Country houses for sale

Country house resilience

The country house property market has remained resilient to extremely difficult economic conditions, according to figures released by Carter Jonas.

Figures reveal that there was a 13.3% increase in total UK country house sales during 2009 and 2008 compared to the total number of sales during 2007 and 2006 combined. The total sales of country houses in 2009 and 2008, priced between £1m and £2m, increased by 11.1% compared to total sales in the previous two years.

Sales of houses on the market priced at between £2m and £5m increased by a significant 55.6% in 2009 and 2008 compared to 2007 and 2006. These figures suggest that that country house market has been bullet proofed against the worst recession in 50 years. Today, the Carter Jonas office in the popular Wiltshire market town of Marlborough says that demand for country houses hasn’t abated this year and prices have held firm.

Catherine Penman, head of research, says: ‘The past two years have been as bad as anyone in the property industry can remember, but the one shining light has been the high-end country house market, which has stood up impressively to the challenges of a failing economy and a property market in meltdown.

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‘There are several factors which are likely to have contributed to the resilience of the country house market during this economic turmoil. Firstly the typical country house buyer is a high net worth individual who generally does not require mortgage finance. Hence, they haven’t faced the same problems that many homebuyers have faced, trying to secure funds from banks that are reluctant to lend.

‘Also, the typical country house buyer is a well informed investor rather than a speculative purchaser. They generally know what they are looking for and are making an informed decision rather than a gut-feel purchase. Although we are not seeing a torrent of high-end country houses coming onto the market, the properties that we are being instructed on are of a very high quality and there are plenty of well-matched buyers, with specific requirements who have finance in place.

‘Looking forward, the outlook for the country homes market for the remainder of 2010 is extremely positive, despite the dark shadow of a General Election looming overhead. We are receiving a high level of enquiries from quality buyers and taking new instructions on a weekly basis. Sales figures for the first quarter of 2010 were encouraging.’

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