Househunter

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The Independent Culture
Suffolk

This intriguing address belongs to two new Grade I listed homes created out of the 11th-centuryfront of what was once the largest church in Christendom. The houses have been built into the ruined walls overlooking the abbey gardens under the eye of English Heritage. Old materials have been used wherever possible. Where new bricks had to be used, they were coated with a mixture of cow dung, pig urine and natural yoghurt to blend in with their ancient surroundings. The houses, one with four bedrooms, the other with three, are being sold on 125-year leases for pounds 185,000 and pounds 160,000 respectively by Bidwells in Bury St Edmunds (01284 767338).

For what it's worth

Where have all the foreign investors gone? Last year saw buyers from Hong Kong and Singapore snapping up every new block in London that came off the drawing-board. This year their numbers have at least halved. It seems word has got around South-east Asia that investing in British property is not all it is cracked up to be. When Property Vision launched its lettings division earlier this year, it insisted the real income to be made from the London rental market was around 5 per cent a year. But a number of overseas investors bought off-plan in areas such as Docklands with promises that they would see returns of 8 per cent or more. What's more, the flats they bought in 1994 have not risen in value, giving them no capital appreciation either. We can expect to see rental flats coming back on to the market over the next year.

Who's moving

Gregor Fisher, otherwise known as Rab C Nesbitt, is selling his Georgian manse in a village outside Glasgow. The house in the village of Dunlop has six bedrooms and five receptions. It is being sold by Savills in Edinburgh (0131-226 6961) with a guide price of pounds 220,000.

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