You may be a homeowner reading about falling house prices. No need to panic. A small number of press releases entitled "UK housing market confidence wanes" have escaped into the community. They refer to areas outside London and the South East where the recovery in house prices has been slower than in the capital.
According to Zoopla.co.uk, the property website, some 74 per cent of homeowners in London are expecting house prices to rise between now and the end of the year, up from 68 per cent three months ago. And the average amount by which Londoners expect prices to grow has increased significantly to 6.2 per cent, from 2.7 per cent last quarter. In the rest of the South East, 63 per cent of homeowners are confident prices will rise, compared to only 58 per cent three months ago.
This is good news for housebuilder Barratt, which is launching its Bentley Priory scheme in Stanmore. This will consist of converted apartments in the grade II listed mansion house and new houses, alongside a museum and education centre, all in 57 acres of grounds. Built in 1766, Bentley Priory has been a home, a hotel, a girls' school and, most famously, Headquarters Fighter Command during The Battle of Britain. The house has welcomed visitors such as Lord Nelson, Sir Walter Scott, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
The apartments and museum within the listed mansion will be converted by City & Country Group. The 89 new Barratt houses in the grounds are designed by Robert Adam Architects.
The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and duplex properties in the mansion will have access to the grade II registered Italian-style garden terrace and the 19th-century parterre.
In the new part of the development, exterior façades will incorporate an attractive variety of elevations and external finishes; a gatehouse will contain three-bedroom apartments, while four- and five-bedroom townhouses will centre on courtyards and crescents.
Larger detached properties with indoor swimming pools will be available at a later stage.
Prices at Bentley Priory range from £575,000 for an apartment with a view across North London, around £1.75 million for a four- or five-bedroom townhouse and up to £5 million for a five- or six-bedroom house with indoor swimming pool.