For what it's worth
This year has seen more than a dozen new estate agents open up in London, while in the country they have been putting up the For Sale signs on their own offices, as a result of a 20 per cent fall-off in business. Foxtons, Knight Frank & Rutley, Winkworth and Olivers are just some of the firms which have expanded in the capital, hoping to poach business from already established rivals. In the country Hamptons is the latest corporate chain to follow Black Horse Agencies in cutting back its numbers. Hamptons has announced the closure of 23 offices across the south of England, many in wealthy towns such as Sevenoaks, St Albans, Epsom, Kingston and Weybridge. However, in Wiltshire, Hamptons' regional director Gordon Straker has sounded a note of confidence, by buying out the Devizes and Calne offices.
Simon Bond, whose 101 Uses for a Dead Cat makes essential lavatory reading, is leaving his splendid country house in the Vale of Belvoir. The magnificent gardens which surround the nine-bedroom house appear unscarred by the owner's cats. Savills in Stamford (01780 66222) is asking for offers over pounds 500,000.Reuse content