

The survey also asked people to rank their favourite garden design features, with having somewhere to relax coming out top. Here is the list of desirable garden features ranked in order of popularity.

1. Somewhere to sit and relax.

2. Maximum sunlight throughout the day - South facing.

3. Somewhere for children to play.

4. Flowers/shrubs.

5. A space for pets.

6. Somewhere to entertain.

7. A plot for growing fruit or vegetables.

8. Extra storage space, e.g. a shed.

9. A water feature.

To give real service, you must add something which cannot be measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.

Chancellor Sajid Javid needs to be a little more cautious when it comes to announcements.

He was supposedly considering a change to house buying rules so that sellers pay stamp duty instead of buyers. Two days after the announcement, he denied ever suggesting such an idea.

This kind of whisper can stall the property market for months as buyers and sellers wait to see what happens - so in future Mr Javid may want to stamp out any unsubstantiated rumours a little more swiftly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Victoria Bischoff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Moneymail

In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure.In a busy market place, not standing out is the same as being invisible.

                                                                                                                                                                       Seth Godin

It appears almost certain that there will be another new housing minister named when a new Conservative leader - and thus Prime Minister - is elected by members over the coming months.

With the weekend political TV shows dominated by speculation over which of the many potential candidates might succeed, a consequence of any change will be a reshuffle of the Cabinet and junior ministerial posts.

Kit Malthouse has been in the post as housing minister now for just under eleven months - a short time but significantly longer than some of his predecessors. James Brokenshire, secretary of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, has been in the post for just under fourteen months.

Malthouse has been the seventeenth housing minister in only twenty-two years and the merry-go-round of people in that post - just as rapidly turning under recent Labour governments as under the past nine years of Conservative-led government - has caused long-standing frustration in the agency and construction industries.

The post has recently been seen as a stepping stone to other things.

Malthouse's predecessor as housing minister, Dominic Raab, is now front runner in the race to succeed Theresa May as Tory leader; the minister before that, Alok Sharma, was moved to what is seen as a more senior role at the Department of Work and Pensions; and the one before that, Gavin Barwell, became advisor to May herself after he lost his parliamentary seat in the snap General Election in 2017.

HERE'S THE LIST OF HOUSING MINISTERS SINCE 1997:

- Hilary Armstrong (1997 - 1999)

- Nick Raynsford (199 - 2001)

- Charlie Falconer (2001 - 2001)

- Jeff Rooker (2001 - 2003)

- Keith Hill (2003 - 2005)

- Yvette Cooper (2005 - 2007)

- Caroline Flint (2007 - 2008)

- Margaret Beckett (2008 - 2009)

- John Healey (2009 - 2010)

- Grant Shapps (2010 - 2012)

- Mark Prisk (2012 - 2013)

- Kris Hopkins (2013 - 2014)

-Brandon Lewis (2014 - 2016)

- Gavin Barwell (2016 - 2017)

- Alok Sharma (2017 - 2018)

- Dominic Raab (2018)

- Kit Malthouse (2018 - 2019) 

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