Buyers from overseas are responsible for sweeping up 43% of prime country property in the UK. The latest findings from Knight Frank report that prices of country houses grew by an average of 3.3% in the second quarter of this year.

Manor houses continue to be the strongest performing country house sub sector, with average growth of 4.1% in the quarter. The average price of a manor house now stands at over £3.1million. Further down the scale, the average price of farmhouses increased by 3.0%, while cottages increased by 2.8%.

Price growth has been led by the most expensive brackets: properties worth £4million and above rose by 21.2% in value compared to 8.5% for those priced at under £1million.

Knight Frank?s Head of Residential Research, Liam Bailey, comments: ?Payment of City bonuses together with an increasing international presence in the country house market has aided price growth. Cottages have increased price by 2.8% to average a little over £562,000 while the price of farmhouses increased by 3.0% to an average price of just over £1,311,000.

The South West region was the best performing region in the UK with property prices increasing by an average of 5.3% in the first quarter of the year.

Knight Frank say that the indicators from London are positive at the top end (above £3 million) with rapid turnover, low supply and high demand. The mid prime market (£1-3 million) is more subdued.

?In the year to June 2007, overseas buyers accounted for 14% of all prime country house purchases. That figure rises to 43% in the South East of England above £5 million. At this level the share of the super-prime market is taken by: 29% European, 9% Russian, 1% US, 2% Asian, 2% Middle Eastern, 1% Rest of the World.?

Top ten counties for price growth, 12 months to June 2007

County | % price growth, 12 months to June 2007

East Sussex | 27.5%

Wiltshire |25.0%

Cornwall | 24.6%

Kent | 17.9%

Somerset | 16.0%

Hampshire | 15.9%

Surrey | 15.8%

Buckinghamshire | 15.8%

Dorset | 14.5%

Berkshire | 13.7%