The high-end prestige luxury property market has experienced somewhat of a boom in recent times, with average price growth of 3.6% in 2020, including 5.6% in the £2 million+ country house market.
There is no one-size-fits-all definition when it comes to luxury homes, but there are many features frequently found within a prestige property.
Typically, a luxury country home contains at least five bedrooms and multiple bathrooms. They often include paddocks and stables, outbuildings such as guest cottages and, sometimes, swimming pools.
In certain areas, such as Cheltenham and the surrounding Cotswolds, it is not unusual for a prestige home to be listed with Historic England, which will often also cover the outbuildings and not just the main house, with features such as old ice houses, gates or pillars listed in their own right. Homes like
this often benefit from considerable amounts of land and may be situated in conservation areas or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Larger estates frequently contain boundary anomalies – this is common when estates have grown or been split up over the years. They can also be subject to public and private rights of way, such as bridleways and footpaths.
When it comes to prestige homes, location is key.
In a city, fashionable neighbourhoods command high prices. However, in the country, transport links to London or Birmingham will also affect value and desirability.
The social aspect of country living is also important. For example, areas surrounding Soho House, a private members club in Oxfordshire, and Daylesford Organic in Kingham, can realise higher prices.
For coastal properties, sailing communities like Salcombe or St Mawes can impact property values.
Lastly, a thriving foodie culture in certain towns can command very high prices, such as Padstow in North Cornwall, which boasts locally sourced ingredients and dining venues in prime locations.
The prestige housing market has not been unaffected by the impacts of COVID-19. The pandemic has seen increased demand for rural and coastal properties, with homes in these desirable areas drawing higher prices.
There is a shortage of these homes, as demand is outstripping supply. Areas which once offered country houses at lower prices than the established popular locations have seen an increase in value due to the pandemic, as the appetite for country living has increased.
Conversely, the London prestige housing market has suffered, as buyers look to escape the bustling city due to the impacts of the pandemic and in search of outside space. This is especially true as working practices have shifted largely to homeworking scenarios, meaning many are moving away from the office and prioritising a comfortable home-workspace more than ever before.
The shift to purchasing coastal and countryside homes has meant properties in cities, as well as those which require a lot of work or contain serious breaches of listed building law, are harder to sell.
Each luxury home will have its own unique set of circumstances, and it is important to fully understand the features of such a property.
If you are looking to buy or sell a luxury home, Lodders’ prestigious private property service provides a bespoke and highly personal conveyancing experience.