Country houses in UK selling well due to high interest and severe shortage of stock, research shows

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Good houses in the UK selling under competition

A continued shortage of country properties across all regions of the UK means that good houses are selling when under competition, according to new research.

Russian and Indian buyers are increasingly active in the Home Counties in the south of England and the forthcoming election is likely to stall the market so an early summer market is anticipated as a result, says The Buying Solution, the independent buying consultancy of Knight Frank.

‘We predict two possible scenarios for vendors following the election; they may hang on to what they’ve got, because property is a safe asset in inflationary times, which will stall supply, or, we may see an increase in supply from people who sell because they need to release capital as taxes and interest rates increase or their plans to perhaps leave the country are accelerated,’ said Philip Selway, Managing Partner of The Buying Solution.

A chronic lack of supply in the central region means that good properties which are priced well or are unusual have sold quickly, sometimes over guide price and with multiple bidders. Those that are in a good location and are attractively priced are selling well, the company says.

In the southern counties of Somerset, Wiltshire, West Berkshire, Hampshire, and Dorset there is a scarcity of decent houses, according to Bobby Hall, Partner and head of the Southern region.

‘An example of this is the recently agreed sale of an attractive Georgian house outside Andover which achieved a sensible but strong guide price of circa £2.25 million within the last month, despite the fact that some farm buildings on the opposite side of the road are being developed. In times of plentiful supply, this could deter buyers, but clearly this was something that the purchasers were happy to compromise on in the present market,’ he said.

‘Vendors who are marketing their houses sensibly are likely to achieve realistic guide prices throughout the region. It is also worth noting that we have had a number of new client enquiries with a completely mixed view of the election. Some clients are not at all concerned by it and simply want to get on and purchase, whereas others are seeing it as highly important and waiting to see what happens,’ he added.

In the Home Counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, South Oxfordshire, and West Sussex the desire to be closer to London has been amplified in the recent downturn, says Andrew Giller, Partner and head of London and the Home Counties.

‘Surrey has been the play thing of the globally wealthy for generations and currently we are seeing a second generation of Russians requesting our services to ensure that they do not make the same mistake as the first generation, that is overpaying for second rate properties. We also have a number of potential Indian clients,’ he explained.

But the top end of the market is slower. According to Mark Lawson, Partner and head of high value houses and landed estates throughout the UK, says very few new properties over £8 million and coming onto the market and any property which has become available has done so privately.

But there is a desperate shortage of agricultural land with a wealth of potential purchasers including neighbouring farmers, investors and tax driven purchasers looking to buy land, which is fuelling prices so that around £6,000 per acre is consistently being achieved.

‘I think it’s unlikely we’ll see a significant increase in the number of top end buyers after the election. The two caveats are that we are likely to see the continuation of wealthy international buyers looking to purchase in London and the Home Counties, as well as the continued demand for land,’ he said.

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