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Developer 'lied to hard-up home buyers'.

A DEVELOPER exaggerated house prices to dupe people struggling to get on the property ladder, investigators found.

Tamworth Borough Council ordered a report on Wettenhall Cooper following complaints from furious residents at Parkside, Belgrave. Despite being in a rising market, couples who bought "affordable homes" face losing thousands of pounds if they sell up.

In 2004 the firm, now out of business, was given permission to build 31 homes, including nine "affordable"

ones to be sold with 15 per cent off the market price.

It valued a property at pounds 140,000 before selling it for pounds 118,000. It is now worth just pounds 127,500, and home owners are obliged to take off the same discount when they sell - which would leave them pounds 10,000 short.

Councillors agreed that, in this case, the requirement to sell homes on with a discount could be relaxed.

Persimmon Homes, which took over from Wettenhall Cooper, said: "Properties at Parkside were valued in line with the then, current market conditions."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 30, 2007
Words:169
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