Prime country house prices edge upwards

Price growth in the country is still not evenly spread, with slight falls recorded in the North and Scotland, and the strongest growth, 1% and 1.2% respectively, recorded in the South East and the South West of England.

With low stock volumes and ongoing strong interest from London based buyers, further price growth in the counties around London should be expected over the spring and summer.

Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank, said: "The UK housing market has been experiencing difficult conditions since the middle of last year, and the prime country house market did not escape this trend.

"Prices fell in the second half of 2010 across most regions. However, the revival in the London market since the autumn has begun to filter through to the country house market. With foreign buyers happily buying over 50% of central London £2million-plus properties, some of these vendors are now looking to move into the country house market.

"For London buyers, moving to the country at the current time makes a lot of sense. Prices in London are 30% higher then they were in March 2009; in the country prices are up only 7% over the same period. In short, this means that someone selling in London and moving to the country has more than 20% additional spending power now compared to two years ago.

"While we ought not to expect rapid price growth from this point, it would seem fair to assume that the best country house properties will see further rises over the next few months."

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