Buying a Country House
Coming in to land…
It’s the age of the trophy estate as properties with land command top prices
The London housing market may be slowing but out in the sticks it’s a different matter. Country houses are once more de rigueur, with buyers snapping up sprawling country piles as soon as they come to market.
It wasn’t so long ago that Downton Abbey-esque properties were being divided up and sold off in lots to pay for upkeep. However, much like Downton Abbey itself, those days are long behind us. Today, it’s the sum value of the property plus its outbuildings and land that new buyers are looking for. According to Savills estate agency, when estates are sold as a whole, rather than packaged in separate lots, their average combined value is 13.8% more than if the lots had been sold separately.
The shift in buying habits
One reason for this shift in buying habits is that there are simply more wealthy people in the UK today. According to the Times Rich List, there were 77 billionaires in the UK in 2012 – that figure has almost doubled in 2018.
When you consider the number of tech entrepreneurs, hedge fund managers and foreign investors that are present in the UK, it’s no surprise that multi-million pound properties are on their radar.
So why is this new ‘squierachy’ snapping up our country piles? Yes, they are seen as the land-based equivalent to the trophy yacht, but they also offer something much more valuable in these media-aware times – privacy. With hundreds of acres on their doorstep, these new-style billionaires and their families can hide away from prying camera lenses and constant social media intrusion.
But it’s not just that – these billionaires know how to look after their money too.
By investing in sprawling country houses they can take advantage of tax advantages for properties with agricultural land, lower stamp duties and zero inheritance charges. Spreading their assets by investing in something solid means they are future-proofing their financial concerns.
But what do these people do once they’ve got their hands on one of our country’s historic homes? Surprisingly, it’s not all about proving who can be the next Great Gatsby, throwing the biggest and best parties in the area – today’s savvy rich list will put their money to work. Revenue streams can be created from letting cottages and land, creating opportunities for sensitive, green development, farm rental, timber sales, setting up organic farm shops, spa retreats, music festivals and glamping. Green energy is also seen as a huge opportunity for potential.
The new growth in the country homes market is great news for people who live in the countryside. Not only does it create a buzz about rural living, it creates new opportunities for work and will bring new business to the area. If you’re thinking about moving to the countryside, there’s never been a better time.