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Househunter

Sally's Yard, Manchester

Urban Splash is a north-west loft pioneer. The company's newest development is a converted Victorian mill at Hulme Street in Manchester city centre, which bears the warehouse hallmarks of blasted brick walls and galleried bedrooms. After two weeks on the market only two flats remain for sale. The most attractive has a living area with polished wooden floors, a fitted kitchen, bedroom shelf, bathroom and balcony and is pounds 44,000. If you miss out at Sally's Yard, there is a larger scheme to follow at Smithfield Buildings in Manchester's Northern Quarter. (Urban Splash: 0161 237 9499)

For what it's worth

The misfortune of those who bought their first property in 1989 is graphically illustrated in the Nationwide's latest Housing Finance Review. It shows how devastating the property crash was for that generation and argues that its impact on confidence generally has been under-estimated. The review compares a first-time buyer in 1989 with a first-time buyer in 1979, assuming both put down a 5 per cent deposit on an average-priced home. The 1979 buyer is assumed to have traded up once, in 1986. In London the 1979 purchaser would have put down pounds 1,100 and by 1995 would have accumulated pounds 52,200 of equity. The 1989 first-timer would have put down pounds 4,200 and by 1995 would have a debt of pounds 22,300. Negative equity is concentrated in London, the South and East Anglia. The Nationwide calculates that 1.5 million households are still affected. House price rises of 18 per cent are needed to remove 90 per cent of sufferers from negative equity in Greater London. In East Anglia prices need to rise by 29 per cent.

Who's moving

Felix Dennis, who had the last laugh on the judge in his Oz trial when he successfully sued him for libel last month, has also negotiated a series of complex legal hurdles to buy David Bowie's hide-away on the Caribbean island of Mustique. David Bowie went window shopping in London earlier this year, but came away empty-handed.

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