b'Market ReviewJanuary 2024MARKET COMMENTThe post-Covid frenzy for buying in the country was aDuring the early months of 2023 a long, wet winter held phenomenon that spanned a good eighteen months, showingback the traditional spring market but it eventually budded. a marked inflation over that period of some 15% - 20%In comparison to other regions, this part of the country was in Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset (Land Registry Index),cushioned by continuing demand for character homes in the although many of the properties we sold demonstrated anbest locations and, with an ongoing lack of supply, prices improvement even on this figure. were underpinned for those top properties.By the middle of 2022, however, mounting energy costsOver the summer & autumn months of 2023 Rural View had together with inflation and rising interest rates led to aa particularly successful period at the upper end of market, calming of what had been a frenetic market, with someselling many country houses and with most attracting strong of the froth coming off the top. It remained busy over thecompetition. 70% of these sales were conducted off market.summer months until the infamous mini budget at the endThe economy showed early signs of recovery during the of September 2022 led to an unsettled period with tradingsecond half of the year and confidence in the rest of the levels slowing down drastically and prices falling back somehousing sector gradually returned, with activity levels 5% - 10% from their previous highs. improving over the autumn and early winter months. Stock levels were certainly down throughout 2023, but we found that there were still plenty of serious buyers.Looking forward to the twelve months ahead, the crystal ball is somewhat cloudy. At the time of writing, mortgage rates are falling and the expectation is that the base rate will come down as well. We are already seeing improved sentiment in the buyers that we are speaking to, which fills us with confidence, and our thinking is that 2024 will be a much less volatile market with prices remaining stable. We expect our region to continue being an attractive destination for buyers drawn to its beautiful countryside, excellent schools and quality of life, and we hope to see a gradual upturn in overall market conditions as the year progresses.Charlie Graham Mark Matthews Lizzie Ball Charlie StoneCountry House SalesResidential Sales & Lettings Residential Sales Residential Sales'