Monday, August 23 2004

The country house market has been strong over the first half of 2004, according to the latest Knight Frank survey, with their Country Homes Index rising by over 10% in the first half of 2004.

The survey showed that Knight Frank?s three categories of country property, ?manor houses?, ?farm houses? and ?country cottages?, have all shown a resurgence since 2003?s weaker market, rising by 9.7%, 13.0% and 12.7% respectively during the year to June 2004.

During 2003, the high-end country property market, led by the southeast, fell drastically, as a result of a lack of confidence prompted by the war in Iraq, the poorly performing stock market, the absence of City bonuses and a significant fall in the number of foreign buyers, especially those from the US.

Since then the war has ended and economic confidence has returned, and as a result the country property has seen a recovery in all regions throughout the UK, and across all types of country property, especially those priced over £4m.

Sherborne Manor, a typical ‘manor house’, has a seven bedrooms, staff cottages, an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, extensive grounds, and a large lake. It’s on the market at a guide price of £2.65m. For more information contact Knight Frank

However, Knight Frank does not expect the boom to continue, thanks to rising interest rates, and because price increases tend to occur in the first six months of the year with the market levelling off in the last two quarters.

Liam Bailey, Head of Residential Research at Knight Frank said: ?The country house market has recovered well so far this year from a poorly performing 2003. With rising interest rates and following strong growth to date we do not foresee price rises during the remainder of 2004. However well priced property remains available for the astute buyer both at the lower and upper end of the country house market.?

Knight Frank