Country houses for sale

London supply low but country market booms

Property prices for prime London houses have leapt 25.8% in the 12 months to January 2007, with average sales value of prime properties now standing at £1.1m.

January 2007 is the thirteenth consecutive month of price growth in this market, according to figures released by Primelocation.

Country properties in the meantime are achieving minimal growth by comparison with average sales prices up 1.8% on this time last year. This is attributed to greater stock of prime country property on the market, suppressing more active price growth. However, property in the counties surrounding London are benefiting from the excited market with properties in the South East enjoying 5.4% increases.

The much anticipated influx of cash from big City bonuses this year is thought to have attributed to high demand for property in the capital where stock continues to be at an all-time low.

Agents are reporting that for every £10 million-plus property for sale, there are at least 10 serious buyers, making competition fierce and sealed bids increasingly common. Fewer and fewer properties are making it to the open market before being snapped up by wealthy buyers.

This lack of available lack of prime property has also been attributed to the continuing influx of foreign buyers, particularly in London, as reported last week.

The unprecedented numbers of property on the market for February has also been evident in the pages of Country Life of late, as vendors look to sell their top-end properties earlier in the year than usual.

Tamsin Luck, from COUNTRY LIFE’s property team commented: ‘The property advertisement pages in Country Life are the barometer of the prime country property market and we have seen a busy start to the year with paging up 35% on 2006 in February alone – such is the demand from buyers that many vendors are marketing early and this looks set to continue into the spring – according to our agents at this very top end of the market there has never been a better time to sell.’