Country market eases to slowest price growth in nearly two years

The country house market seems to be slowing from a brisk march to a gentle stroll, says Knight Frank, as the rate of price growth trundles to its lowest point in nearly two years.

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Prime property values in the country increased by just 0.3% in Q3 this year, taking annual growth to +4.7%. The South West saw the best of Q3’s growth, posting +1% for the quarter to take the region’s annual price increase to +7.7%.

While “there hasn’t been a noticeable impact on sales volumes” yet (completed sales are quite a chunk higher – +8.4% – higher so far this year compared to the same time in 2013), there are are looming signs of a tail-off in momentum: “While the number of property viewings was fairly steady during the three months to the end of September compared to the same period last year,” says KF’s Oliver Knight, “the number of prospective buyers registering their interest in buying a prime country home fell by 9%.

Knight thinks the slow-down is probably down the now-familiar combo of General Election and Mansion Tax hovering over yonder on the horizon.

Rupert Sweeting, Head of Knight Frank Country: “As the statistics show there has been an increase in activity year on year which is indicative of the continuing low interest rates, prospering economy and general feel good factor. Early September saw a brief lull reflective of the Referendum outcome and discussions on Mansion tax but activity has returned signalling increased confidence and the fact buyers realise the Mansion tax proposals have not been thought through. Going forward with many house prices being readjusted, we will see a busy run up to Christmas.”

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