Monday, 25 November 2013

Positive growth in the farmhouse and country cottage markets

Two reports have recently been published by Carter Jonas’ research department on the farmhouse and country cottage markets. Both reports indicate there has been positive growth in these two markets in the six months to September 2013 which reflects the improving economic sentiment in the wider economy.

However, although the brighter economic prospects may be driving demand, it is probably the lack of supply of quality property coming on the market which is as an equally important factor pushing prices up. Carter Jonas reports the average notional price of a farmhouse now stands at £1.49 million and in the south west prices have risen by 3.9% since the spring with Somerset being highlighted as a notable “hot spot”.

But the key to achieving a successful sale is getting the price right at the outset according to Kit Harding, head of Carter Jonas’ South West Farm Agency team based in Wells.

Kit commented, “We have had a successful year selling farms and farmland throughout the South West, including here in Mid Somerset but in every instance realistic pricing remains a key factor when bringing a property to the market. Properties which achieve the best prices are those being released to the market with accurate guide prices which encourage competitive bidding which often leads to best and final closed bids from multiple parties, thereby maximising value to the vendor.”

As far as the country cottage market is concerned, although there has been growth nationally, prices in this area have remained stable. It is speculated that this is largely as a result of the stamp duty threshold at £500,000 which continues to hinder price growth for properties valued just under this level although once this threshold is breached values may well move upwards.

It is also interesting to note that the rate of growth in the prime Central London residential market has slowed in 2013, in part because of the potential threat of the introduction of a “Mansion Tax”. It is speculated that this slowdown may encourage the traditional migration of young families from London to the country, especially if they see the value of rural properties beginning to rise after a long period of stagnation. Consequently values in the farmhouse market in particular are forecast to rise by 7-10% in 2014 in areas such as mid-Somerset.

James Stephen MRICS FAAV
Rural Practice Chartered Surveyor, Wells

T: 01749 683381

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