The coun­try mar­ket strikes back

In a year of un­cer­tainty, prop­erty seemed to be the one thing you could count on

Country Life Every Week - - Property Market -

IN a year in which the poll­sters got more or less ev­ery­thing wrong— from the UK’S Brexit vote and Don­ald Trump’s vic­tory in the Amer­i­can Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tion to Le­ices­ter City’s win in the Premier League—the mul­ti­ple un­cer­tain­ties of 2016 should have spelt dis­as­ter for the UK coun­try­house mar­ket. But they didn’t. On the con­trary, from Septem­ber on­wards, lead­ing agents saw a surge in sales of prime coun­try houses and es­tates with lit­tle sign of a slow­down on the run-up to Christ­mas—a time when the sec­tor tra­di­tion­ally hangs up its boots un­til spring.

Ear­lier this month, per­se­ver­ance paid off for Atty Beor-roberts, head of Knight Frank’s op­er­a­tions in the Cotswolds, when he and his team signed off on the sale of Peter de Savary’s immaculate, 207-acre Manor Hall es­tate (Fig 1) at Withing­ton, Glouces­ter­shire, to a Scan­di­na­vian buyer, in one of the re­gion’s high-pro­file sales of the year. The en­chant­ing Cotswold es­tate, with its Grade Ii*-listed manor house set high on a wooded hill­side over­look­ing the River Coln on the edge of the vil­lage, was launched—jointly with Sav­ills—in Coun­try Life on March 30, at a guide price of £10.45 mil­lion for the whole.

How­ever, the deal was no sea­sonal one-off, as Mr Beor-roberts ex­plains: ‘Across the Cotswolds, since Au­gust,

‘The mar­ket fi­nally kicked off in Septem­ber– it needed to!

we’ve sold no fewer than 27 houses and farms priced be­tween £2m and £12m —50% to lo­cal or re­gional buy­ers, 31% to Lon­don buy­ers and 19%–20% to buy­ers from over­seas—and we’re still go­ing strong. Many of the larger prop­er­ties or es­tates are be­ing bought by peo­ple in their fifties or six­ties, who have al­ready put their chil­dren through

Fig 1: Serene Manor Hall es­tate at Withing­ton, Glouces­ter­shire. Guide price £10.45m

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