Former council house is 'bargain' at just £750,000

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The Independent Online

For sale: Former council house with four bedrooms, a cramped kitchen-diner and a postage-stamp garden. Yours for a mere £750,000.

For sale: Former council house with four bedrooms, a cramped kitchen-diner and a postage-stamp garden. Yours for a mere £750,000.

This deeply ordinary end-of-terrace house at 28 Ixworth Place is valued so highly for one reason - it is in central Chelsea. Anywhere else, it would probably go for about one-tenth of the price it carries in SW3.

But the estate agent selling the pied-Ã -terre minutes from Sloane Square insisted that it was offering a bargain.

Cara Howard, of Russell Simpson, said yesterday: "It may not be the most beautiful house from the outside but what you are getting is a superb location at a very competitive price. The average price for this area is a minimum of £900 per square foot, but this house is being offered at something like £500... This is really as cheap as Chelsea gets."

Perhaps, but the red-brick post-war look, the creosoted fence and the utility windows have yet to attract a buyer. Since it was put on the market two months ago, about 20 people have been shown round but only two have made offers - both considerably below the asking price and rejected out of hand. "We have had people coming in thinking the price in the window is a mistake and that it has one zero too many. But I am convinced it will sell and sell at the price our client is asking," Mrs Howard said.

The house is being sold by a businessman who bought the freehold last year from Kensington and Chelsea council, which owns 7,500 homes in the south-west London borough.

The four-page description provided by Russell Simpson eulogises at length on the "extensive refurbishment" and "very good decorative order" in the 1,446 square feet.Conspicuously absent are phrases such as "former council house".

Other people who live in Ixworth Place are bemused by the asking price for the property on an estate which is still largely council owned. "Frankly, it is difficult to see why the sort of people who have £750,000 to spend would want to move on to an estate," said Doreen Hardy, 62, who has lived near number 28 for 13 years.

* A flat which is smaller than two snooker tables placed next to each other has been sold for £90,000. The flat, in Bayswater, central London, has a 13ft 4in by 7ft main room and kitchenette and a 7ft 3in by 4ft 1in bathroom. The former owner, an estate agent, bought the flat five years ago for £29,000.

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