The prime London and prime country markets are intrinsically linked. Last year Londoners bought £30bn worth of property outside the capital meaning one in five country homes were purchased by London leavers. And this despite sluggish house price growth across London and prime areas close by.
The capital’s prime markets peaked in 2015, but the price gap between town and country has been steadily widening since. A decade ago a home in prime central London (PCL) would have cost 35% more than a home in the country, today it costs 77% more.
Changes to stamp duty, affordability issues, together with wider uncertainty caused much of London’s slowdown and this spread from the capital to the prime country markets. However, despite the slowdown there is an active country market for those prepared to price their homes realistically. Over the last 12 months one in five homes subject to a price reduction sold for in excess of their final asking price.
International buyers are playing their part too. 10% of country homes sold over the first half of 2019 went to an international buyer. While in PCL the proportion of homes bought by Europeans (up 5%), Americans (3%) and Middle Eastern (1%) purchasers were all on the rise.
Ross Brien, Prime London
Joanna Cocking, Prime Country