Country house prices grew by an average of 3.1% in the first quarter of 2007, leading to an annualised price growth of 12.4% for manor houses, the highest rate since 2000, according to Knight Frank.

In fact manor houses continue to be the strongest performing country house sub-sector, averaging growth of 3.5% last quarter, while farmhouses increased by 3.3%. and cottage prices increased 2.5%.

The best performing region was, unsurprisingly, the South West, which saw average price growth of 5.1%. Supply and demand are, of course, still an issue, says the agent, with the markets facing the biggest imbalance are Tunbridge Wells Ascot and Worcester.

Overall supply is still slightly below levels of demand: ?In the anticipation of a strong spring market the number of new properties brought to the market increased by 18% between February and March 2007, while new applicants increased by 215. Areas with a particularly improved supply of property include Beaconsfield, Stratford and Basingstoke,? noted Liam Bailey, Head of Residential Research at Knight Frank.