Property in Brief

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100,000 pounds ? Where to look for a flat

According to the latest London property guide from the Winkworth chain, buyers seeking a two-bedroom flat will get roughly the same for their money in Battersea, Blackheath, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Islington, Kentish Town, Putney and Sheen. Two bedrooms will cost around the pounds 100,000 mark, though there are wide variations depending on exact location and size.

A bit more money and you can afford Notting Hill or St John's Wood. A bit less and the best bargains are in Docklands, Shepherd's Bush, Kennington, Hackney and, surprisingly, Dulwich.

And a ballroom too

If a ballroom features high on your list of musts, Petersham House may be just what you are looking for. This listed 17th-century house between Richmond Park and the Thames earned the admiration of Nikolaus Pevsner for its staircases and mythological 18th-century wall paintings by Laguerre. The murals still adorn the grand entrance hall and staircase, the fireplaces are exquisite and the 40ft ballroom retains its raised stage with Corinthian pillars. Perhaps that is why the agents, Savills, think the house might go to someone from showbiz. It can be yours for just pounds 3.5m.

Squatting has proved an effective way to get publicity against road developments such as east London's M11 extension. It may become more difficult with government plans to give police greater powers to arrest those who ignore court possession orders. Squatting will be a criminal, rather than civil, offence. Once an interim possession order has been served, a squatter must leave within 24 hours and not return within a year.

One man's view

Why do rich foreign buyers go to Hampstead Garden Suburb, asks Trevor Abrahmsohn of Glentree Estates, who sells them most of their houses? 'Each time there has been political unrest in the world or a sudden gush of money the 'rich cats' descend upon the leafy roads of north-west London, he says. Presumably because it is the nearest place to central London for detached, architecturally challenged mansions.

Latest to show are the Russians and their friends in the Eastern European arms world.

In a guide to buyers, Mr Abrahmsohn - a South African - describes Russians as having a good sense of humour. Nigerians are dubbed jovial, but sometimes unreliable. Indians drive hard bargains and Japanese buyers are extremely superstitious. The British? They don't feature as they can no longer afford to live there.