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Indy Lifestyle Online
The days when you have to rely on an artistically arranged corner of a room to gain an impression of the whole could be numbered. Imagination is no longer always necessary for those who house hunt on the computer. With a click of the mouse you can turn 360 degrees and check out exactly what is in the room. Is the ceiling really that high? What kind of windows are they?

Winkworth, the London estate agents, have just launched a Walk Inside Tour in conjunction with IPIX. The IPIX technology - a form of digital photography - will be used with selected properties and the results so far have proved impressive. As yet Winkworth uses only text on its website, since not all agents have digital cameras, and browsers easily overlook something special without pictures to entice them.

A Georgian house on the Thames recently sold through the Walk Inside Tour to a buyer who had no intention of buying on that particular stretch of the river. But he was so struck by the whole look of the property that he offered a higher price than the one on the table from a local buyer. He was able to see the house from the inside and outside, back and front as well as getting views of the street and the Thames. Website: www.winkworth.co.uk.

Rumours of a shortage of properties for sale are exaggerated, according to Mark Chick of Leslie Marsh & Co, from Notting Hill, one of London's hot spots. He sees supply running at an exceptionally healthy level, which will calm the nerves of all those fearful of putting their homes on the market in case they find themselves homeless. "There is a constant temptation to play down supply, but the fact is our instructions are now nearly 50 per cent up on this time last year." Although they still can't keep up with demand, buyers can rest assured that something else will come up, adds Mr Chick.

Beryl might just be the answer for the odd weekend. She is a 70ft narrow boat moored on the Oxford Canal two miles from the city centre and is for sale for pounds 40,000. For that you get a living area with stained-glass windows, portholes and panelling, and two sleeping cabins. There is a shower room and, in case anyone is getting too relaxed, a solid-fuel Rayburn to riddle out every so often. The agents are Cluttons Daniel Smith: 01865 793900.

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