- EXCLUSIVE: Former Towie star Ferne McCann has put her luxury four-bed home in rural Essex up for rent
- The reality TV star, 32, broke down during interview about her infamous voice note ‘about acid attack victim’
Pregnant Ferne McCann wants to quit her home following her voice-note scandal – and has put it up for rent for £5,000-a-month.
The former Towie star, 32, has put her luxury Essex four-bed up for rent with estate agents Barringtons for £1,142 a week.
And publicity pictures of the available property leave little doubt of who lives there – as Ferne’s daughter Sunday’s name can be seen clearly on a toybox.
With another baby on the way it is possible that the model needs more space for her ever-expanding family.
Pictures of the house on the estate agent listing show off the life of luxury Ferne enjoys there.
There is lots of character in the property, including a rather unusual bed in one of the rooms.
The garden is one of the stand-out features and boasts an expertly manicured lawn as well as tidy patio.
There is also another outdoor space area for residents and guests to chill out in and enjoy a drink or bite to eat.
If you are more active, you no longer even need to step out of the door to get the rush from exercise.
The property boasts its very own gym, complete with a treadmill and a weightlifting bench.
One of the four bedrooms is decorated in subtle shades but has a fabulous view out into the countryside.
And even the loft has been utilised as an office space with a computer set up and a table to discuss business.
On Wednesday Fearne broke down in tears on This Morning as she discussed her leaked voice notes scandal.
The pregnant reality star, 32, described it as her ‘lowest moment’ and admitted she has been in therapy since the incident.
In November 2022, an anonymous Instagram account, called Lady Whistledown after the Bridgerton secret gossip sharer, posted a series of voice messages from a woman they claimed was Ferne.
One heard a woman’s voice label one of acid attacker Arthur Collins ‘ victims a ‘silly b****’ while another saw Ferne accused of body-shaming Sam Faiers.
Ferne, who is expecting her first child with fiancée Lorri Haines, 31, said that she was a ‘different person now’ and that the infamous recordings happened six years ago when she was in a ‘vulnerable situation’.
The former TOWIE star, who is already mum to daughter Sunday, five, was shown a clip from her ITVbe show First Time Mum, which documented the breaking scandal and aftermath.
Struggling to watch, Ferne said: ‘I wear my heart on my sleeves and I like to be transparent with my viewers’.
‘I have to let the cameras and it really is warts and all. I can’t just not include the difficult times.’
She went on to describe the incident as not her ‘finest hour’ and revealed she had attempted to contact those hurt by the incident.
‘It wasn’t my finest hour, it was a difficult time of my life.’
‘I need to take this opportunity again to apologise publicly again, and I have reached out to those people, but it is a criminal investigation so I can’t say too much’.
She continued: ‘The voice notes were from a time when I was in a very vulnerable situation about six years ago, I have been in therapy for six years since, I am a different person’.
In a bid to find some positive in the sad situation Ferne said: ‘I know my story will be able to help a lot of women and until then unfortunately I can’t say too much.’
Ferne previously revealed that her new series will ‘address’ the voice notes leak, but cannot reveal the ‘full truth’ due to legal reasons.
Speaking on This Morning she again referred to the ongoing investigation: ‘I understand that it is really confusing, and I have this burning desire to share everything that happened to me and why I said these things but I can’t, there will be a time when I can so I hope that people can be patient with me until then.’
Going on to praise her reality show as a distraction and focus during the uproar: ‘Of course, I was hurting it was some of my lowest moments, first time mum has been a lifeline for me.’
Click here to resize this module
It comes after filming on the series resumed following claims she made derogatory comments about ex-partner Arthur Collins’s acid attack victims.
It was claimed ITV bosses are backing Ferne amid her leaked voice note scandal.
A source told The Sun in November: ‘Ferne is resuming filming for First Time Mum and is heading to India.
‘She is booked to fly out of the country today and is taking a film crew with her.
‘Initially plans for filming were paused as the voice note scandal unfolded. However Ferne has the backing of her ITV bosses and filming will start in the coming days.’
Ferne previously faced calls for her show to be axed after an anonymous Instagram account leaked voice notes allegedly sent by Ferne , in which a woman’s voice labels one of acid attacker Arthur Collins’ victims a ‘silly b****’.
It has been claimed they were referring to Sophie Hall, who reached the final of a Miss England final 15 months after the sickening attack, baring her scars.
Collins is currently serving 20 years in prison after he threw acid in an East London nightclub in April 2017 and injured 14 people.
Ferne was blasted by acid attack victim Sophie Hall, 27, for her recent ‘insincere’ apology after calling her ‘ugly’ in the leaked voice notes.
Ferne admitted she was the voice in shocking audio files, but claimed she recorded them because she feared ‘serious harm and in the face of significant threats’.
Sophie has since demanded Ferne says sorry to her on camera while alleging she wasn’t able to read the statement since Ferne blocked her on Instagram.
She told The Sun: ‘To me her words feel so insincere. Ferne is simply trying to salvage her career. I don’t think she is sorry at all.
Ferne wrote in her online statement: ‘I am aware that people will have a number of questions about the voice messages being put into the public domain and purportedly sent by me.
‘I feel I have no choice but to address these (to the extent that I can as there are restrictions on me which I explain below).
‘Most importantly I want to apologise to all the victims of Arthur Collins abhorrent actions in 2017 that they have to relive that night and the pain that followed because this matter is again in the public domain.
‘In particular I want to apologise to Sophie Hall. I do not believe her to be ugly or stupid. She has been brave beyond belief.
‘Arthur Collins’ crimes created genuine victims so I am not trying to portray myself as one. I am unable to say much because there are important and significant legal proceedings that prevent me from setting the record straight at this stage.
‘What I can say is that the voice messages that are being released are manipulated; edited and taken entirely out of context.
Even so, I will have said things that are untrue and I did not believe – but I did so to protect my family and myself from serious harm and in the face of significant threats.’
The audio clips aren’t the first to circulate the internet, with the reality star previously accused of slamming and body shaming friend Sam Faiers.
In a statement shared with MailOnline, Ferne called the scandal a ‘harassment’ campaign against her, as well as offering her sympathies to those offended by the remarks.
January was particularly grim for house sales. Photo / Getty Images
National house sales hit a record-breaking trough last month, slumping to the lowest since the Real Estate Institute began keeping records in 1992.
Auckland prices are now down 21.7 per cent annually, under $1 million.
Jen Baird, institute chief executive, said today that January was always slow because people were holidaying but it was much worse than usual last month.
“January is traditionally a slower month as sellers and buyers are on holiday. This month is no exception, although intensified in Auckland by relatively poor weather, with the least number of sales since records began,” she said.
Only 2759 NZ homes were sold last month and just 943 in Auckland.
National sales dipping below 3000 deals was something to note, Baird said.
Low volumes hit prices too.
The median national sale price fell 13.3 per cent annually to $762,500 and decreased 9.3 per cent for New Zealand, excluding Auckland, to $679,000.
Auckland prices are now below $1m, decreasing to $940,000, down 21.7 per cent.
Wellington, Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty had the largest drop in the median sale price, down 16.4 per cent, 21.7 per cent, 16.6 per cent and 18.8 per cent respectively.
The REINZ House Price Index fell 13.9 per cent.
Baird cited rising interest rates, problems getting finance, commentary around a looming recession and the election as reasons for buyers’ slow decision-making moves.
The Herald has reported how nearly half of New Zealand’s mortgage debt is due to be refixed between last October and this September and some borrowers are likely to see a big jump in their repayments.
Mortgage rates fell to record lows of around 2.25 per cent as the official cash rate was slashed to 0.25 per cent in May 2020 but the OCR has risen sharply since October 2021 and by January was at 4.25 per cent, with the Reserve Bank forecasting it to go to 5.5 per cent.
A one-year fixed-rate term is now over 7 per cent for a standard rate and around 6.5 per cent for those with 20 per cent equity.
For a borrower with a $300,000 mortgage, jumping from 3 per cent to 6.5 per cent could mean having to find an extra $600/month. A $500,000 borrower may have to find an extra $1000/month, all while other costs are rising.
Baird said NZ houses were taking much longer to sell.
“As a result, properties are spending longer on the market with 53 being the median days to sell for January 2023, 16 days longer compared to January 2022,” she said.
National listings decreased 16 per cent year-on-year from 7912 in January 2022 to 6646 in January 2023, and increased 28.9 per cent month-on-month from December 2022.
National sales listings, excluding Auckland, fell 10.4 per cent from 5512 last January to 4635 last month.
Baird remains optimistic, saying so many unsold places gave buyers lots of options.
“Reports of more activity in the market are growing. Agents in many areas are reporting more attendance at open homes, more interest online and even more multi-offer situations. Inventory has increased 39.4 per cent year on year, now sitting at 27,732 properties which provides plenty of choice for buyers. Add to that prices that have eased over the last 12 months, and some less bad economic news coming out recently, it seems there are more buyers active in the market. February and March data will tell us if they choose to act,” she said.
The Herald has reported that fewer people became licensed real estate agents but numbers are still high, according to the Government agency which regulates the sector.
The Wellington-headquartered Real Estate Authority said in the year to June 30, 2022, New Zealand had 16,866 agents and entities licenced to sell real estate, which was historically high.
But numbers fell lately by 198 licences to 16,668 licences.
“The growth has also slowed over the last six months, but remains high,” the authority said last month.
A key indicator of employment in the sector is the number of new licence applications. The authority said that can be a bellwether, showing the level of interest in selling properties for a living.
“On a month-by-month basis, approved applications reached historically high numbers through much of 2021 and while they remained relatively high in the first half of 2022, in the second half of last year we began to see the number of new licence applications soften to levels more in line with longer-term trends,” the authority said in January.
Rotorua NZ chief executive Andrew Wilson. Photo / Andrew Warner
Visitors and tourists to Rotorua spent $32.9 million in one month, and business leaders say there are positive signs ahead for the city despite New Zealand’s dire economic forecast.
RotoruaNZ chief executive Andrew Wilson said
Auctions were typically not popular among vendors in Whanganui, Steve Ellis said. Photo / 123rf
One Whanganui real estate company is going to try auctioning off 28 properties in one day next month.
But one property pundit warns people trying to sell their houses under the hammer will need to
Barfoot & Thompson has released its November sales data. Photo / supplied
Auckland and Northland unsold residential properties hit a 12-year high last month, with 5052 listed on the market by the city’s biggest agency but yet to find buyers.
Barfoot & Thompson’s average number of properties for sale during any one month last year was just 3353. In 2020 it was only 3759.
But the agency’s data now shows a swelling number of available listings at the end of the month.
The previous record was set in February 2011 when the agency had 6053 properties for sale. During that year it had more than 5000 listings at the end of March, April, May and November.
But in more buoyant times lately, the agency had fewer places to sell as demand soared partly due to historically low interest rates.
The business today cited rising mortgage interest rates, high inflation and low consumer confidence for buyer tardiness.
Last year’s average number of sales was 1119 but in November this year, the agency only sold 700 places.
Yet even those low numbers were a recovery from June when it sold just 684 places, July’s 611, August’s 578, September’s 614 and October’s 627.
November’s median sales price fell 2.4 per cent from October’s $1,092,500 to $1,065,000.
“Property is selling, albeit at a level lower than at the same time last year,” said managing director Peter Thompson.
“What it demonstrates is vendors and buyers are reaching an agreement as to where prices are at.”
November’s median price fell 14.1 per cent on the peak median price recorded last November. The average $1,153,795 fell 9.8 per cent on the peak last December.
November’s average price increased from October by 1.5 per cent.
“Buyer choice in Auckland has rarely been greater in recent times,” Thompson said today.
The average sales price in November was influenced by a return of buyers to the $2m and over categories and to sales in the under $750,000 price category.
Many of the buyers in the lower-price sector were first-time buyers, Thompson said.
“In November we sold 64 properties for more than $2m, 19 of them being for more than $3m. This is the highest number of homes valued at more than $3m we have sold in a month for six months,” he said.
The agency sold 125 homes for under $750,000, or 17.9 per cent of all the homes sold.
New listings for the month at 1577 were down significantly on those for November in the past few years.
The lifestyle and rural markets had their best month’s trading in four months but trading was modest compared with this time last year.
Interest in lifestyle properties around Pukekohe was strong with sales from $1m to $3m. Vendors were testing the market by selling via auction or tender rather than listed price, the agency said.
In the Far North, the main focus during the month was on coastal lifestyle and existing homes.
Today, OneRoof published its property report which said house prices fell an average of $90,000 in parts of New Zealand after a turbulent year.
That meant homeowners who bought at the height of the property boom in late 2021 could find themselves with mortgages larger than their home’s value, especially in Auckland and Wellington.
But there were also some positives: the price fall allowed more first-home buyers onto the property ladder.
The report noted the huge market shift during the year and highlighted some risks for homeowners.
James Wilson, head of valuations at Valocity, said the fall in prices this year was the largest since 2010, but had to be seen in context: the boom since Covid was one of the strongest New Zealand had experienced, with an average growth of 33 per cent nationally from early 2020 to early this year.
The Herald also today reported how the rise in prominence of building societies, finance companies and credit unions for mortgages may have peaked.
Non-bank lenders’ share of the mortgage market hovered at an 11-year high in each of the five months to October, according to new Reserve Bank data.
While non-bank lenders only accounted for 1.8 per cent of the country’s mortgage lending, this was still equivalent to $6.1b in October – 29 per cent more than last October.
The shift went from banks to non-banks but has now swung back to banks again.
Wellington crime: Police operation recovers 3000 stolen items including power tools, e-scooters, heat pumps
Police who disrupted a major theft and burglary ring in Wellington have catalogued more than 3000 stolen items. Video / Supplied
Thousands of stolen items have been recovered in a police operation where a major theft and burglary ring was disrupted by police in Wellington last month.
Police found 285 bicycles, 950 power tools, 695 pieces of tapware and mixes, two baths and a whole lot of construction gear.
They are now seeking owners of these goods.
A police spokesperson said Operation Trump Card had uncovered a huge cache of stolen property – which was seized from residential properties and 15 commercial storage units.
“The disruption of this significant property ring will see Wellington residents reunited with hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of goods.”
Wellington District Criminal Investigations Manager Detective Inspector John van den Heuvel said staff had never before encountered a stolen goods ring of this scale.
“Police continue to put an enormous amount of work into unravelling this ring and holding those involved accountable.
“We have such an eclectic range of items that we now need to give back to the people of Wellington.
“We have identified the property as having been stolen from as far away as Kapiti Coast and the Wairarapa, dating back as far as two years.”
The inventory made an impressive list given every item was dishonestly obtained, van den Heuvel said.
“285 bikes, 2 baths, 950 power tools, 10 generators, 8 concrete cutters, 10 infinity gas heaters, 695 new and packaged tapware and mixes, 46 Fujitsu heat pumps, 33 laptops, 8 computers, 132 household appliances/whiteware, 27 e-scooters and many, many more.”
Two men and one woman had been charged with dishonesty offences and were next due to appear in Wellington District Court on February 24, 2023.
“Further arrests and charges are likely,” van den Heuvel said.
“Wellington Police now have the onerous but happy task of trying to match up stolen items with rightful owners.
“Being in a position to finally return goods to people who had to go through the anguish of having their property stolen is a real privilege for police.”
van den Heuvel said the success of the operation spoke to the hard work and determination of staff, and “we look forward to continuing to work with the community to prevent and disrupt this type of crime occurring in Wellington”.
The scale of the property recovered was representative of the huge amount of people that had been affected by the actions of those facing charges.
“Our number one priority now is to work with victims and return their property to them,” van den Heuvel said.
“The sheer volume of items has taken a long time for staff to catalogue, process as evidence, and prepare for the community to reclaim their property.”
Police had already matched a lot of the stolen property to owners that reported the theft at the time their property was taken.
Anyone that has had property stolen but had not reported the theft, was encouraged to do so, and provide a description of their item.
Reports can be made by filling out a 105 report online quoting Operation Trump Card.
Police would contact individuals with the next steps once the property was matched with their rightful owners.
Aerial photo of Rotorua. Photo / Felix Desmarais / LDR
Rotorua’s median house price climbed $40,000 – about $1290 a day – last month, new data shows.
The latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand report showed the lakeside city bucked the nationwide trend of
Bay of Plenty
REINZ data shows house prices falling $322 a day last month. Photo / NZME
Real Estate Institute data out today showing house prices fell $322 a day in the last month fulfilled expectations of the plunge this year and next, experts said.
Satish Ranchhod, Westpac senior economist,