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2010 Prime COuntry Houses-A Tale of Two Markets

PUBLISHED: 00:16 15 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:40 20 February 2013

2010 Prime COuntry Houses-A Tale of Two Markets

2010 Prime COuntry Houses-A Tale of Two Markets

During 2010 prices in the prime country house market continued to rise, this is mainly due to a shift from UK buyers to international buyers. For those hoping to find their dream country estate in the Home Counties...

During 2010 prices in the prime country house market continued to rise, this is mainly due to a shift from UK buyers to international buyers. For those hoping to find their dream country estate in the Home Counties, Harrods Estates property acquisition service could be the answer. This discreet bespoke service takes clients through the whole home buying process from the initial search to contract exchange and completion.

Research from Harrods Estates shows figures for the first half of the year rose on average by 2%, and prices are now 4.6% higher than they were in June 2009. However, the headline figures do not tell the whole story.

The classic country estate, comprising a period main house, landscaped grounds, stables, paddocks and (typically) 100+ acres of land, which could be located anywhere in the UK, is no longer the sole focus for buyers. Demand for lifestyle country houses, usually located within an hours drive of Greater London is growing. These are extremely large (over 15,000 sq ft in size) properties, often newly built or recently refurbished, with little land, but an impressive range of facilities, such as gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertaining suites, helicopter pads and extensive high-tech security.

This shift in focus follows a change in buyer profile. Analysis of land registry data reveals that 15% of sales of country houses in the 2-4 million range were to international buyers, rising to 30% for properties priced above 4 million. 80% of these buyers were looking for properties in the South East, easily accessible from London and close not only to international airports, but to airfields such as Farnborough and Biggin Hill that can handle private jets and helicopters.

As a result, prices for prime country houses in the Home Counties around London lead the market, with a 10.4% upturn in values since 2009. At the very top end, properties worth over 2 million are now just - 8.6% off peak with the best in class often trading at or close to peak.

Shirley Humphrey Sales and Marketing Director at Harrods Estates, comments: The UK prime country property market is a safe place to invest, both in terms of properties holding their value over time and the economic and political stability of the UK itself. The weakness of sterling has further increased its appeal for overseas buyers.

Houses and estates over 4 million that combine the excellent facilities and accessibility of the lifestyle country house with the historic charm of traditional estates in the right location can command extremely high prices.

Harrods Estates property acquisition service begins with an initial, free no-obligation consultation, then a comprehensive client brief forms the basis for a pro-active search, followed by tours of the area, short-listing of properties and viewings.

This service provides the perfect option for those who dont have the time to find their dream home. Shirley Humphrey, Sales and Marketing Director continued: Clients looking for prime properties are frequently extremely busy people who are keen to maintain their privacy. The Harrods Estates Property Acquisition Service offers a discreet, tailor made solution driven by what the client wants, enabling them to make a decision on the best knowledge available.

For further information about the Property Acquisitions Service, please call Harrods Estates on 0207 225 6506 or visit


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