34 Wednesday, 30 September 2009 London Lite Market moves... FORMER EastEnders actress Charlotte Avery is selling her four- bedroom Victorian terrace house in North Kensington. Avery, who is filming the BBC1 drama Doctors, is moving to East Sussex with her partner, eco-builder Simon Hinton, and her three children, Louella, Jonah and Jacob, whose father is Neighbours nice guy Craig McLachlan. She has already put in an offer on a five-bedroom house with six acres of land for 895,000, while her London pad is on the market for 860,000 through Bective Leslie Marsh. MORE reasons to be cheerful about the health of the property market: according to Savills agency, the London prime market -- covering the most desirable locations in the capital -- is continuing its recovery, with prices up by four per cent from June to September. The rise was boosted by low supply and high demand. Even the new-build sector is showing some improvement. According to the National House-Building Council, in the period from June to August it received 24,246 applications to build new homes -- an increase of 2.5 per cent on the last quarter. PITY poor Elle. The model and businesswoman may have one of the most enviable bodies, but all is not well in Macpherson land. She has just sold her six- bed Grade II-listed Notting Hill pad, but only after reducing its price by a whopping 3.5m. The home, which has a 20ft kitchen, cinema, gym and a wine cellar, went for just over 6m, according to a source. It was originally on the market for 9.5m. Elle, right, originally bought the home for 6.25m in 2006. THE latest high- profile new-build launch in the capital is Arundel Square, which is being built by Londonewcastle. Nestling in Barnsburys conservation area in Islington, it consists of 115 apartments and penthouses, and the restoration of twhe garden square that it faces. Interior designer Tara Bernerd, who designed the White Cube gallery in Hoxton, is working on the project. Studios and one-beds from 285,000, two-beds from 470,000. by ruth bloomfield T he autumn auction season will soon be under way, and the catalogues are already available for next months sales. These auctions used to be mainly the preserve of professional developers, but thats starting to change as ordinary would-be homeowners get in on the act more and more. With the amount of property available at high street estate agents now at a record low, auction rooms have never been so full as buyers vie for bar- gains. In the next three months we can expect around 1.5bn- worth of property to be sold at the drop of a hammer. Charles Smailes, the chairman of the National Association Of Valuers And Auctioneers, says auction property can be as much as 20 per cent cheaper than normal sales. It can be the best value for money you can find, so long as you do your homework properly, he says. There are bargains to be had out there, but you really do need to know your onions first. heres our foolproof beginners guide. PreParaTion WheN it comes to auctions, prepa- ration is everything. You get the chance to view properties in advance, which is essential. Auctions expert Martin Roberts, who presents BBCs homes Under The hammer, says: Buying blind is madness. Dont assume youll always get a bargain at an auction. Property can still be overpriced. Check what similar properties in the area sell for, work out your maxi- mum bid and stick to it. Its all too easy to get struck by auction fever. ThePaPerwork ONCe youve identified the home you want, check out the auction pack -- available from the auctioneer -- which contains legal paperwork like land searches and title deeds. If youre not skilled and experi- enced in these matters, get a lawyer to have a look, advises Smailes. You must have finances arranged in advance, as you have to pay 10 per cent deposit at the sale, and the rest within 28 days. If you cant produce all the money you run the risk of forfeiting your deposit, and you may even face legal action. If you do need a mortgage to pay you should arrange an agreement in principle -- the banks promise to lend you the money when you need it -- with your lender in advance. Most banks expect at least a 15 per cent deposit, and with the deals cur- rently on offer youll be paying an interest rate of five to six per cent. Should you be able to afford a 25 per cent deposit you get a better deal of three to four per cent at the moment. The catch is if you agree to pay more than the bank later assesses a property is worth, itll refuse to lend the full amount, leaving you with huge liabil- ity. The solution is to get a surveyors valuation before you bid, but it costs up to 500. You then risk getting places valued but being outbid on them all. however, trying to save money with no survey is not worth it. ThesTraTegies ONCe youve done all the groundwork and youre ready to buy, a little gamesmanship might be in order. While all the experts usually urge you to resist getting into a bidding war, Smailes said it can be worth having extra funds up your sleeve. Never make your final bid a round number, he advises. If your limit is 200,000 and it gets up to that you may find 201,000 swings it, so if you can find a little extra then do. Martin Roberts agrees that auction etiquette counts: Dont start bidding too early, he says. There is no point in driving the price up early. Wait until they say, Going once, going twice, and then jump in. Property&interiors Fivehottestdeals--ourpick SavillS 26 Oct: The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington. Our pick: Sussex Gardens, Bayswater. Guide price: 125,000. One-bedroom flat. Barnard marcuS 12 Oct: Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Gdn. Our pick: Beaumont Road, Southfields. Guide price: 150,000. One-bedroom flat. Hundreds of ProPerTIes WILL go handsup foran auction bargain under THe Hammer index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html52.html53.html54.html55.html