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Country house prices holding up but further falls expected

Realistic pricing is key to a successful sale, with further price falls expected in the final three months of the year. Now is a very good time for potential purchasers to buy a lovely country house at a sensible price.
Andrew Shirley, Knight Frank’s head of rural property research, commented: 

“After strong growth during the past 12 months, the slight weakening of the English prime country house market in Q3 by 0.9% did not come as a surprise. The economic recovery is still stuttering and the coalition government has made it very clear that the Comprehensive Spending Review later this month is likely to be extremely tough. This sentiment was reinforced by David Cameron’s comments at the recent Conservative Party conference, which emphasised that everybody in the UK is expected to share the pain of rebalancing the country’s books.
“When you combine these concerns with a steady increase in the number of quality houses for sale across the country (stock levels in September were up 12% compared with 2009), the prime country house market is actually proving remarkably resilient. Serious vendors, however, must not be complacent if they want to achieve a successful sale. If guide prices need to be reassessed, this should be done sooner rather than later as prices could fall further by the end of the year.
“The prime country house market around London tends to be slightly less affected by domestic issues, such as government spending cuts,  because more purchasers come from overseas. Across Knight Frank’s offices in the Home Counties average values fell by just 0.3% in Q3 and are up almost 8.5% on this time last year. In south-west and central England prices fell by 1.8% and 1.5%, respectively.
“Purchasers at the top-end of the market currently seem the most price sensitive. According to our index, the average value of a manor house fell by 1.3% in Q3, while cottages and farmhouses dropped by 0.8% and 0.6%,  respectively.”

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