PROPERTY IN BRIEF

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The Independent Online
If this former mill were overlooking a canal in a city it would cost pounds 120,000 per floor. Instead it overlooks the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, currently the subject of a landscaping programme, and costs pounds 120,000 for the whole four-storey building. It was converted into a home three years ago, with a vast open-plan room on the top floor, three bedrooms, a sitting room and a study. "Additional land to the side of the property needs your green fingers," says the agent. In The Sticks (01434 381404)

For What It's Worth

It will surprise few people who have been through the experience of "having the builders in" to hear that half those working on domestic jobs have no relevant qualifications. This information comes in a report for the Joseph Rowntree Trust. With nearly half of privately owned homes more than 50 years old and 27 per cent more than 75 years old, the report stresses the need for high quality maintenance. Its authors suggest the introduction of a simple contract for small jobs, better vetting by trade organisations and the provision of more accessible training. However, they point out that one of the biggest problems is persuading customers not to employ builders who cut corners and avoid VAT in order to keep down costs.

An estate agent in Kent is introducing a scheme to try to break the vicious circle of shortages in the family house market in the Home Counties. There are currently too many buyers chasing too few houses in the pounds 150,000 plus bracket. Calcutt Maclean in Ashford is drawing up a register of houses whose owners are in this position. The owners register with the agency, which releases a description of their home to other owners in a similar position. The house is not advertised on the open market. Calcutt Maclean (01233 812070)

Who's Moving

Mats Wilander is selling the home he owns but does not occupy in Eaton Terrace, Belgravia. It is currently rented out for pounds 66,000 a year. The Swedish tennis star bought the house as an investment in 1989, but is now switching his money to New York. Egertons is asking pounds 1.25m for the house.

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