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Record sale for Wentworth Estate property

However, in these somewhat dark times it is heartening to discover that it is not just the snowfall that is breaking records – some areas of the UK are defying the odds with their property prices, standing out as a beacon for hope in this storm of financial woes.

Surrey's Wentworth Estate has long been a popular, luxury location with a multiplicity of celebrity residents over the years, from golfers Ernie Els and Sam Torrance to Cliff Richard and Elton John, amongst many others. Prices are known to be high in this popular enclave, said to be one of the most exclusive residential areas in Europe, but one recent sale has set a new standard. Local estate agency Barton Wyatt, named 'Best Estate Agency Surrey' in the Daily Mail UK Property Awards 2008, sold a property in Wentworth Estate's Portnall Rise for a record price last month, making it the highest-ever price per square foot on the Estate.

Rupert Wyatt, managing partner of Barton Wyatt, explains more,

"The Wentworth Estate is synonymous with highly desirable property and this has always been reflected in the asking prices. Our recent sale, however, smashed the previous record price of just under £1000 per square foot recorded in July 2008 for a property on the Estate, setting a new level of £1,291 per square foot. Interestingly, the property was a modest house of four bedrooms but its superb location within a highly sought-after area meant that even in these times a new record was achieved."

Not only has this particular property ranked highly in terms of its sale price, but neighbouring roads Waverley Drive and Portnall Drive on the Wentworth Estate have also seemingly defied national trends by ranking second and third respectively in the Mouseprice Street Rankings 2008 for the South East region, making them both within the top three most expensive roads in the region. Falling within the remit of Runnymede Council, figures from the Land Registry for October to December 2008 also show that the borough's overall fall in house prices was less than the Surrey average, a decline of 8.34% compared to Surrey's average of 9.2%.

The old adage 'location, location, location' is one that remains true even to this day, with those properties ideally situated securing the greatest prices and the Wentworth Estate, with its world-famous Wentworth Club, restaurants and shops, just one example. Nearby Windsor and Maidenhead have seen, according to the Land Registry, the smallest decline in average house prices (a drop of 6.2%) in the last year, which given the current recession is heartening news and places them in the top of the highest priced counties in England and Wales. It is not difficult to see why this might be, with the county home to some of the best state and private schools in the country as well as boasting excellent transport connections in prime commuter belt territory.

Location and reputation are also important factors in the ranking of property prices in central London which came in third place in the World's Most Expensive Residential Real Estate Markets 2009 report by the Global Property Guide. Based on the average price of a 120 square metre high-end used apartment in the city centre, London's price of $20,756 per square metre placed it only behind Monte Carlo and Moscow which, given that there has been much talk about the financial troubles affecting the UK market more than other world markets, apart from perhaps that of the US, this reiterates that now, more than ever, buying in a prime location is key.

Rupert Wyatt aptly concludes,

"These are unmistakably difficult times for all, with financial worries and tightening purse strings affecting day-to-day life for most, but when buying a property in these tough times it is important to remember that, as always but especially now, prime locations will continue to rank highly, now and in the future."