The January property market for country houses begins positively with renewed vigour in the surrounding counties of London.

Like most seasoned estate agents, James Mackenzie, head of Strutt & Parker’s country house department, is an optimist by nature. Having absorbed the impact of the Chancellor’s pre-Christmas bombshell, he maintains that, despite the fact that few country houses are being launched on the market at the moment, the year has started well. ‘So far’, he says, ‘we’ve had bids and are negotiating on three £3m houses in Hampshire, four houses in Hertfordshire at more than £2m and another two in the £4m price bracket in the Sevenoaks area. We’re also seeing renewed interest in Gloucestershire. Thirty per cent of purchasers registering to buy in the country for more than £2m this year are London-based and all looking at the traditional hotspots of Hampshire and Gloucestershire, as well as the commutable areas of Hertfordshire and Kent.’

With most of the deals done in the country currently hovering between £1m and £2m, Charlie evans of Strutt & Parker’s Salisbury office (01722 344010) reckons that his latest market offering, the idyllic Teasel, on the banks of the Avon at Wilsford cum Lake, near Amesbury, in the picturesque Woodford Valley north of Salisbury, represents the best value for money in his area at the moment. A fisherman’s paradise and a wildlife haven, Teasel is for sale jointly with Savills (01722 344010) at a guide price of £1.395m for the charming, five-bedroom, thatched main house, built pre-1850 with later additions, and set in 61⁄2 acres of terraced gardens and lawns leading down to the river—or £1.8 million with a cottage and a further five acres of land.

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