The Going Rate / Sinking by the canal

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The Independent Online
Little Venice is a tiny area with a big reputation. The Grand Union Canal snakes through large swathes of north London, but this is where the waterfront location has the strongest influence on property.

'It has attracted a lot of media people and professionals over the years, not just through the canal but because of the communal gardens and village atmosphere,' says Robert Myers, of Chestertons Residential.

One-bedroom flats generally cost from pounds 110,000 to pounds 150,000, but one in Clifton Gardens which went on the market for pounds 112,000 in March sold for only pounds 103,000 last month. Another in Randolph Avenue fell from pounds 128,000 to pounds 115,000 in about the same period.

Larger homes are just as vulnerable to slipping values: a three-bedroom flat in Sutherland Avenue fell pounds 10,000 to pounds 165,000 between January and April, while another in Clifton Gardens dropped pounds 30,000 to pounds 205,000 over five months.

Houses are rare, as most have been divided into flats, so they command a premium. But this does not insulate them from the real world of declining values. A five-bedroom semi in the prime Blomfield Road, overlooking the canal, went on the market last July for around pounds 1m and has been sold for just over pounds 820,000.

LEEDS has borne the recession better than most major cities because of its strong business base. In Adel, the northern suburb favoured by professionals, the middle market has been stirred to life as first-buyer incentives unlock chains, although things are quiet above the pounds 170,000 mark, according to Ken Ingham of Halifax Property Services.

Prices are still sliding: for instance, a three-bedroom detached house in Adel Tower Close declined from pounds 135,000 to pounds 117,000 in just over three months. This was more severe than most deals, however.

A similar property in Adel Mead came down only pounds 5,000 to pounds 115,000, although it took three times as long to sell. A three-bedroom semi in Farrer Lane slipped the same amount to pounds 105,000 in about four months and another in Kingsley Road fell pounds 1,500 over that period to pounds 95,000.

The slippage on a similar home further out of town in Cookridge was also limited to less than pounds 2,000; it sold for pounds 55,000 in three months. A much larger five-bedroom terrace house at Grove Lane in the popular Headingley area was held to a similar drop in the same period, to sell for pounds 163,000.

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