Review of 2013: what happened in the news in June

Updated: 

Royal visit to Warner Bros Studios

In hindsight, we could see a bit of a corner being turned in the UK economy in June. However, at the time it felt like a bizarre mixture of rising house prices, collapsing British businesses, widespread spending cuts, and the news that there hadn't been a double dip recession after-all.

Thank goodness we had the hilarity of Barack Obama referring to George Osborne as Jeffrey to keep us going through the month.
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Property

June brought the first real signs of a recovery in house prices, with their fastest growth in almost three years. The annual increase of 1.9% registered in June pushed average UK prices to £168,941, marking the strongest year-on-year uplift since September 2010.

Meanwhile, another report found that the number of homes sold in the UK over the past three months reached its highest level for more than three years.

However, some property owners couldn't catch a break. There was bad news for the owner of a stunning 4 bedroom home in a spectacular part of Devon. Thanks to two land slips, the property found itself incredibly close to the edge of a cliff. The council deemed it unsafe to spend the night in, and it went up for auction for just £25,000.

And an unusual house extension fell foul of planners in Deal, Kent. Audrey Sells had wanted to move closer to her daughter in the town, so hit on the solution of buying a mobile home, and covering her daughter's entire garden with it. The planners told the family it was an eyesore and had to come down.

High Street

It was a truly dismal month for the high street, which saw four high street brands go bust in one week. Fashion brands Internacionale and Ark, ModelZone (the UK's largest specialist toy and model chain) and furniture retailer Dwell, all filed for administration.

Meanwhile, one online retailer was celebrating a bumper month. The ASOS website reported a run on a navy maternity dress which had been on sale for just £17.50. Sales spiked after Kate Middleton was photographed wearing one to the Harry Potter studios, and the website said it would order more in order to cash in.

And one branch of Tesco was in charge of keeping our spirits up. The branch in Tiverton, Devon, banned scantily-clad people from coming into the shop. Women were made to cover up and men were required to wear a shirt. Apparently they were concerned about other customers being offended by the amount of flesh on show - and the health and safety hazards posed by sweaty nakedness.

Spending cuts

On a more serious note, the government's spending review brought cuts across the board - including £11.5 billion more in departmental cuts. There was bad new for welfare claimants, who saw a welfare system cap, a 'temperature test' for winter fuel payments, and a requirement for half of all people receiving unemployment benefits to go to Jobcentre every week. There was bad news for public sector workers too, as pay rises were capped at 1% and automatic pay progression was abolished. On the positive size, the government provided funding for councils that froze council tax, there was £3 billion for social care, a new clampdown on tax evasion, and a consultation on tax-free childcare.

Economy

There was a re-writing of history as the government updated its economic figures. It revealed that the nine-month contraction at the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012 never happened - so there was no double-dip recession after-all. However, the initial recession following the financial crisis was far worse than first feared.

Lottery wins

There were some people celebrating in June. An 18-year-old boy, who didn't want to be named, became Britain's biggest teenage lottery winner, after pocketing £22 million on the Euromillions. He was said to have immediately taken an extended summer holiday.

Over in Florida, at the other end of the age spectrum, 84-year-old Gloria Mackenzie of Zephyrhills in Florida, scooped an incredible $590 million on the lottery - and opted to take it as a single lump-sum of $370 million. The Florida Powerball jackpot made her the largest sole lottery winner of all time in the US.

Power

There was a reshuffling of power in the world. Forbes' list of the most powerful celebrities revealed that Oprah Winfrey regained first place at the head of the list. She was followed by Lady Gaga, Steven Spielberg, Beyonce and Madonna.

Meanwhile, in terms of earning power, a woman who had been a relative unknown a year earlier, was found to have made £12.6 million in just eight months. The woman in question was EL James, the author of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, who sold 70 million copies in that time.

And one man who might have thought of himself as powerful was taken down a peg or two - as Barack Obama repeatedly referred to George Osborne as Jeffrey during G8 meetings.

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