Country houses for sale

Property Talk: Is the property market cooling off — or just having an early Christmas?

Experts from Winkworth claim that the property market isn't in trouble, but simply having 'a slightly earlier Christmas' than normal; and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's former home in the New Forest comes up for sale.

Talk around the property market in recent weeks hasn’t been so much about whether prices will fall, but rather by how much. And Dominic Agace, CEO of Winkworth, says that the market is ‘looking a little rosier’ after the drama of the ‘mini-Budget’, says. Speaking to the Property Exchange podcast, Dominic also said that downsizers are set to sell the family home and prices are likely to fall, but that sales demand shall continue.

‘It has been a dramatic time since the mini-Budget, with the crisis around gilts and an increase in interest rates, but things are looking a little rosier,’ he said, adding that while demand for properties is down, it’s still roughly at 2019 levels.

‘The market lives off momentum. There was huge momentum due to low interest rates, with prices up by 20%. What we are seeing now is a slightly earlier Christmas as people settle down to the new environment with interest rates and the cost of finance. We may see 5% coming off prices this year, but that is in the context of 10% price increases this year and 20% over the past two years in some areas.’

“‘No government has delivered on housing supply in the past 20 years”

His comments were echoed by Adam Stackhouse, director of development and commercial investment at Winkworth, who added that ‘there is no sign of panic, more a pause for breath and a moderation of the market against record periods of growth’.

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Market and economic conditions are also likely to mean an increase in larger properties coming to the market, with the cost of energy, building and maintenance all up. As a result, there will be more opportunity to buy that ‘once- in-a-generation house, which may have been with one family for more than 30 years,’ adds Dominic.

However, he warns that there is still a lack of political will to tackle the long-term challenges in the market, most notably housing supply. Landlords are seen as the ‘whipping boys’ for the lack of social housing and the major issue is supply. ‘No government has delivered on this in the past 20 years,’ he adds.

Finding homes in the New Forest can be tricky, but finding Holmes is no longer a problem, as Bignell Wood near Minstead, former home of Arthur Conan Doyle, is up for sale. The property was acquired by Conan Doyle as a gift for his wife, in 1924, and the pair lived there until 1930.

Bignell Wood, Hampshire.

Currently owned by the interior designer Jane McIntyre, the house comes with eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms and 10 reception rooms, including a ‘study in scarlet’.

For sale at £2.95 million, with Spencers New Forest.

In the wake of COP27, new research by developers British Land has found that the environmental impact and energy efficiency of properties have never been more important. More than half of UK adults agree that sustainability with regards to housing is a key consideration when renting or buying. When polled, a quarter of respondents admitted that they would pay a premium to live in a more energy-efficient home.

Those figures are higher among those aged between 18 and 34 years old, demonstrating the increasing value of green issues among future generations.

‘This research shows that sustainability is increasingly front of mind for people—particularly younger generations—and it is starting to translate into bigger life decisions, including house purchases,’ says Matt Webster of British Land.

‘The real challenge in the residential space is the operational performance of existing stock and making sure these are energy efficient.’

Fans of redeveloped London power stations may have been disappointed not to get the opportunity to live in the newly opened Battersea Power Station, but fear not:Chelsea Waterfront’s historic Lots Road Power Station is slowly taking shape and is due for completion in 2023.

First built in 1905, Lots Road provided power to London’s Underground for almost 100 years. One of the country’s first steel-framed buildings, the station consumed 700 tons of coal each day. A London Transport poster even described its switchboard as ‘the modern Jupiter, hurling his lightning’. Sales were launched in September, with two-bedroom apartments starting at £1.7 million. See for more.