Property&interiors 36 Wednesday, 11 November 2009 London Lite Canyou buyit? Yes,you Barbican homes on the iconic estate rarely come up for sale ButMarket moves...The number of 1m properties in the UK has shrunk by 35 per cent, says property website uk. At the height of the market in late 2007, one in 97 properties was valued at more than 1m. Today its just one in 150. Predictably, London is home to the majority of property millionaires -- 57 per cent of the total for Britain -- with the largest share found in Kensington, where 48 per cent of all homes are worth 1m or more. The US embassy, in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, was bought last week by the Qatari government, possibly to be redeveloped into a luxury hotel. It has not been disclosed how much was paid for the Grade II-listed, 600-room building. Qatari Diar, the property investment arm of the Qatari government, also owns the 12.8-acre Chelsea Barracks site -- controversially agreeing to withdraw the makeover design after Prince Charles intervened. SAviLLS agency sounds a cautious note for the housing market next year, predicting prices will fall by 6.6 per cent. The house- price rises witnessed this summer have been a temporary phenomenon, it believes, and the market will soften as it remains weak. But they say its better news for 2011, with predicted rises of 2.7 per cent, and from 2012 to 2015 it forecasts prices will go up by 27 per cent. Myleene KlaSS, right, has put her five-bed house in Grange Park, north london, up for sale for 1.45m. The 31-year-old M&S pin-up bought the 4,000sq ft new-build, which she shares with fianc Graham Quinn and daughter ava, two, for 975,000 in December 2007. The imposing house has a large forecourt, security gates and an oak kitchen. WhyIlivein...Camden andthreeforsaleintheneighbourhood Four-bed house between Camden and Mornington Crescent with landscaped garden. 925,000, Chesterton Humberts (020 7267 2053) KatShoob The 25-year-old radio DJ presents a show with Rich Clarke 7-10pm weeknights on Capital FM and The Big Top 40 Show Sundays from 4-7pm. She is hosting the Jingle Bell Ball with Windows 7 on 5 and 6 December at The O2. ive lived in Camden for four years and love the fact theres always stuff going on and people to go out with. You get off the bus or Tube and friends who live here are like Come on, lets go for a drink and there are so many places to choose from. i like old-fashioned pubs such as The Lock Tavern and The Prince Of Wales, and the more trendy places like Proud Galleries. i do most of my shopping in town because thats where i work, but the vintage shop episode on Chalk Farm Road is brilliant for a rummage, and i like pottering around Camden Market, though it doesnt feel quite the same since the fire. For open space i head to nearby Primrose hill. im renting a flat with four other girls, but its my dream to buy somewhere eventually and id definitely stay in this area. its constantly on the go, so alive. Two-bed flat in modern canalside development. Open-plan living and dining room and off-street parking. 499,000, Foxtons (as before) Studio flat on second floor of a period conversion. Separate kitchen, bathroom and large living room. 299,000, Foxtons (020 7424 6000) by jessie hewitson H OMES in the Barbican dont come on the market very often. Of the 2,014 f l a t s i n t h i s i c o n i c modernist development, about one a week is put up for sale -- nowhere near enough to satisfy the demand of the thousands of hopefuls each year who register with local agents. But the Barbican complex wasnt always so popular. It was built between 1965 and 1976 and was loved and loathed in equal measure when it opened. The stark, concrete brutalist design was branded an eyesore by many, but now has Grade II-listed status, as well as being home to Londons tallest residential skyscrapers -- Cromwell, Shakespeare and Lauderdale Towers, all 42 storeys high. The penthouse apartments at the top of these build- ings are among the most sought-after properties in the city. As of last week, anyone with their heart set on owning a small corner of London architectural history is in luck. The top three floors of Frobisher Crescent -- formerly the premises of the City University Business School -- are in the process of being redeveloped, and the projects 69 flats have gone on the market. However, the studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom flats, developed by United House Developments, are not cheap: they start at 380,000 for the studio apartments, peaking at 1.87m for a three-bedroom duplex on the top floor. While the original homes in the estate have a somewhat dated layout -- basically all of them except Frobisher, as this is the first new development since the Barbican opened -- the interiors of these new homes are highly contemporary. Its like walking into an ultra- modern flat within the shell of an old, iconic building, says Karl Davenport of Chesterton Humberts, one of the two agencies selling the project. The finishes are very luxurious -- surround-sound and Corian work surfaces in the kitchen. For those who are more budget- conscious, it is cheaper to live else- where in the estate, which consists of the three tower blocks, a few lower- rise buildings and terrace homes. According to Glen Cook, of Hamilton Brooks agency, which is also selling Frobisher, one-beds start at 325,000 and two-beds at 525,000. He estimates that 30 per cent of residents are City workers and the rest are first-time buyers, architects and designers, most of whom are huge fans of the build- ing style itself. The facilities are definitely a draw. Aside from residential properties, the Barbicans 35 acres are home to theatres, concert halls, galleries, a conference and exhibition centre, shops, a gym, a basketball court, the City Of London School For Girls, communal gardens and a lake. The density of buildings may be high, but the communal facilities and space between the homes make up for it. Another bonus of living here is that all flats have some form of outside space, underground car parks and underfloor heating. Going back 10 years, there were very few decent restaurants or pubs in the area, says Mr Cook. Now it couldnt be more different -- there are good places to eat and drink everywhere. But the big advantage is security -- it has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, theres 24-hour security and CCTV cameras. All these facilities mean fairly high service charges, of course, which need to be factored into the purchase price. Owners of one-bed flats will be looking at paying about 2,200 a year, which includes underfloor heat- ing, and two-beds will have to fork out between 2,400 and 2,600. Potential buyers, be warned, however -- living anywhere else in London may be spoiled for you. People get addicted to living here, says Mr Cook. Its one of the reasons its so hard to buy here -- once clients buy they tend to stay forever. High life: Ellie McCardle bought in the Barbican last year 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