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Country house market roars back to level last seen in 2007

A surge in activity ahead of June’s stamp duty deadline and tight supply saw price growth in the country house market reach a level not seen since before the global financial crisis in 2007, Knight Frank says.

Average values increased by 3.7 months in the three months to June, which was the strongest rate of quarterly growth in 15 years. 

This compares with price growth of 2.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2021.

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It means average prices are 10.5 per cent higher than a year ago, which is the strongest rate of annual growth since early 2007. 

The agency says the pandemic-inspired escape to the country trend has seen heightened sales activity in the past year, boosted by the stamp duty holiday. 

The number of exchanges in the country market was a new record in June, surpassing the previous record, set in March - the month of the original stamp duty deadline, by 13 per cent.

In this sector, as in so many others, new supply has been limited.

“While market appraisals for sale have been back above the five-year average in recent months this hasn’t yet converted into enough new listings to meet strong demand for space and greenery post-pandemic. This has put upwards pressure on prices” explains Chris Druce, senior research analyst at Knight Frank. 

Given the strength of the market, prospective sellers have been reticent to sell without somewhere to buy, exacerbating the supply imbalance. There were 11.4 new prospective buyers for each new instruction in the country market in June, which is historically high: back in June 2019 the figure was 7.5.

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