Househunter

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The Independent Online
The well-preserved Georgian facade of Kingsbury House fronts the conservation area of Swan Street in this pretty Suffolk village with a river running through it. The house has three reception rooms with period features, a large kitchen, six bedrooms and a separate studio/workshop in the south-facing garden, with Boxford Church beyond. Strutt & Parker in Ipswich (01473 214841) is asking pounds 218,000.

For What It's Worth

Further evidence of a halt to the slide in house prices came from the Nationwide and Halifax Building Societies last week, which reported monthly increases of 1.5 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively for the month of November. This still means prices are more than one per cent down on last year and is being seen more as a sign of prices stabilising than increasing. The one area where prices have risen over the past 12 months is in the new homes sector, where the Halifax records an average house price of pounds 69,171 compared with pounds 60,706 for second-hand properties.

Another encouraging note comes from the Bidwells group of estate agents based in East Anglia. The normally sluggish month of November turned out to be their best month for business in 1995. Jock Lloyd-Jones, the head of Bidwells, sees this as further evidence of the waning of the seasons in the housing market. He will be one of many agents advising potential sellers to go to the market as soon as they are ready, as it no longer makes sense to wait for the traditional spring season.

Who's Moving

Sir John Harvey-Jones had been planning a spring sale for his Grade I Elizabethan manor in Ross-on-Wye. The former ICI chairman is moving to a smaller property up country near Hay-on-Wye. Strutt & Parker was planning to put Rudhall Manor on the market with a pounds 850,000-900,000 guide price. The house has six main bedrooms, three reception rooms, an indoor swimming pool and a cottage in 10 acres of gardens. But they didn't need a marketing campaign. The first person they told about the house snapped it up immediately.

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