Househunter / Wingham Well House, Kent

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Wingham Well House, Kent

Those looking for a large house in the Kent countryside will find Wingham Well House, in the village of Wingham, for sale .The Listed Grade II, part 15th-century house is timber-framed, with a hall, two reception rooms and six bedrooms. The gardens have landscaped areas, a small cherry orchard and a swimming pool, which is approached through traditional farm buildings including a timber-frame barn. It is about five miles away from Canterbury. Guide price is pounds 325,000 through agents, G W Finn & Sons (01304 612147). The adjoining 130-acre farm is also being sold by the same agents; guide price pounds 425,000.

For what it's worth

This week the Halifax said that it expected to see house prices rise this year by 5 per cent. This is more than twice as much as it had predicted last autumn. And prices in London and the south-east could increase by more than the average. The Halifax revised its previous figure of 2 per cent house price rises because prices over the past three months have been stronger than expected.

Gary Marsh of the Halifax believes the most important effect of the company's market analysis will be to bring about a renewed confidence among both sellers and buyers. He points out that although prices have been gradually rising, there is still low activity in the market. He sees prices levelling out in the summer and rising again slightly in the autumn, with more buying and selling. There are no signs of a return to anything like the pre-recession boom that we enjoyed in the Eighties, he adds.

However, in London prices in the middle and upper price bracket have already seen a 5 per cent increase, according to Marc Goldberg, director of the agents, Hamptons. He would expect to see the predicted rises bring more people on to the market, particularly those who are selling family houses who want either to trade down or to move out of London altogether.

David Wood, managing director of Black Horse Agencies, is concerned that vendors may be tempted immediately to add 5 per cent to their asking prices. "At the moment, buyers are still cautious and I can envisage a situation in which the gap between the buyer and seller becomes unbridgeable," he said.

"On the other hand, those people who are still nervous about putting their houses on the market might be given new confidence," he added. "There are too few fresh houses coming on to the market and that shortage, particularly in the area of three to four-bedroom homes, could push prices up."