Property: The sincerest form of mockery

Click to follow
ROWLANDS HOUSE, Coleorton, Leicestershire is mock Tudor taken seriously. The two-year-old property replicates an Elizabethan manor house, complete with decorative tiled roof, oak beams, wall ties and lattice-paned windows (including a bedroom window set authentically off-centre in one of the wings).

Inside, however, the house abandons historical integrity in favour of modern convenience: oil-fired central heating and double glazing, fitted kitchen and a luxury bathroom. The detail ranges from antique radiators and stone flagging in the hall to a Victorian-style cast- iron fireplace in the sitting room, but the plumbing and electrics are thoroughly modern.

The three-bedroom property, with a detached double garage, stands back from the road in half an acre of garden. Behind the house is a brick and stone paved patio, lawns and a vegetable garden.

The village of Coleorton lies four miles from Coalville. Rowlands House is available for pounds 165,000 through Fallowell & Partners (0530 810033).

A NEW source of foreign investment in the London residential market has arrived from the Far East. Since last October, buyers from Singapore have spent pounds 250m on hotels and residential property in London.

Cluttons London Residential Agency has 14 corporate and individual clients from Singapore, with pounds 150m of immediately available funds to invest. A combination of good exchange rates, cheap loans at home and low prices in London has encouraged Singaporeans to invest here. The developments are remarketed in the Pacific Basin and then let, yielding a 6-8 per cent return on investment.

Whereas Hong Kong investors tend to buy individual houses and apartments, many Singaporean buyers are interested in bigger development opportunities.

In the past six months two substantial developments have been sold to Singapore: Bovis Homes sold Sailmakers Court, Fulham, SW6, to a consortium of investors for pounds 14.5m and, last month, Bingham Land sold Stanhope Gardens for pounds 20m. Cluttons expects a pounds 60m block in Chesham Place, SW1 - a rare property opportunity in the heart of Belgravia - to go to a Singaporean investor.

Like many other foreign investors, Singaporeans rarely venture outside central London, although flats in Cambridge are the exception - ambitious parents see them as a good investment for the time when their offspring go to the only British university they seem to recognise.

Anne Spackman is on holiday

(Photograph omitted)