Prime country houses saw higher price growth last year than in 2005, according to new research from Savills. Scotland recorded the best performance, with annual growth of 15.7 % compared to 5% in 2005. Meanwhile prime country houses in the Home Counties rose by 14% and prices are forecast to increase by a further 15% in 2007.
 
The figures show the top end of the prime country house market – houses priced over £5 million – are leading the market. ?It has out-performed all other price brackets since mid-2005 as an abundance of cash-rich buyers have competed for scarce, large family houses and exclusive ?trophy? properties at premium prices,? said Yolande Barnes, director of Savills research.  ?The Home Counties are most affected by activity in London and remain the popular preserve of the stockbroker?.  
 
Despite last week?s interest rate rise, Savills? forecast for 2007 remains bullish. ?Prime markets are driven by capital expenditure rather more than debt finance.  Much of this capital comes from overseas and from city bonuses and other sources of wealth ? so prime markets are much less reliant on borrowing than the mainstream markets and consequently, less prone to interest rate changes,? Ms Barnes explained.  ?We see little reason for demand levels to change this year, given the continuing large amounts of global capital still available to a wide variety of buyers.?