The Spread of Super-Prime Country Estates

By Oliver Burns

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August 21, 2013|Super Prime Property

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  • ondon bears all the credentials for the perfect prime property location; however international investors are now widening their horizons and looking to the countryside. Although the rural areas within easy reach of London, such as St George’s Hill in Surrey and parts of Buckinghamshire have always been popular locations outside of the city, the pull of the countryside is now stretching as far as the Scottish Highlands. According to Savills, rich buyers spent £54m on Scottish estates last year alone.* This countryside appeal has persuaded people previously living the city life to permanently trade it in for this new perspective, whilst others are investing to simply enjoy the luxury of a holiday home in the country. But what is it about a country estate that has become so appealing?
Images via Oliver Burns

Knight Frank in particular has reported rising numbers of people moving outside the capital as buyers look for a quieter lifestyle with excellent schools. The growing global demand for a British education means affluent buyers are choosing to relocate to be nearer good schools and with people now looking further afield for education, the same goes for property in these areas.

English country homes have historically appealed to the British themselves but according to Edward Heaton of buying agents Heaton & Partners, growing numbers of Russians are also starting to take interest. Not only are they showing an increased appreciation for period properties but they are also widening their search to find such properties, with many buyers from BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India, China] countries looking to Hampshire and Dorset.

Image via Oliver Burns

For other international buyers, ‘sporting estates’ are a big attraction of the British countryside and have soared in popularity as prices for property in London rise, according to the sporting property index from Knight Frank. Typically in the Scottish Highlands or the Pennines, and supporting the expansive land suitable for deer stalking, grouse shooting or salmon fishing, Danes, Swiss and Italians flock to these types of estates. Similarly stud farms around Newmarket attract middle-eastern buyers for the racing. The sense of isolation combined with good transport links and the added luxury of space for a helicopter to fly them from the city and back, sees these trophy properties as worthy additions to their luxury real estate portfolios.

Image sourced via The Sunday Times

With confidence growing in the super prime country house market, developers are already beginning to take advantage of this trend and are starting to move their developments out into the Home Counties and beyond. In Surrey, super-prime developers Consero London have just announced the details of four new classical mansions, built to fulfill this demand for a luxury country estate. Said to be the most luxurious newly built stately home ever launched into the Home Counties country house market, Furze Croft – the first of the four, hits the market next month (September 2014) with an asking price of £17.5m.

For a foreign billionaire, a traditional English country house is still the ultimate status symbol and is a place that all the family and friends can enjoy together. When it comes to the high-end property market, the British countryside has more in common with London than it first appears.


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