Despite all the doom and gloom in the press, Rural View Prime had a record year for country house sales in 2023 – primarily in the £1,000,000 – £4,000,000 range. The negative news stories by property pundits have generally focused on discussing the UK’s average house price circa £300,000 which is of course a very different market and one much more impacted by the higher interest rates. However prices have softened across the board by at least 5% for the best and in other cases 10% +.
The Ukraine & Israel wars, high interest rates along with economic/political uncertainty do prey on the minds of would-be purchasers. However, we live in an incredibly beautiful and fashionable area with wonderful open spaces, rolling countryside and low housing stock. It is this imbalance of supply and demand which keep prices strong and encourages buyers to invest, where debt ratios are low and “cash remains king”. London based buyers continue to gravitate west, although perhaps not in quite the same numbers as the previous two years. The schooling locally in both state and private sectors is ever popular and our road and rail connections offer great flexibility.
One of the key themes to 2023 was our success with private sales. During the year, 70% of our prime sales took place off market, which is an incredibly high statistic. Why is this you may ask? Increasingly vendors and buyers are gravitating towards this option preferring their property not featured online.
Overall, we are positive about the prospects for the country house market in 2024 as the economic situation gradually improves and the impacts of higher interest rates are gradually absorbed. It could be an early market next year, but it will always be weather dependent and a cold/wet spring can put the brakes on! It’s uncertain exactly when the general election will take place but history tells us that buyers often “sit on the fence” in the month leading up to this causing a temporary pause. Preparation is always key, so make sure the hedges and edges are neat and tidy and you have good sunny photos if you are contemplating a move! We look forward to being of any assistance.