By Zoopla.co.uk, PRNE
Thursday, December 1, 2011

LONDON, December 2, 2011 -

They can be unlikely starting places on the road to fame, but now the former homes of today’s stars such as Cheryl Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Lord Alan Sugar, David Beckham and even Dappy from N-Dubz will qualify for the new Purple Plaque scheme launched by leading property website Zoopla.co.uk.

The Purple Plaques initiative has been launched to identify and recognise properties across the country where a celebrity has lived in the past. First to be honoured under the scheme are the former homes of David Cameron (West London), Gary Barlow (Northwich), Liz Hurley (Basingstoke), Lewis Hamilton (Stevenage) and Chris Evans (Warrington).

Inspiration for the scheme was taken from the Blue Plaques presented by English Heritage to properties associated with notable figures of the past - providing they have been dead for at least 20 years. The Zoopla Purple Plaque scheme will honour living celebrities and pay homage to the council flats, terraces, suburban semis and picturesque pads where they have lived across the UK.

Today’s household names come from all walks of life and many are proud of their humble property beginnings compared to their penthouse suites and gated mansions of today. Cheryl Cole’s childhood home in Heaton, Newcastle, where the average property value is £145,671 according to Zoopla.co.uk is a far cry from Hurtmore House in Oxshott where she lived with Ashley Cole and valued at £3.3m.

As well as giving the property some celebrity kudos, a survey of estate agents by Zoopla has revealed that celebrity association can significantly increase the desirability of a house. Three in four (75%) agents polled agree celebrity association will help sell a property and almost three in five (58%) agree celebrity association can help add value to a property - over half of agents by as much as 5%.

Nicholas Leeming of Zoopla.co.uk said, “Our hunger for anything celebrity-related has as much impact on the property market as it does fashion, food or anything else. A property is more than just bricks and mortar and a unique history can improve a home’s marketability.”

“Where Blue Plaques honour names of the past such as Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Edward Elgar and Lord Byron today’s buyers are just if not more interested in where Sir Elton John, Katie Price and Stephen Fry once lived. We will be awarding many more plaques in coming months and years and would encourage anyone who thinks their home may be eligible to get in touch.”

Homeowners treading the same boards that a star of stage once did or kicking a ball in what was the garden of a Premier League superstar are invited go to www.zoopla.co.uk/purpleplaques to apply for consideration for a Purple Plaque.

About Zoopla.co.uk

Zoopla.co.uk is the UK’s most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering consumers with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help our users make sense of the residential property market by combining property listings with market value data, local information and community tools.

Zoopla.co.uk was founded on the principles of transparency and efficiency and everything we do aims to make the market more effective for both property consumers and professionals alike. By combining free, instant value estimates for every UK home with sold prices, local market information and hundreds of thousands of properties available for sale and to rent, Zoopla.co.uk has rapidly become the ultimate destination for property consumers to search for property and do their market research. Our unique features allow users to gain an insight into the market and discover information they won’t find anywhere else. And, as a result, we have become one of the most valued sources of both applicant and vendor leads for UK estate agents.

Launched in 2008, we are the fastest growing property website in the UK, now attracting over 10 million visits per month and are proud to have been awarded numerous accolades including being listed in the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta 100) as well as being voted the UK’s Best Property Portal (Web User, Daily Mail Awards, Website of the Year).

Zoopla Ltd is a privately held company with a highly experienced and proven management team, led by Founder and CEO, Alex Chesterman, and backed by well-respected angel investors and leading venture capital firms Atlas Venture and Octopus Ventures.

For further information, please contact: Lawrence Hall at lawrence.hall at zoopla.co.uk or on +44(0)20-7620-4618

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