Brexit has created ‘weakest UK housing market figures for six years’

Brexit uncertainty has created the ‘weakest UK housing market figures for six years’ with buyers down, sellers down, prices down, and the next forecast the gloomiest since the EU referendum

  • Survey by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors shows key indicators down
  • More than half of respondents to RICS’ November poll blamed Brexit uncertainty
  • Next quarter forecasts see worst month-on-month decline since referendum 

Economic uncertainty caused by Brexit has pushed the UK property market to its weakest level in more than six years, a study has found.

More than half of respondents to a major survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) attributed low demand from both buyers and sellers down to ‘Brexit uncertainty’.

Rics’ chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: ‘I can’t recall a previous survey when a single issue has been highlighted by quite so many contributors’.  

In Rics’ November 2018 market analysis, the number of people looking for a new home fell again. The net balance of -21 per cent, down from -15 per cent in October, was the lowest since September 2017.

Sales are down as Brexit causes the UK housing market to stagnate, experts have revealed

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Weaker demand dragged down property prices. The price balance slipped to -11 per cent in November from -10 per cent in October, which is the lowest reading since September 2012.

House prices have been falling in London, the south-east and East Anglia, while in the south-west, east Midlands and north-east they have been broadly flat.

There were price rises in Northern Ireland, Scotland, West Midlands, Wales, Yorkshire and Humber and the north-west.

Mr Rubinsohn added: ‘It is evident from the feedback to the latest RICS survey that the ongoing uncertainties surrounding how the Brexit process plays out is taking its toll on the housing market. 

‘Caution is visible among both buyers and vendors and where deals are being done, they are taking longer to get over the line. 

‘Significantly the forward-looking indicators reflect the suspicion that the political machinations are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. 

‘The bigger risk is that this now spills over into development plans making it even harder to secure the uplift in the building pipeline to address the housing crisis.’

The number of new properties being listed for sale fell for the fifth consecutive report, and the net balance of -24 per cent was the fastest pace of decline in supply recorded in more than two years.

This lack of new stock is impacting estate agents’ stock levels with agents now only having, on average, 42.1 homes for sale.

The UK housing market is at its weakest for six years with buyers, sellers and prices all down

The number of new appraisals by property valuers is also down in comparison to a year earlier.

Forecasts for the next quarter are now bleaker than at any time since the EU Referendum result, falling from minus six per cent to -23 per cent – the most substantial decline in this number since June 2016. 

In the rental market, demand from tenants was holding steady, while the flow of rental homes on to the market continued to slow, Rics said. This is expected to result in modest rent rises over the next 12 months, it added. 

Hew Edgar, RICS Head of Policy, said: ‘RICS shares the resounding sentiment of frustration from our professionals operating in the UK’s residential sector; and we are not surprised by this month’s outcome.

‘Brexit was always going to be a very politically charged debate, but the current style of politics and continuing level of political uncertainty is significantly impacting the housing market and built environment.’

He said before the referendum experts believed Brexit would only affect high-end properties but not even those at the lower end of the market were ‘putting off decisions until there is more certainty’. 

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Lily Cole wears outfit covered in an Ordnance Survey map

Lily Cole wears outfit covered in an Ordnance Survey map for climate change awareness dinner party

Model Lily Cole has never had any problems putting herself on the map — ever since she appeared on her first Vogue cover at the tender age of 16.

Attending a dinner party in London this week to raise awareness about climate change, the 30-year-old turned heads in a striking two-piece outfit embellished with a print of an Ordnance Survey chart.

The outspoken actress and entrepreneur once had a dispute with ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage over global warming at dinner: ‘He started talking about the climate, and we ended up arguing. He ended up leaving. I had a couple of people applaud me.’

The natural redhead, who has a three-year-old daughter, Wylde, with her partner Kwame Ferreira, certainly knows in what direction she is heading.

Attending a dinner party in London this week to raise awareness about climate change, model Lily Cole turned heads wearing an Ordnance Survey chart (pictured left). She is an active campaigner, pictured right  in the #SwapForGood campaign to drive awareness of the 15 million plastic water bottles used in the UK each day

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Dame Joan’s girl takes a walk in Mum’s shoes

Dame Joan Collins’s daughter Tara Newley, 55, is following in her mother’s footsteps.

With her perfectly coiffed raven hair and immaculately made-up alabaster face, Tara is the spitting image of her glamorous mum — and now she’s even wearing her red stilettos. ‘With my daughter, Tara, who loves my Kurt Geiger shoes!’ wrote Dame Joan alongside this image on social media.

Tara — whose father was the actor Anthony Newley — is sporting the £139 Soho court shoes which Joan, 85, modelled for Kurt Geiger’s autumn campaign this year.

Dame Joan Collins’s daughter Tara, 55, is the spitting image of her glamorous mother and is following in her footsteps

Multi-millionaire singer-songwriter Gary Barlow knows exactly what he wants for Christmas.

‘I want to do a George Clooney and get one of those trendy coffee machines,’ says the Take That star.

‘Clooney is the man, and I have got everything else,’ he adds.

Evergreen Jenny Agutter won’t be celebrating her 66th birthday later this month. ‘I do not need anybody to tell me what age I am,’ says the Call The Midwife and The Railway Children star. 

‘The difficulty in being older for me is I forget I am, because I don’t feel any different to in my 30s. I’ll give up my seat on a bus to someone and then realise they are probably younger than me. I can’t see myself retiring. I have felt very lucky in my life and intend to keep on working till I drop.’

 Lord Rogers builds on his reputation

Hats off to architect Richard Rogers who, at the age of 85, has just been awarded the American Institute of Architects’ 2019 Gold Medal, which recognises individuals whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of the science.

Perhaps best known in this country for his groundbreaking Lloyd’s Building in the City of London and the Millennium Dome, Lord Rogers has designed extraordinary structures all over the world, picking up a sackful of honours along the way, including the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Stirling Prize in 2006 and 2009.

Not bad for a lad who was unable to read until the age of 11 — and who only realised that he was dyslexic after the birth of his first child.

Former lothario Engelbert Humperdinck may be a reformed character when it comes to the ladies as he devotedly cares for his wife of 54 years, Patricia, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

But the old raffish spirit remains underneath, it seems. ‘I’m a little superstitious. Like for instance, my favourite colour’s green, but I never wear it,’ says Engelbert, 82, whose latest album is the festive offering Warmest Christmas Wishes.

‘And I never throw a hat on the bed,’ he adds, with a pause. ‘Unless it’s followed by pantyhose and a bra!’ Such a rogue.

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Zombie Theresa May stumbles through confidence vote – but how long until she finally falls?

The PM secured the support of 200 Tory MPs, enough to stay in post, but with 117 calling for her to go, her time in charge seems to be running out.

Today she will fly to Brussels to beg the EU to secure a legally binding tweak to the withdrawal agreement to persuade her MPs to back her Brexit deal.

Yesterday Mrs May admitted she'd endured a "long and challenging day" and pledged to listen to the rebels who voted against her.

Less than two-thirds of MPs – 63 per cent – voted to keep Mrs May in power, fewer than expected by many observers.

The uncomfortably close result suggests it will be extremely tricky for her to get any Brexit deal signed off in the coming weeks.

Speaking in Downing Street last night, she said: "This has been a long and challenging day but at the end I am pleased to have received the backing of my colleagues in tonight’s ballot.

"While I am grateful for that support, a significant number of colleagues have cast their votes against me and I have listened to what they have said.

"We now need to get on with the job of getting on with delivering Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country."

Mrs May insisted she would be able to fix her botched Brexit deal in talks with European leaders at a summit today, saying: "I have heard what the House of Commons said about the backstop.

"When I go to the European Council in Brussels tomorrow, I will be seeking legal and political assurances that will assuage the concerns that members of parliament have."

Top Brexiteers including Jacob Rees-Mogg called for her to resign immediately over the "terrible result" while Labour claimed she had been fatally wounded.

Rebel Tories called on the Cabinet to push Mrs May out by lining up to tell her she's lost her authority.

The PM has already pledged to step down before the next election in 2022 – a vow she made last night in a bid to win over more support.

Mr Rees-Mogg said last night: "It's a terrible result for the Prime Minister.

"She clearly doesn’t have the confidence of the House of Commons. She should make way for someone who does.

"The urgency of having a new leader is not reduced by today, it's increased."

Owen Paterson tweeted: "V poor result for PM – setting aside the Payroll, she has secured well under half of the Backbench vote. She must now listen to those of us concerned that she is failing to deliver our clear Manifesto pledges to leave Single Market, Customs Union and remit of ECJ."

A source from the pro-Brexit European Research Group said: "The parliamentary arithmetic remains unchanged. We cannot and will not support the disastrous withdrawal agreement the Prime Minister has negotiated.

"We urge her to bring it back to Parliament without delay so that the view of the House of Commons can clearly be demonstrated, and we can move on to a viable policy instead."

Ex-leader Iain Duncan Smith confirmed he voted to kick Mrs May out and added: "She has got to listen to those who voted leave and are deeply unhappy with her."

But some Brexiteers insisted they would respect the result of the vote and support the PM.

Crispin Blunt, who put in a letter calling for a no-confidence vote, said: "The leadership question is now behind us for a year and we must get behind Theresa May in delivering Brexit."

Labour's John McDonnell blasted: "Shocking result for Theresa May. Even having offered to go before the next general election she still has a huge 117 Tory MPs, a third of her party, voting against her and not having confidence in her. Wow."

Deputy leader Tom Watson added: "After 40 years tearing itself apart over Europe, tonight's vote shows the Tory party is finally and irrevocably split in two.

"It is incapable of agreeing a Brexit deal and unfit to govern. There is no pathway back. We need an election."

Allies of Mrs May insisted the result was enough to keep her in power – Jeremy Hunt said: "Huge congrats to @theresa_may whose stamina, resilience and decency has again won the day and given her the chance to deliver Brexit for our country."

Philip Hammond added: "Now is the time to focus on the future. Her deal means we will honour the referendum result while safeguarding jobs and maintaining business confidence."

Brexiteer Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt urged the PM to put rocket boosters under No Deal plans.

She said: "Now let’s crack on with getting the changes we need to the deal on offer and press on with No Deal preparations. We are leaving the EU in 15 weeks."

Addressing the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs shortly before the polls opened at 6pm, Mrs May insisted it would be wrong to change leader in the middle of the Brexit process.

But she added: "In my heart I would like to lead the party into the next election, but I accept that won’t happen."

That suggests she will step aside within two years at the most – with the next election scheduled to take place in June 2022.

The gambit was designed to win over MPs who want to avoid short-term turbulence but are worried about the prospect of Mrs May leading the party into another election after last year's disaster.

Some ministers were reportedly in tears after the PM's announcement.

Mrs May refused to put an exact date on when she will stand down despite calls for her to go next summer, after Britain formally leaves the EU.

She added that she had wanted to fight another General Election to "make up for" how badly last year's snap poll went.

The PM also insisted her botched Brexit deal can be saved, and promised to win the support of the DUP by changing the "Irish backstop".

Tory vice-chairman James Cleverly told reporters: "She said this would be a very, very bad time to change leader. She made it clear there’s a job to be done.”

Treasury Secretary Liz Truss added: "She said what she needed to say on the DUP and not fighting the next election – I think that was critical. She listened to what people had to say.

How Theresa May could lose her job anyway – even after winning tonight's vote

But her margin was far slimmer than expected, with a whopping 117 saying they don't have confidence in her leadership.

Brexiteer Andrea Jenkyns told talkRADIO: "If she wins by one and wants to continue that’s ridiculous. It’s time to go."

In 1990, Margaret Thatcher won a narrow majority of MPs on a leadership ballot but resigned shortly afterwards.

She will still face pressure on her Brexit deal, knowing that she's still not got the numbers to get it through the Commons.

And Brexiteers who dislike her and the direction she's leading the country are unlikely to stop pressuring her to go.

"She was very clear she would be working with the DUP on those changes – unless they are satisfactory she is not going to come back with a new deal or addendum. That was good.

"She understands that people want something different for the next election but that’s not what we’re deciding tonight."

As she walked in to the committee room where the MPs' meeting was held, Mrs May was greeted with loud banging of desks in a show of support.

Yesterday Mrs May faced MPs for what could have been her last ever session of Prime Minister's Questions – with her husband Philip watching from the public gallery in a show of solidarity.

She pledged to continue her efforts to fix the hated backstop in a bid to force her Brexit deal through the House of Commons.

And when Jeremy Corbyn called on her to resign, Mrs May vowed to fight on to avoid the chaos which a Labour government would bring to Britain.

She blasted: "All he wants to do is create chaos in our economy, damage, division in our society and damage to our economy. That's Labour, that's Corbyn.

"The biggest threat to the people of this country isn't leaving the EU – it's a Corbyn government."

She added: "A General Election at this time would not be in the national interest in the middle of negotiations."




The leadership contest was triggered after rebellious Tories stepped up their campaign against Mrs May while she was touring Europe – in an echo of the plot against Margaret Thatcher in 1990.

Cabinet ministers scrambled to support the PM as Brexiteers called for colleagues to vote against her.

Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid, who are likely to be frontrunners to replace Mrs May if she was toppled, both pledged their support for the Prime Minister along with other senior ministers including Philip Hammond, Michael Gove and Amber Rudd.

Two suspended Tory MPs were today allowed back into the party so they could vote in the poll – Andrew Griffiths, the ex-minister who quit after he was caught sending thousands of sleazy texts, and Charlie Elphicke, who is accused of rape.

Today's leadership challenge came after mounting anger over Mrs May's Brexit deal and her decision to pull the parliamentary vote on it.

It was led by Brexiteer MPs who want to get a more hardline PM to reopen negotiations with the EU and prepare for a No Deal outcome.

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Knicks rally, but flop at the finish line against lowly Cavs

CLEVELAND — David Fizdale has identified one pure trait of his 2018-19 Knicks. They’re never out of a game.

There’s also another undeniable trait Knicks president Steve Mills, general manager Scott Perry and the team’s first-year coach all but promised: This team will deliver lots of losses — to the very good and the very bad.

All the forces came together in a Wednesday thriller at Quicken Loans Arena. Rookie lottery pick Kevin Knox got the start and made a dazzling finish. It looked like he would become the heroic closer, spearheading one last final rally on a night stuffed with them.

Emmanuel Mudiay picked up a loose ball, ignited a fast break and fed Knox, who jammed it home emphatically with the right hand, giving the Knicks a one-point lead with 32.5 seconds left. Moments before, Knox had drilled a 3-pointer.

But the Knicks couldn’t hold onto that slim advantage in another late collapse that saw the game end on an 8-0 Cavaliers run en route to a 113-106 Cleveland victory.

Rodney Hood scored the game-winning basket in the lane with 23 seconds left. Mudiay followed by blowing a floater then had to throw away an inbounds pass, with the five-second count running out and no timeout at his disposal, as the Knicks’ rally from 22 points down was for naught.

The 8-21 Knicks have lost five straight and continue the three-game road trip in Charlotte on Friday and Indiana on Sunday.

Fizdale said recently that player development and defensive culture is far more important than won-loss record. But this was a rare night when it was difficult to see clearly where Fizdale’s defensive culture is going.

Cleveland struck for 39 first-quarter points, looking like LeBron James was still on the squad, as the Knicks gave the Cavaliers all types of open looks.

“The game was lost in the first quarter,’’ Fizdale said. “We can’t keep spotting teams 40-point quarters and think we’re going to dig out of that. But I was proud of the way we crawled back. But we didn’t guard the ball [early]. We had seven blow-bys in the first quarter.”

It was a horribly rough first half against a league dreg at a no-longer-full downtown arena — among the most troubling of the Knicks’ 21 losses. The Cavaliers entered the night at 6-21 and were without their top performer in center Tristan Thompson after already being beset by Kevin Love’s toe surgery.

“We came out sluggish,’’ said Knox, who finished with an impressive 19 points. “We gave up too many easy points. We weren’t guarding the ball at all. We fixed it in the third quarter but it was too late. The first quarter messed us the whole game.”

Fizdale made another starting lineup change, the obvious swap of Knox for Mario Hezonja. Knox shot well from deep and finished 7-of-15 from the floor, 3-of-6 on 3s). He even recorded a block on a fast break by Hood.

“Every game I’m starting to see him get a little bit better, little more aggressive, a little more certain,’’ Fizdale said.

The Knox move may have hurt the defensive chemistry though, as the Knicks allowed the Cavaliers to shoot 53.6 percent in the first half. Cleveland didn’t commit a single turnover in the opening quarter.

Jordan Clarkson’s four-point play gave the Cavs a 53-31 lead. That 22-point bulge was wiped out, astoundingly, in a 10:03 span when Noah Vonleh scored inside, tying the score at 67 with 8:11 left in the third.

“We can’t give up 40 points in the first quarter and play catch-up the majority of the game,’’ said Mudiay, who finished with 16 points and seven assists.

The Knicks fell back behind by seven but roared again, forging an 86-86 tie after three quarters via back-to-back 3s by Tim Hardaway Jr. and Frank Ntilikina (16 points).

Still, it was there to win. Down one with 23 seconds left, the Knicks’ strategy was to shoot quickly instead of burning the clock to the final ticks and foul after a miss. Mudiay had a good look at a floater but was off target.

“Mud got right where he wanted it, was a make-or-miss play,’’ Fizdale said. “If we miss, we’re able to foul. We’re not that type of team to run the shot-clock down when we’re down.’’

Cedri Osman got the rebound of Mudiay’s miss with 15 seconds left, hit both free throws, and Mudiay couldn’t find an open man on the ensuing inbounds — tossing it in before a violation and the ball was stolen by Larry Nance Jr.

“I had to get rid of it,’’ Mudiay said.

As good as Knox was, Cavs point guard Collin Sexton, picked one slot ahead of him last spring at No. 8, kept pace, scoring 16 of his 19 points in the first half. Knox did his damage late but it didn’t result in the win.

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Jenny McCarthy says she was asked to be ‘more Republican’ on ‘The View’

Looks like producers weren’t enjoying Jenny McCarthy‘s views at the beginning of her season on “The View.”

“When I was on there it was hilarious because they initially had me come on because they wanted me to be the pop culture girl,” McCarthy explained during Tuesday’s “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” aftershow.

But having a topic-specific host wasn’t working for Barbara Walters.

“Barbara didn’t know who anybody was pop culture-wise and they came in my dressing room and said, ‘Can you just act Republican so we have another point of view?’ And I said, ‘How do I act Republican?’” the 46-year-old recalled.

“So then they figured out how to get a Republican,” she added.

After McCarthy’s stint on the show ended in 2014, Nicolle Wallace was brought in with a more conservative viewpoint. She also left after a single season.

But McCarthy, who has her own SiriusXM radio show now, praised one of the show’s most recent additions, Meghan McCain.

“I love her on ‘The View,’ they needed an opposite point of view, in order to be ‘The View’ you need different sides,” she said.

However, the show’s newest co-host, Abby Huntsman — also representing a Republican viewpoint — isn’t faring as well. Earlier this week, a source told Page Six that the commentator needed the help of a “talent coach.”

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Why the ‘Vanderpump Rules’ cast makes up so quickly

The “Vanderpump Rules” cast may make out with each other, break up with each other and cheat on each other, but they’ll always make up quickly in the end for Bravo.

“I think a lot of that has to do with the situation that we’re in,” Tom Sandoval told Page Six. “Normally when you have a falling out with friends you usually come back around — maybe you don’t — but a lot of times there’s a distance … but with us, we’re in a situation where we’re around each other. We’re involved in each other’s lives.”

Lisa Vanderpump‘s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” spinoff began in 2013 and is currently on its seventh season. The cast had known each other for years prior to filming, but they weren’t always so keen on clearing the air between them.

Sandoval, 35, explained that “after a while, it becomes exhausting to hang on to animosity” when people who aren’t getting along are forced to spend time together for the show, and it makes it uncomfortable for the group who has to deal with the fighting.

Tom Schwartz added that he’s even quick to resolve his differences with SUR’s latest troublemaker, James Kennedy, for the sake of the season. Most recently, Kennedy, 26, body-shamed Schwartz’s wife Katie Maloney on-screen during the show’s last episode.

“I feel like we’re constantly evolving and then devolving and then trying to evolve again and then evolving even further. Really,” Schwartz, 36, told us. “The waters run deep with this group. We have so much history together, so much love — sometimes hate — but almost always love prevails.”

But Sandoval has a bit of a different sentiment when it comes to Kennedy, who joined the show full-time in its fourth season.

“We both are entitled to our opinions,” Sandoval added. “They come from different places … you’ve got to respect the other person’s opinion and their situation. Obviously, I know that it’s not easy. It’s definitely not easy when you got my business partner’s wife and James, a friend of mine, that aren’t getting along. It puts a strain on things for sure. But I think if everything was easier, I don’t think our show would be that popular.”

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Offset Shares Completely Nude Photo of 'Wifey' Cardi B

We’re pretty sure Offset got to do more than just party with Cardi after posting a completely nude photo of his “wifey” on Instagram.

Cardi B looks so good six weeks after giving birth to Kulture Kiari Cephus that hubby Offset is sharing all of her with the world.

Over the weekend, Cardi posted a photo of herself in a private jet, sporting some sexy lingerie and long, pink locks. She captioned the shot, "I’m on my way to you," to which Offset replied, "HURRY HURRY HURRY."

W I F E Y G O D D E S S B E A U T Y 💍👅💍👅💍👅

A post shared by OFFSET (@offsetyrn) on

Turns out the "Bodak Yellow" singer was on her way to New York for the Aubrey & 3 Migos Tour and after party. We’re pretty sure Offset got to do more than just party with Cardi after posting a completely nude photo of his "wifey" on Instagram.

"WIFEY, GODDESS, BEAUTY," he captioned the shot.

Cardi made her first post-baby appearance at last weekend’s MTV VMAs, where she ended up snagging three awards. Unfortunately, we have yet to see Baby Kulture.

After months of speculation, Cardi revealed her pregnancy in April of this year during her second performance on "Saturday Night Live." There was no hiding her growing baby bump as she came out in a figure-hugging white dress for her performance of "Be Careful."

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im on my way to you

A post shared by CARDIVENOM (@iamcardib) on

On July 10, Cardi and Offset welcomed their first child together. Kulture was born in an Atlanta hospital. Offset was by Cardi’s side.

Back in June, TMZ discovered that Cardi B and Offset secretly tied the knot in September 2017 before Offset’s grand proposal at the Philly Powerhouse concert one month later. They fooled us all.

At just over six weeks post-birth, Cardi has been keeping her 30 million Instagram followers up to speed about just how hard it’s been for her to find the motivation to eat right and get back to the gym.

Well, looks like she found it!

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BARDI ..Make up by @erika_lapearl_mua Hair by @tokyostylez

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2018 MTV VMAs: EVERY Red Carpet Look You Just HAVE to See

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'It was get raped or live on the streets': four homeless British teens reveal the terrifying reality of living on the streets

It's something the 18-year-old has had to get used to since she became homeless seven years ago and moved into the dark and dirty North London underpass she now calls home.

She's one of 103,000 young people who are homeless or sofa surfing in the UK – and the problem is getting worse.

The number of people aged 25 and under sleeping rough in London more than doubled from 2016 to 2017.

And this time of year is especially challenging: the weather is at its worst, the hours of daylight short, and the nation’s focus is on Christmas celebrations.

If you’re homeless, living on benefits or begging for money, sleeping in an underpass and long-estranged from any family and friends, Christmas can be miserable.

Here, Sun Online speaks to four teenagers from around the country preparing to spend the festive season homeless and alone

'It was live on the streets or get raped'

Young homeless people often leave home because of family breakdown or abuse, others have nowhere to go after leaving care.

That’s exactly what happened to 18-year-old Sammie Cook, who went into care in Birmingham when she was 13 after her single mum had a breakdown and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for long-term treatment.

At 16, Sammie moved into a hostel for homeless young people but was evicted a year later for chaotic behaviour including drug taking, and went to stay in the spare room of a man she met outside a pub.

That lasted two months – until he tried to rape Sammie, twice.

“I moved out that night and I’ve been living here ever since,’ she says, referring to the north London underpass she calls ‘home’.

“I’m used to living on the streets,” she tells us.

“It’s what I know. I haven’t lived in a house for seven years now. I smoke dope which helps pass the time, and I sometimes have a laugh. I went down to Brighton for the summer and had a boyfriend there for a bit – it was good to have someone to be with. I do get lonely.”

No longer in touch with her mother, Sammie says Christmas means nothing to her.

“But the charities sometimes put on a turkey dinner and I love that, so I’ll probably get a good meal," she says.

'I got hooked on opiates at uni and ended up homeless – then tried to kill myself'

Nineteen year-old Thomas Collins is in similar circumstances.

He was at uni studying archaeology when he got hooked on opiates and his grandparents gave him an ultimatum.

“They basically said stop doing drugs or you’re out… but I couldn’t stop so they kicked me out. I was 18 and with a bad crowd.

"I don’t have a dad and I didn’t live with my mum.” 

Thomas is now looking for a warehouse job and claiming benefits in the meantime.

He's now living in temporary accommodation owned by the Sheffield youth homeless charity Roundabout.

“Coming here felt weird because I’d never lived on my own, but I’ve come off the drugs. It was very tough.

But Thomas’s story isn’t a happy one yet.

“I’ve tried to kill myself five times," he admits.

"I had serious depression which went hand in hand with the drugs. I feel guilty about everything I’ve done in the past that I want to take back.”

Thomas and his mum are in contact but not regularly: he didn’t see his family last Christmas, but has higher hopes for this one.

He and his girlfriend of two years, Holly, are in the process of securing a rental agreement on a flat and hope to be in it by Christmas. Thomas wants that to be the start of a new chapter.

“I want to go back to uni to do a paramedic degree so I can help people," he says.

'I clean to forget I'm homeless'

Christmas doesn’t have the same meaning for Casey Thompson as it does for the millions who enjoy a stable home and happy family life.

She may spend it with her Nan, but says she hasn’t given it much thought.

“I’ve only been in this hostel for three nights and everyone’s been nice but I was nervous about coming here,” she says in a whisper.

“I used to live with my mum – my parents aren’t together – but we weren’t getting on, so I went to live with my nan.

"That didn’t work out though, so I left in April.

“Living like this can be isolating and lonely – you have to keep your mind occupied, so I do a lot of cleaning, listening to music and watching films,” she says.

She now lives in the same emergency housing as Thomas. Her fingers are red from scrubbing the walls of her £14-a-month hostel room ready for Christmas.

It’s a stark space with hardly any furniture – but for an 18-year-old girl who spent seven months sofa-surfing, it's a precious place to call home.

'People see you as the lowest of the low'

Josh Simmonite, 20, has just moved into a temporary hostel for homeless young people where he can stay for six months.

He's grateful for a roof over his head right now – but has no idea what he’ll do at Christmas. 

“I didn’t have a very good home life and got kicked out because I didn’t get on with my mum," he says. "I came home one day when I was 17 to find all my stuff had been packed. That was my lowest point.

“I suffer with depression and anxiety and there are times when I feel very isolated. You see what other people have, what they’re making of their lives, the love and support they have, and that makes me feel down. The days can be very long, with nothing to do, nowhere to go, no structure,” says Josh.

“You never want to say you’re homeless, everyone wants to hang on to that last bit of self-respect, and people see you as the lowest of the low when you’re homeless.

“They see homelessness as something you bring on yourself, that it’s something you’ve done or you must be addicted to drugs or something but it’s not, it’s just circumstance, normally through breakdown in family life or following the wrong crowd.”

Josh is not without hope for his future, though. He has a mechanical engineering qualification and hopes to find a college placement or apprenticeship so he can become fully qualified.

“It’s good to have a roof over my head here and to know where I’m sleeping every night so I can try to move forward, get a job and get my life on track. I’d like a home of my own, a family life, my own life,” he says.

“If I lose this place I’ll be on the streets, so this is my last chance.”

One in five homeless women are sexually exploited

One of the problems facing homeless young people is that councils are facing a £10 million funding shortfall from government which limits the help they can offer.

Mike Thiedke, CEO of the Depaul UK homeless charity, says young people often look to the welfare system as a safety net when they can no longer stay with family.


“But cuts, caps and freezes to housing benefit mean it’s getting harder for young people threatened by homelessness to find accommodation they can afford,” Mike says.

A survey of 526 young people in Depaul’s homelessness services found that 52 per cent have mental health problems; three out of ten young homeless people are physically assaulted and one in five young homeless women are sexually exploited.

Seyi Obakin, CEO of the homeless charity Centrepoint, says; “For young homeless people Christmas can be bleak, scary, and sometimes life-threatening.

"While many of us are surrounded by friends and family, enjoying the festivities, it can be easy to forget that not everyone has the same support network or even a safe space to sleep.”


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Jennifer Garner Is All Smiles While Christmas Shopping in Beverly Hills!

Jennifer Garner is getting ready for the holiday season!

The 46-year-old Peppermint actress was spotted shopping for jewelry at Gearys on Wednesday (December 12) in Beverly Hills, Calif.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Jennifer Garner

Jennifer was later spotted picking up her son Samuel (not pictured) from school with a friend in Los Angeles.

Jen shared a fun recipe on her Instagram one day before: “This time of year it is extra cozy to send kids to school with something warm in their bellies. My kids feel extra cozy about @realbakingwithrose’s chocolate bread. This recipe isn’t crazy sweet and, with a good swish of peanut butter, is just the thing for my early rising middle schooler,” she wrote. Watch below!

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This time of year it is extra cozy to send kids to school with something warm in their bellies. My kids feel extra cozy about @realbakingwithrose’s chocolate bread. This recipe isn’t crazy sweet and, with a good swish of peanut butter, is just the thing for my early rising middle schooler. You can find the full episode on IGTV. #PretendCookingShow #bangwentthecabinet #😡😩🤦🏻‍♀️wentmybrain #hurryupchristmas🤶🏻 . #TheBreadBible Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread Ingredients: 3 Tbs plus 1/2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder 3 Tbs boiling water 1/2 Tbs pure vanilla extract 3 large eggs 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs sugar 3/4 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 13 Tbs unsalted butter, softened 3 Tbs chocolate mini chips or bittersweet chocolate (chopped) . Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350F. 2. Whisk cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature, then gently whisk in vanilla and eggs. 3. In a mixer bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add half the chocolate paste and the butter and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add remaining chocolate paste in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the bowl. Fold in chocolate mini chips/chopped chocolate. 4. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. 5. Bake for 50-60 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 200F. (The bread shouldn’t start to shrink from the sides of the pan until after removal from the oven.) 6. Set the bread on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread and invert onto an oiled wire rack. Reinvert so it is top side up and cool completely.

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan to Return to ‘Supernatural’ as John Winchester – See Fans’ Reaction

Rejoice, “Supernatural” fans! After a decade, The CW series has announced that Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be returning to the series, reprising his role as John Winchester, the father of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles).

His return is to commemorate the 300th episode of the series. “The Walking Dead” star is set to make an appearance in an episode titled “Lebanon”.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Jeffrey back for this milestone episode, and think fans will love what we have planned for his character… and a few other surprise guest stars,” executive producer Andrew Dabb says in a statement.

Fans must have remembered that John was last seen in season 2 finale titled “All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2” back in 2008. The episode saw John, who appeared in a total of 12 episodes beginning with the first season in 2005, escaped through the open gate to hell before helping his sons kill Yellow Eyes.

John himself died in season 2 opener, “In My Time of Dying”, after he sacrificed himself to save Dean by making a deal with a demon.

Fans are definitely psyched over the news as they begin to flood social media to share their excitement. “@JDMorgan WILL BE BACK IN 300th #Supernatural EPISODE AND IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY AND EMOTIONAL ! #PapaWinchesterIsBack,” one fan tweets alongside a GIF of someone crying.

Another fan simply expresses her/his feling a clip from “Titanic” in which old Rose says, “It’s been 84 years,” alluding to how fans have to wait for 10 years to see Papa Winchester coming back to the series. “Daddy’s coming home !!!!” one other echoes, posting a GIF of excited Dean and Sam that accurately describes their feelings.

“Lebanon”, the episode featuring Morgan, will air on Thursday, February 7 at 8 P.M. on The CW.

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