Knight Frank says the prices of so-called ‘prime’ country houses are still on average 13.6 per cent below their peak, despite a 2.4 per cent rise over the past year and despite 13 successive quarters of price growth.
“Since the financial crisis there’s been a growing trend towards living within thriving towns and cities other than London. This has resulted in prime urban properties out-performing rural counterparts across the UK” admits Oliver Knight of Knight Frank’s research team.
He says the problem has been compounded by the late-2014 changes to high-end property stamp duty, which has suppressed demand for such country properties further.
“Across all prime regional markets, urban properties are on average 4.1 per cent above their 2007 peak. Demand is strong in these locations, in part due to the high concentration of prime housing stock and good schools which make them attractive to families looking to upsize, but also thanks to a growing number of equity-rich downsizers looking to move to where they have access to a range of good restaurants, shops and amenities” he says.
“Costs are greatest in markets on the outskirts of the capital such as Elmbridge, St Albans and Guildford – perhaps unsurprisingly given average property prices tend to be higher in such locations. These markets have also been among the first to reap the benefits of the ripple effect of demand coming out of London. As regional economies continue to recover, more London buyers are expected to make this move.”