Luxury Houses in Major English Markets Gain £1,000 a Day

Posted by John Kirk — April 16, 2007

Demand for the Westcountry’s most expensive properties is booming with prices rising by 15 percent over the past year, new figures reveal today.Estate agent Knight Frank said owners of the most prestigious properties in Devon and Cornwall had seen the value of their homes rise by as much as £350,000 in the last 12 months – or almost £1,000 every day.Experts believe record bonuses in the City of London are fuelling the market. One estimate put the total bonuses paid out by leading financial institutions last year at an astonishing £19 billion.More than 4,000 workers were estimated to have had at least £1 million and some bonuses were understood to have been as high as £10 million.But while there is strong interest from people able to afford the most expensive properties, first-time buyers are struggling even more.Will Morrison, head of Knight Frank’s Exeter office, said the firm in Devon and Cornwall alone had sold in excess of £100 million worth of prestigious properties in the last 12 months. “The market in Devon and Cornwall is exceptionally strong – it’s probably the strongest it has been for a good four or five years.”As well as City workers using their bonuses to buy hideaways in the rural Westcountry, the property market in London has also boomed, which has led to people cashing in on homes there to buy in Devon and Cornwall.Knight Frank said the prime London market had seen a boom in recent months, leading to a surge in demand elsewhere in the country – in particular the southwest, which saw a 5.1 percent rise in prices of the most expensive homes in the last three months – the highest in the country.Knight Frank breaks down its most prestigious properties into three categories – cottages, defined as three or four-bedroom village or small country properties; farmhouses, described as four or five-bedroom detached properties with between four and 10 acres of land; and manor houses, defined as detached properties with more than five bedrooms and more than five acres of land.The average price of cottages in Devon and Cornwall has risen by £46,000 over the last 12 months, an average of £126 a day, to £546,000 at the end of March up from £500,000 12 months ago. They have risen by £26,000 since the end of December alone. Farmhouses have seen their value soar by £174,000 over the 12 months ending in March, a total of £476 a day, to £1.2 million compared to £1.026 million a year ago. Manor house prices have risen by £350,000 over the year to £2.1 million, a rise of £958 a day, from £1.75 million 12 months ago.Since the end of March 2002, prices of cottages in Devon and Cornwall have risen by £145,000, farmhouses by £280,000 and manor houses by £445,000. Soaring prices of prestigious properties helped the average price of a home in the two counties rise to more than £200,000 earlier this year.According to Land Registry figures, in Cornwall in 2000, the average house price was 7 percent below the national average – but now it is 15.6 percent above.In Devon, average house prices were now 13 percent above the national average, compared with a little more than 3.5 percent above seven years ago.Dan Rogerson, Liberal Democrat MP for North Cornwall, said: “This is further proof that there is a huge gap between those that have capital and those that don’t. One of the factors fuelling this demand for country properties remains growth in the second-homes market.”For the original article in the Western Morning News, click here.

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