Property: The Going Rate

BRISTOL looks up to Clifton. The latter not only sits high on the city's skyline but also on top of its price table. The peak has eroded badly, however. Ben Keay of Black Horse Agencies says that overall prices in the suburb have fallen only about 5 per cent in the pat six months, but those set further back have shown some steep dips.

A six-bed mansion near Durdham Downs dropped almost pounds 150,000 from the pounds 650,000 asked when it came on the market last summer, while a nine-bed Edwardian house in Stoke Bishop fell from pounds 390,000 to pounds 300,000 over almost two years. At the other end of the scale, a one-bed flat in Worcester Terrace sold fairly quickly for pounds 65,500, down pounds 4,500, while a two-bed flat in Victoria Square lost almost pounds 3,000 to go for pounds 84,000 in three months.

A three-bed maisonette on Clifton Hill fell pounds 5,000, to pounds 115,000, over the same time and a five-bed Victorian semi in Salisbury Road, Redland, dropped pounds 15,000, to pounds 140,000, over four months.

BELGRAVIA views the storms sweeping London's property markets from the shelter of old money and long-standing residents under little pressure to sell. But when homes are worth up to pounds 5m, price reductions can be spectacular when they do change hands.

Penny Court of Beauchamp Estates points to a six-floor house in Belgrave Square that passed through various owners over 10 years without being modernised and has just been sold again for pounds 4.1m - some pounds 900,000 below the asking price. A four/five-bed house in Grosvenor Square Mews fell from pounds 1.7m to pounds 990,000 over six months, then sold quickly for more than pounds 1m. A three-bed unmodernised flat in Carlton Lodge followed the same path, dropping pounds 70,000 to pounds 425,000 over a year then immediately going for pounds 360,000.

At least it had a long lease, unlike many properties whose values are held down by impending reversion to a big freeholder such as the Duke of Westminster - unless proposed law changes come to their rescue. A three-bedder in Eaton Mews South on an 18-year lease fetched pounds 210,000 after falling pounds 85,000 over nine months, although an unmodernised flat spread over two buildings in Eaton Square with 20 years left achieved the asking price of pounds 495,000 in three weeks. In Chester Square, Lady Thatcher's intended new address, a purpose-built flat with a 65-year lease took a year to sell, for pounds 480,000, after dropping pounds 45,000.

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