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Demand for prime country houses goes through the thatched roof

The so-called race for space as the pandemic drives buyers to reconsider their lifestyle options has led to prices for prime country houses in the regions to rise 8.7 per cent in the past year.

Knight Frank says strong demand for prime property outside of the capital and rural living in general, coupled with tightening supply, saw average prices increase by 2.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 alone, hot on the heels of a 1.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The agency says buyers have continued to seek more space, greenery and privacy post-pandemic, exploring a new work/life balance that could see many working from home more often after current restrictions end in June.


Country homes valued at £5m have performed best of all in the prime niche, rising 15.8 per cent annually, with tight supply a contributing factor.

In the 12 months to March this year the number of exchanges between £5m to £10m outside of London increased by more than any other price bracket, up 85 per cent versus the previous 12 months to March 2020. 

By comparison, exchanges generally (excluding London) were up by 38 per cent in the same period, Knight Frank data shows.

New prospective buyers between £5m to £10m in the country in the 12 months to March 2021 was also the strongest performing price bracket, up 116 per cent on the previous year. This compared with an increase of 39 per cent across all price brackets.



However, despite that demand, price growth for higher-value properties has been weaker than the wider market in recent years due to a series of tax changes, leaving greater scope for rises. While prices in England and Wales grew 32 per cent in the five years to February 2021, the Knight Frank £5m-plus index only increased by six per cent in that time despite the recent pandemic-fuelled bounce.


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