Property The restoration game: Crossways in leafy Hanwell, west London, has failed to sell at auction and may continue to lie derelict

Plus Six Nations property breakdown, empty homes, homelessness, and rents in UK cities

Nash villa offers the 'grand style' for 6m pounds

Hanover Lodge, a Nash-designed villa in Regent's Park that was once home to a Russian prince and Napoleon's older brother, is up for sale at pounds 6m.

PROPERTY / Houses in the Landscape: Houses for sale: Brick

THE earliest example of herringbone brickwork in Dorset appears on the facade of Abbey House, on the edge of Witchampton village. The main house had a new front added in 1890 but the early Elizabethan brickwork remains intact and has been much admired by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. The house warrants a Grade II rating. Set in seven acres of grounds with river frontage between Bournemouth and Salisbury, Abbey House has nine bedrooms, gym and sauna, stabling and a coach house. Savills and Knight Frank & Rutley have priced it at pounds 700,000.

Docklands express

The latest sign of the speed at which good properties sell comes from Docklands, where Duncan Allen and Knight Frank & Rutley last week sold a flat in Telford's Yard in five hours. The buyer viewed at 11am and by 4pm contracts had been exchanged at pounds 120,000.

'D H Lawrence' sale

One of the most stunning houses in Hampstead village is up for sale. No 1 Elm Row is a four-storey Georgian house, rich in cultural associations. It was home to D H Lawrence in 1923 and provided the backdrop to his short story The Last Laugh. His writing place was the balcony of what is known as the D H Lawrence room. The house is now home to the artist Tom Merrifield, who uses the top floor as a studio. The rest of the house, which has a drawing room, dining room, family room, study and two bedroom suites, retains its rich period features. Knight Frank & Rutley are asking for offers over pounds 1.3m.

Top-notch property market takes off

Quality residential property in prime areas of London has regained almost all the value it lost during the recession and is back to 1989 levels. Estate agents report some family houses, particularly freeholds, up 20 per cent, in the past year.

Developers poised for a killing on hospital

DOZENS of property developers are sitting with their pens poised ready to cross off or add a nought to their bid for one of the biggest chunks of prime London land to hit the market for some time, writes Anne Spackman.

Englishman's castle

Englishmen are once again wealthy enough to call a castle their home. Knight Frank & Rutley report a dramatic increase in the number of English buyers for large country houses. In 1992 they made up just 25 per cent of sales over pounds 750,000. By the end of 1993 the figure had risen to 70 per cent.

'Cupboard' sold for pounds 30,000

London's fabled broom-cupboard market, which reached its zenith in the late 1980s when enormous sums changed hands for flats hardly big enough to fit in a fully grown adult, is showing signs of recovery.

Property: Sea air? Take a deep breath - The price of seaside houses may make you gasp, but the West Country still has bargains, says Anne Spackman

When I think of Devon and Cornwall it is always summer and the sun is shining, whatever experience or the weatherman might tell me to the contrary. Devon is beaches and bare legs; Cornwall is a fringe of cliffs and coves and Celtic names.

Shortage of top quality homes send prices soaring: City money is fuelling the boom in the cost of property in London. Anne Spackman reports

PRICES for quality property in the best areas of London are back at their 1990 peak and, in some cases, exceeding it, as a result of the acute shortage of homes on the market. Estate agents have seen houses sell for as much as 35 per cent above the asking price, fuelled by competition among buyers.

Property: In the hands of modern masters: Collett and Champion houses cost a large fortune, but, says Anne Spackman, they are splendid works of art

The Old Rectory at 56 Old Church Street, just off the King's Road in Chelsea, is set to be the most talked-about property of the year. The size of a country house, with two acres of garden in the centre of London, its main claim to fame is its price tag, a staggering pounds 25m.

The Des Res sales in 1993 reach a peak of pounds 12m: Estate agents will remember this year for the return of the big spenders. Anne Spackman reports

THE YEAR that has seen a flat sold at auction for less than the limit on the buyer's Barclaycard, has also seen a string of multimillion pound deals. In the property market, 1993 will be remembered for the return of the big spenders.

Property: Old college ties still bind: The men at the top of the property world have a special and strong bond, says Anne Spackman

English gentlemen traditionally conducted their business on the basis that their word was their bond. There are few places where the old etiquette survives, but one of them is at the top of the property world in the offices of firms such as Knight Frank & Rutley, Strutt & Parker and John D Wood.

Property: Why it pays to pay the rent: Buying is cheaper, but an increasing number of people feel happier being tenants, says Anne Spackman

One of the ground rules of British life has been that people rented property only if they could not afford to buy. So, with property more affordable than at any time in the past 10 years, those obliged to rent during the recession should be flooding back to the market.

Property: Our romance with the manse goes on

The appeal of the old rectory is as strong, if not stronger, than ever. Savills had more than 700 inquiries and 170 viewings for the Old Rectory at Sherfield English, in Hampshire. One of the features that proved most attractive was its state of disrepair. It seems buyers either want the perfect house or a dilapidated one that they can transform in their own personal style.
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