Cotswold market values

Julian Archard of Savills compares the Cotswold property market with the rest of the country

The research department at Savills regularly publishes statistics showing how local property markets are faring compared to the national market. Here are some from the most recent Cotswold titbits:

• Savills attains, on average, 96% of its asking prices in the Cotswolds

• Prime urban properties in the Cotswolds are within 1% of their 2007 levels whereas large manor houses are still 16.6% under

• 50% of buyers of houses over £1.5 million in the Cotswolds come from London

• 40% of buyers of houses over £1.5 million in the Cotswolds work in the London financial markets

• Nationally, houses near to top performing junior schools command a 50% premium

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Savills’ research department is highly respected and is led by Lucian Cook who, again this year, was nominated by The Telegraph to be in the top 25 movers and shakers within the UK property market.

It is always interesting when we receive Lucian’s latest findings to compare them with what is happening in the field and to think of anecdotal evidence of his findings. The first of the points above is an undisputed fact based on hard figures ; the second raises the issue of Cotswold town versus Cotswold country markets.

It is certainly true that the Cheltenham town market this year has had a storming time ; good quality houses close to the centre are selling well and for good money. Interestingly, the top end properties in particular have fared well with some surprising results and happy vendors. The country markets, in comparison, have struggled ; there have been fewer buyers looking for large manor houses. However, a lack of quality stock has meant that where a best in class property has come to the market, it has sold way above its guide price. Competitive bidding is certainly making its return.

The last three of Lucian’s points can be dealt with together. It is absolutely the case that many of our ‘top end’ buyers are from London – likely families relocating and drawn to the area by the local schools. Traditionally, they will have sold in a good postcode in London and will be exploiting the gap between London and country values. That said, although they have good spending power and often pay strong prices for the house of their dreams close to their chosen school, we have not yet seen a 50% premium paid in our region.

All this, together with the press giving us positive news about the property market, feeds buyer confidence, and we are expecting that confidence to grow and become more entrenched during the course of next year. Does this mean that we have turned the property market corner? In our view not as yet - sensible asking prices and realistic vendor expectations are still paramount. That said, I am sure that Lucian would not begrudge us a healthy dose of optimism!