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diggers350 tony at gaia.org
Fri Nov 22 16:36:24 GMT 2002

A tough market for millionaires' properties

>From The Richmond and Twickenham Times

By Ian Nott

HOUSES costing more than £2 million are becoming increasingly common 
in Richmond upon Thames, but estate agents say they are not selling as 
quickly as they used to.

According to a property finding website there are currently 14 houses 
topping the £2 million mark on sale in the borough. The most expensive 
of which is a six bedroomed house in Montague Road, Richmond, costing 

But local estate agents say that the top end of the market was hardest 
hit by the economic climate post September 11th.

They say that the traditional buyers, city workers with fat bonuses to 
spend, are in short supply and people are more cautious about making 
such a large investment.

Graham South, manager at Churchills on the St Margarets Road, said 
sales at the higher end of the market had been slow since the attack 
on the World Trade Centre. He said: "The higher up the scale you go 
the market is tougher. People with that kind of money are usually City 
based and with job insecurities in the square mile it is having an 
effect. The higher up the market you go it is quite evident."

Emma Merrison at Dexters in Richmond said: "Our view is that in any 
year there are always a limited number of properties changing hands in 
the £2m £3m bracket but Richmond is a highly desirable area.

"As long as sellers are realistic in their asking price, those 
properties are still selling to a mixture of buyers. These include 
people from out of the area, who are most of Richmond's buyers - it is 
still families who are buying these houses."

Featherstone Leigh, managing director Robert Leigh said that things 
were steadily improving but the kind of buyer at the top end of the 
market had changed. He said: "Throughout the course of this year the 
markets have strengthened though house prices have probably not risen 
to the vendors' expectations.

"Everyone sees things about property prices going up by 30 to 40 per 
cent. In fact we've seen between five and ten per cent in the course 
of a year."

Asked what kind of people were buying houses in the top sector of the 
market he said: "It's 90 per cent family oriented. They are mostly 
working in the service industry, probably a lower percentage of City 
workers than a year ago because of the changes in the City.

"Many of them are working in the media, sports professionals. Some of 
them are household names. A year ago 90 per cent of buyers were city 

16:10 Friday 22nd November 2002

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