The country house market begins 2008 in good health, according to the latest report from Knight Frank. It says the market had a good year in 2007, prices for country properties rose by 7.9% last year overall.

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Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank, said he expected that the general slowdown would slightly affect prime markets, and the country house market was no different at the end of last year. ‘We would note that in each of the last 12 years the final quarter has always been the weakest in terms of price growth and we shouldn’t be overly despondent about a fall of -0.04% in the final three months.’ he said.

‘The uncertain economic conditions in late autumn undoubtedly caused potential buyers to reconsider their purchasing options resulting in the country house market becoming noticeably less buoyant at the end of the year. However, as might be expected the more expensive manor house market performed well with prices rising 10.5% over the year against 8.4% for farmhouses and 4.9% for cottages.’

Knight Frank is currently predicting a two-tier market in 2008 between properties that can be described as perfect and those less so; the year begins as a definite buyers’ market.

House price changes 2007 by type:

Manor houses: Although manor houses showed no sign of growth in the last quarter, over the year as a whole they performed we finishing the year 10.5% higher.

Farmhouses: The quarterly figure for farmhouses showed a growth almost unchanged from the previous period, but this sector shows a healthy annual growth return of 8.4%.

Country cottages: The growth in price of country cottages slowed in the last two quarters with the final quarter ending 0.7% down.

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