THE most expensive street in Huntingdonshire is in Stonely, near Kimbolton.

Research carried out by The Hunts Post shows that the average price for a property in Old Ford Lane is in excess of £710,000.

The area around the west Huntingdonshire village has two more entries in the top 10 most expensive streets in which to buy property in the district, including Agden Green, which is Huntingdonshire's second most expensive street.

Hartford had three entries in the top 10, all in the area close to the river and all Saints' Church, while St Ives was the only one of Huntingdonshire's four market towns to make an appearance, with two entries.

Kevin Thomas, a partner at Thomas Morris Estate Agents, said he was not surprised by Stonely's popularity but said he would not expect to see Hartford on the list.

He said: "Generally, the further south you go, nearer to London and nearer to Hertfordshire, prices tend to be higher. Not dramatically so, but we would expect to see an increase.

"I would say the most expensive street in this area is Common Lane in Hemingford Abbots. Stonely does well because of the pull of Kimbolton School and I would say prices there would be similar to the Hemingfords.

"Village-wise, I would certainly say that Stonely, both the Hemingfords, Houghton and Wyton and Hilton are expensive areas, as well as Abbotsley, Great Gransden and the area surrounding St Neots."

The Hunts Post data are derived from all transactions completed since January 1995 as recorded by HM Land Registry.

Mr Morris explained: "Some of these areas see very few sales at all, which is why they might not appear on your list."

He said that Thomas Morris had sold a number of properties in the area for more than £2million, including one in Hilton.

"Our Fine and Country division has sold two if not three properties over £2m. To be honest, the busiest part of the market has been the high-end. The reason being people who can afford million-pound-plus homes are less affected by increases in petrol or food prices and are not looking to borrow high percentage mortgages. They are able to get some very cheap deals on finance because they perhaps need to borrow only 50 per cent or less."

He also said a lot of buyers were looking to move out of London, where they could sell a three- or four-bedroom terrace property for £3m, and move to an area such as Cambridgeshire and get much more property for their money.

The M11, A1, a relatively low crime rate and high employment are all points in Cambridgeshire's favour, added Mr Thomas. Should work to improve the A14 ever be completed, Mr Thomas said he would expect the property markets in St Ives and possibly Huntingdon to benefit as people living and working in Cambridge looked to move out of the city.

"It [work to improve the A14] has got to help but trying to quantify how is difficult. Improved communications to your nearest city, which in this case is Cambridge, will always have a positive effect."

Many house prices in the district have fallen over the past year, though they have stabilised in recent months, according to estate agent Peter Lane. But prices in some areas have gone up, he added.

The average price paid for a two-bedroom terrace property in Huntingdonshire had dropped slightly from around £130,000 to £125,000, with the average three-bed semi falling from £150,000 to £145,000. By contrast, prices for three-bedroom detached homes had risen from £200,000 to £210,000.

But in all these markets first-time buyers were being routinely outbid by investors.

"They are getting a very good return from rental, with rents going up at the moment, even if there's no capital appreciation," Mr Lane said.

The price of the average four-bed detached house had fallen from £250,000 to £230,000, but the sharpest falls had been in individual homes with five bedrooms or more and a bit of land, where what would have fetched £650,000 a year ago was now selling for £600,000 or even £580,000.

"To some extent, that's because they were overpriced," Mr Lane explained.

"But prices for some four-bedroom properties have actually gone up, particularly near St Ives, possibly because of the guided bus."

A recent report by Lloyds TSB showed that six of East Anglia's 10 most expensive streets were in Cambridge, with Sedley Taylor Road topping the list with an average price of £1.11m.

For a full list of the most and least expensive streets in your town see today's paper.