Property&interiors 32 Wednesday, 14 October 2009 London Lite property prices in clapham are rising faster than inMarket moves...There is a particularly high number of apartments with short leases on the market right now, according to Douglas & Gordon agency. Up to 40 per cent of its properties for sale at less than 500,000 have a lease shorter than 80 years, which can make it tricky for buyers to get a mortgage. And any buyers hoping to extend the lease once theyve exchanged contracts should know the process isnt cheap: a flat worth 400,000 with 75 years remaining on the lease will cost just under 20,000 to add another 90 years. Worried youre paying too much in rent? Gumtree.com has launched an application on its site that evaluates average rents for an area. Click on rentsmart. gumtree.com, type in your postcode, the number of bedrooms and the rent you are currently paying, and the site will tell you if its time to call your landlord for a chat about re- negotiating your rent. Typical prices are based on the annual 1.2m rental properties listed on the site. AlexAnDer ArmsTronG, one half of comedy duo Armstrong & miller, has done an elle macpherson and made a loss on the recent sale of his house. Armstrong, below, sold his three-bed holland Park home for 1.8m, having bought it for 1.895m in 2006, and spending 600,000 on building work shortly after. The face of Pimms tried to sell the place for 2.65m 18 months ago, but had to reduce the price substantially to get it shifted. if youre thinking of putting your home on the market in the next year or so, it may pay to do so sooner rather than later, advises WA ellis. The reason not to dilly- dally, according to the agency, is the impending general election -- a time when traditionally the property market grinds to a halt as everyone waits to see what the result is. With an election certain in the next eight months, you might want to act now to avoid the uncertainty that it will inevitably bring, says WA ellis sales partner richard Barber. I TS all over for north London. South London is officially where its at with house hunt- ers at the moment. According to a recent survey by Savills agency of the most desirable areas in the capital, it is the south- west that is currently most popular. This pocket -- par ticularly Clapham and Wandsworth -- even beats central London in terms of house price gains right now: attrac- tive homes here have gone up by an astonishing 8.4 per cent in the past three months. Our research looked at what we call prime areas and homes -- basically good- quality flats and homes in nice areas -- and we found south-west London has recov- ered from price falls the quickest, and is, at the moment, showing stronger growth than even central London, which is astonishing, says Lucian Cook, head of resi- dential research at Savills. It just goes to show you how massively popular living in these areas has become. There are a number of reasons for this, says Michael OFlynn, director of find- aproperty.com. Clapham and Wandsworth appeal to a wide cross-section of people, he says. There are excellent trans- port links, lots of parks and a real sense of community. Perhaps the most significant evolution in the area over the past 20 years, however, has been the social scene and nightlife, particu- larly in Clapham. A huge number of bars, restaurants, cinemas and shops have sprung up across the borough -- residents need never leave. While average prices in Clapham and Wandsworth are now high -- findaproperty.com reports that the average cost of a two-bed in Clapham is now 409,440, and 333,806 in Wandsworth -- all hope is not lost for buyers who dont have access to a Swiss bank account. There are still areas in or around these postcodes that are affordable. Clapham North, Stockwell, Earlsfield and Tooting all offer good value and are close by. The border between Clapham North and Stockwell seems to be blurry. Indeed, lots of areas in the SW9 post- code -- strictly speaking Stockwell -- are known as Clapham North. Some people will say they live in Stockwell, others claim its Clapham, says Kinleigh Folkard & Haywards Justin Bhoday. People live here because its cheaper, yet they can still walk to Clapham and also have the convenience of Stockwell Tube. The Tube is much better -- its the Victoria line, so much quicker than the Northern line -- and youre just that bit closer to Brixton. For good-quality property that isnt former local authority, one-bed flats start at 220,000, two-beds at 280,000 and three-bed homes are available from about 500,000. Rebecca May, manager of the Earlsfield branch of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, has also seen an increase in buyers who have been priced out of their pre- ferred area. She says: Usually what happens is, our clients rent in Clapham or Wandsworth in their twenties, head to a local estate agent there and say, I want a flat for 250,000, and the agent says, Not a chance, sorry. Here in Earlsfield, were a 10-minute walk from Wandsworth, and one-bedroom f lats start at 200,000, with two-bedroom flats at 250,000, so you definitely get more for your money. Earlsfield is also becoming a destination in its own right. There is now a Carluccios restaurant, Sainsburys Local and Caff Nero. T OOTINg is another area that is seeing a lot of Clapham overspill, offering Victorian family homes and flats, and good shop- ping by the Broadway with a Marks & Spencer and a branch of Sainsburys. One-bedroom flats close to the Broadway cost an average 247,450, and two-bedroom flats are just over the 300,000 mark. If your heart is set on living in one of these boroughs but you find buy- ing outright hard to stomach, then there is always the shared ownership route. Notting Hill Housing is selling shared-ownership homes in three sites in the area, including Bridges Wharf -- just over a mile from Clapham Junction station -- Ipsus 1, close to Wandsworth High Street, and Viridian, near Battersea Park. Prices for a 25 per cent share of a property in these schemes range from a more manageable 45,500 to 57,500. Shared ownership: Kate bought in April Ithasa reallybuzzy by jessie hewitson Homes herego likethe Clappers 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.html