A WHITE rendered house in West Street, Marlow, once the home of two famous authors, is on the market.

In the early 1800s the property belonged to the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and his teenage wife Mary Shelley.

She’d just finished writing Frankenstein - the sci-fi novel which made her name.

She was living in the riverside town with the poet she’d eloped with to Italy as a 16 year old. It was their first home together as a married couple

The house is believed to date from the mid-1700s. Today it is Grade II listed.

It has four/five bedrooms, three bathrooms (two en suite), pristine open plan kitchen that flows into the living room where there are bi-fold doors that lead to the pretty garden at the back.

There’s a separate dining room plus a second floor study that doubles as a fifth bedroom.

Ground floor rooms have underfloor heating – the interior design is likely to appeal to today’s families as much as the original did to the Shelleys.

The property will be available to rent from December for £3,750 a month unfurnished.

This week’s average asking price for one of the 31,578 homes in the south east advertised to let through Zoopla is £321 a week.

According to a survey of 2,000 adults – half of them over 55 – 30 per cent of homeowners in Bucks “don’t think they will ever move house again.”

The research was commissioned by the developer of the Audley Retirement Village at Chalfont Dene midway between Gerrards Cross and Chalfont St Peter.

The average time participants had lived in their present house was 16.5 years, slightly above the national norm of 16.2 years.

The main disincentive to upping sticks for this group is stamp duty, the government tax levy on the sale of a house.

“Many in Buckinghamshire are living in homes too big for them yet they have no plans to move, “ says Audley Chalfont Dene chief executive Nick Sanderson.

Fifty eight per cent who took part in the survey said they had a spare bedroom which has only been used an average of seven times in the last six months.

’They are desperately looking for the right property but they simply don’t exist or [they are] are currently filled [not on the market], a fundamental flaw in the UK’s housing system and one that needs immediate attention,” says Mr Sanderson.

He added: “Rather than solely focusing on first time buyers, policy makers should be encouraging downsizing while taking a crucial look at building high quality specialist housing which can meet the demands of the ageing population.

“This should come hand in hand with other initiatives like a reduction in stamp duty which would support those looking to move out of their family homes.

“Only with a multi-pronged approach will we be able to solve the housing crisis.

“The government needs to start by looking at our ever increasing ageing population. The number of over 75s in the UK is expected to double in the next 30 years.”