Univer­sity chal­lenge win­ners

The Jewish Chronicle - - Classified -

HO L D O N A m i n u t e ! S o me­one’s found some good news t o r e p o r t about prop­erty prices. Fig­ures from the latest As­setz House Price Watch, which analy­ses data from the five main house-price in­dices, sug­gest that the mar­ket is flat­ten­ing and not fall­ing as dra­mat­i­cally as many re­port.

It says that, na­tion­ally, house prices are down just 0.1 per cent since the end of 2007. The av­er­age house price in March 2008 was down just 1.5 per cent since the peak in Oc­to­ber 2007.

As­setz says that three-month av­er­age prices have ac­tu­ally bounced back since the start of the year. Be­tween Jan­uary and March 2008, the av­er­age house price was £212,141, rep­re­sent­ing a mar­ginal 0.66 per cent fall com­pared to the three-month av­er­age price for Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber 2007, which was £213,551. But the three-monthly av­er­age house prices for Jan­uary through to Fe­bru­ary are vir­tu­ally flat.

Stu­art Law, chief ex­ec­u­tive of As­setz, com­ments: “While head­line an­nual rates of house-price growth are slow­ing, it is the short-term data over the last few months that shows how ro­bust the hous­ing mar­ket is prov­ing in 2008. Our anal­y­sis of av­er­age monthly prices across the main house-price in­dices, com­bined with av­er­ag­ing th­ese across the prior three months, takes out all of the volatil­ity and sta­tis­ti­cal er­rors that are ev­i­dent in the monthly data an­nounced by the main in­dices.

“The hous­ing mar­ket is very un­likely to crash. The fun­da­men­tal eco­nomics of sup­ply and de­mand sup­port this — the gov­ern­ment has made it clear we need to build 240,000 new homes per year up to 2016 to meet cur­rent tar­gets, but in re­al­ity to­day’s house­builders are build­ing nowhere near this tar­get. In fact a fall, as op­posed to an in­crease, in new starts is ex­pected over the next two years. Only last week, one ma­jor house­builder an­nounced that it plans to hold starts on all new sites un­til the mort­gage mar­ket im­proves. With this in mind, the lack of sup­ply looks set to worsen — fun­da­men­tally help­ing sup­port and even in­crease house prices.”

Among those de­vel­op­ers go­ing ahead with big schemes are two on the sites of for­mer univer­si­ties. Comer Homes is work­ing on its Royal Con­naught Park scheme in Bushey, Herts, for­merly the Royal Ma­sonic School for Boys and sub­se­quently the US In­ter­na­tional Univer­sity (Europe). Mean­while, In­ner Cir­cle Homes has ac­quired the 10-acre for­mer Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity site in Pon­ders End, En­field.

Comer’s Royal Con­naught Park is set in 100 acres of park­land. It will now fea­ture lux­ury apart­ments, each with gran­ite- and porce­lain-tiled liv­ing ar­eas, power show­ers and video en­try­phones.

An un­der­ground car park, with des­ig­nated res­i­dents’ spa­ces and ex­tra room for guests’ ve­hi­cles, will en­sure that the beauty of the grounds re­mains un­spoilt and there is 24-hour on-site se­cu­rity. Prices start at £369,000.

In­ner Cir­cle is work­ing with its pro­fes­sional team, in co-op­er­a­tion with the coun­cil, to bring for­ward a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for 600 res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties, 30,000 sq ft of com­mer­cial space and com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties.

At the heart of Pon­ders End, the de­vel­op­ment will be­come a vi­tal part of the town’s on-go­ing re­gen­er­a­tion. As well as pro­vid­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity with a new res­i­den­tial des­ti­na­tion and com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties, In­ner Cir­cle Homes will be mak­ing im­prove­ments to the lo­cal in­fra­struc­ture and high street.

Stephen Friel, de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor of In­ner Cir­cle Homes, com­ments: “Our aim is for the de­vel­op­ment to set new stan­dards for Pon­ders End and to pro­vide a wide variety of apart­ments and houses to meet the as­pi­ra­tions of the most dis­cern­ing city ex­ec­u­tives cou­ples and first-time buy­ers.

“We are sub­mit­ting plans to pro­vide new homes that are con­tem­po­rary in de­sign and in­no­va­tive in terms of spec­i­fi­ca­tion, to en­sure that Pon­ders End be­comes a place of choice, not a place of ne­ces­sity.”

Dis­tinc­tively-tiled, spa­cious liv­ing room at Comer Homes’ Royal Con­naught Park

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