Househunter Leominster, Herfordshire

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The Independent Online
Humber Court, along with a church, a former rectory and one other house, makes up the hamlet of Humber about five miles east of Leominster. The Grade II listed 17th-century house has a particularly attractive facade, with decorative stone mullions around the windows and front door. Inside it features stone flagged floors, with open fireplaces downstairs in the three reception rooms and kitchen-breakfast room, and five bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs. Outside there are two paddocks and an ornamental pool in the two and a half acres of garden. Knight Frank & Rutley in Hereford (01432 273087) is asking pounds 250,000.

For What It's Worth

Estate agents are longing to hear the bells ring in the new year, partly because they believe 1996 cannot possibly be as bad as 1995 and partly because for five successive years January has seen a flurry of activity. It seems the Christmas holidays are one of the few times families can sit down together and take big decisions about their lives. Those who decide to move house tend to get on with it straight away, rather than waiting for the traditional spring season.

The same applies to those who decide to divorce. Christmas is sadly the season of family breakdown, leading to an annual wave of houses on the market in January.

If you plan to be a new year seller, there is one overwhelming message from estate agents. As A J Riddle of Eadon, Lockwood and Riddle in Sheffield puts it in the latest monthly report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors: "When the price is right, the phone rings with enquiries and offers. When it isn't, it doesn't. It is almost as simple as that, and vendors who accept this maxim are the ones who are selling."

Who's Moving

The spring launch of the London branch of The Fashion Cafe, the burgers and supermodel eaterie, is being masterminded from a house in Mayfair. Francesco Buti, the Vice-President of The Fashion Cafe, has rented a house in Culross Street, where prices average pounds 2,500 a week, through Aylesford.