There has been a substantial increase in property coming onto the open market in the £1.5 million and above price range, particularly the Southern region of the UK which has seen a 66% rise year on year, according to a new report…
There is still a lack of ‘best in class' properties available and evidence of prime properties trading off market above guide prices as well as a strong demand for land from a range of buyers with prices rising significantly in the last quarter, the Country Property, Land and Estate Market report from The Buying Solution shows.
‘The post election rush and more certainty in our economic circumstances have encouraged vendors and buyers alike. That said, as always, there is still a lack of best in class properties available across the board. Such properties are attracting competition and in some cases, selling above guide price and there is still evidence prime properties are trading off-market at high prices,' said Philip Selway, Managing Partner of The Buying Solution, the independent buying consultancy of Knight Frank.
In the Home Counties there is a lack of stock with more being available privately, according to Paul Frost, buying consultant for the area. ‘The most active buyers are those making necessity purchases as they need to move for schooling, for example, and demand remains strong across all prime areas in our region,' he explained.
In Henley, Beaconsfield, Virginia Water, Weybridge, Esher, villages around Guildford, and the Petworth and Midhurst triangle, the finest properties are achieving guide prices and above. An example is a house in Wonersh Park, near Guildford which recently attracted competitive bidding in excess of its £2.75 million guide price even before being formally marketed. ‘This is proof that good houses will always sell strongly,' he added.
But in Somerset, Wiltshire, West Berkshire, Hampshire, and Dorset there is a shortage of supply. ‘A flurry of good quality houses were released onto the market after the election with reasonable guide prices being achieved. This has quickly reverted and we anticipate a shortage of supply as we head into July and August, the traditionally quiet summer period, although we anticipate the private market will continue to operate through this period,' said Bobby Hall, Partner and head of the Southern region.
Most buyers in the southern region are necessity buyers with decent budgets, moving out of London with school age children. ‘So the recent changes to taxation on second homes largely do not affect our market because this is a primary home market where schooling and the commute are the most important factors,' he explained.
There is also a general shortage of property in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Northants, Herefordshire, and Worcestershire, according to Ran Morgan, partner and head of the Central region. The land market in Gloucestershire is particularly strong, with up to £8,000 per acre being achieved even for bare land, he pointed out.
When it comes to top end country houses, estates and land there has been an increase in the supply of houses and a decrease in the number of necessity buyers and their desire to pay premium prices. ‘High prices are only being paid for the best properties when they are priced correctly and competition is being generated. Although we now have clarity on the Government's taxation plans following the Budget which provides a bit more assurance, I suspect that the uncertainty in the economy at large is what is causing the slowdown in buyer activity at the top end,' said Mark Lawson.