Property features

Byebye Brady bunch

By Charlie Jacoby, December 22, 2009

After more than 30 years of use, the Brady Maccabi Youth & Community Centre in Manor Park Crescent, Edgware, Middlesex, is now being sold.

During this time, the building has echoed with the fun and laughter of generations of boys and girls enjoying the extensive benefits of the club. These included a well-equipped sports hall, theatre and auditorium, cafeteria and kitchen, offices and meeting rooms for educational, sport and social events.

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Housing-market hopes for 2010

By Charlie Jacoby, December 22, 2009

London’s estate agents have done the digital equivalent of sucking their pencils and now say they know what will happen to house prices in 2010. A modest increase in properties coming up for sale is having little effect on the housing market, as prices continue to rise, says the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors. For the sixth consecutive month, more chartered surveyors are reporting an increase in new instructions than are reporting a fall. However, demand is still outstripping supply and most surveyors are again reporting rising prices.

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Octagon is a winner

By Charlie Jacoby, December 9, 2009

Two silver awards have been presented to Octagon for its grade II listed converted mansion at Wall Hall, in Aldenham, Hertfordshire. The accolades, from What House?, were for best luxury development and best renovation. Each of the seven converted homes in this castellated manor house is a one-off. They range from a 1,100 sq ft two-bedroom second-floor apartment to a 6,000 sq ft, three-storey baronial-style wing, with two reserved car spaces each and invaluable lock-up storage rooms in the secure underground car park.

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Rents set to rise

By Charlie Jacoby, December 9, 2009

Surveyors expect to see rent rises in the New Year as the number of rental properties coming on to the market fell for the first time since January 2008. That’s the conclusion of the latest lettings survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The recent pick-up in the housing market seems to have led to a drop in the number of rental properties, particularly houses, being made available and, as a result, surveyor optimism has increased for the first time since July 2008. Some 22 per cent more surveyors expect rents to rise rather than fall in the next three months.

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Rising stars of the housing market

By Charlie Jacoby, November 26, 2009

House prices in the UK will continue to rise throughout 2010 and beyond. That’s the conclusion of the Chesterton Humberts/CEBR forecast. Most reports have predicted a slight drop in 2010, but Chesterton Humberts believes prices will rise more than four per cent in London and two per cent in the rest of England and Wales.

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Beware of hidden regulations

By Charlie Jacoby, November 26, 2009

Landlords are being urged to swot up before bidding on properties with regulated tenancies. These give a tenant the right to be in a property for life, often at 50 to 70 per cent of market rent. Chris Baguley, director at Auction Finance, says a property with a regulated tenancy can still be a great investment. “You get a fixed rent and when the tenant leaves, you get normal rights of ownership. I’ve seen an investor buy properties for £20,000 less than other houses on the same street. However, the tenants were in their 50s with a rent fixed at £50 a week.

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Feel at home in Israel

By Charlie Jacoby, November 26, 2009

Buying a holiday flat or house in Israel is exciting, but turning it into a dream home takes effort. New owners need expert know-how and local guidance. That’s where Ligia Garfinkel, an architect and designer and Chagit Gaon, a home stylist, come in. This professional Israeli duo can integrate everything from planning and design, supervising workmen and accompanying the owners on shopping expeditions for furnishings, appliances and fittings.

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Auctions see more action

By Charlie Jacoby, November 19, 2009

The confidence that is returning to the general property market is spilling over into property auction rooms, too. After a slow year, auctioneers may take heart from results of the autumn auctions round.

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A classy address

By Charlie Jacoby, November 19, 2009

Estate agent Savills has published research showing that access to a good school has an important effect on local house prices. Homes in the vicinity of the top-performing 25 per cent of secondary schools now cost 16 per cent more than their county average, up from 13 per cent in 2007. Homes in areas with a combination of good state and independent schools can be worth two or three times their county average. During the recent downturn, property prices around the top 25 per cent of schools fell by just under 16 per cent, suggesting that good schools can help recession-proof a home.

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On course for luxury living at historic Hertfordshire golf-club

By Charlie Jacoby, November 12, 2009

Restoration expert PJ Livesey has built 10 spectacular apartments and two mews houses, in a private, gated setting at Hatfield & London Golf Club in Essendon, Hertfordshire. Called Essendon Park, the scheme is priced from £695,000 to £1.5 million.

Essendon Park is 28 minutes from Kings Cross, via Brookmans Park station. Each home has a bespoke interior. Kitchens feature Miele appliances and granite surfaces; bathrooms are finished with hand-made materials.

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