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Prices in Britain’s prime housing markets outside London surged at the strongest pace in a decade during 2021, research has found.
Homes in the prime price bracket tend to make up the top 5% to 10% of the housing market by value.
As house hunters looked for more space and made lifestyle changes, price growth across the prime housing markets outside London averaged 9.3% over 2021, marking the strongest annual growth since 2010, property advisers Savills said.
Coastal areas, Cotswolds properties and commutable private estates tended to be the strongest performers in 2021.
Cotswolds country houses in the £2 million-plus market typically piled on nearly a quarter (23.4%) to their value, with demand coming from local homeowners looking to upsize, those relocating from elsewhere and aspiring second home owners.
Prime coastal markets, most notably Devon and Cornwall, recorded average price growth of 15.6% during the year, driven by high demand and shrinking supply, Savills added.
Only London’s very largest houses with at least six bedrooms have come close to the country markets for price growth, Savills added, with price growth in prime central London generally averaging 2.0% in 2021 and 3.7% in outer prime London.
“In these markets, the rarity factors: whether a rarely available type of property; the most sought after locations; or simply the very best view, have combined with high levels of buyer demand and wealth, to create pockets of extremely strong market conditions,” said Frances Clacy from Savills.
“New buyer numbers over the past month are running 1.5 times higher than at the same time in the two years pre-pandemic, suggesting that these trends will carry through into the early part of next year, at least.”
Across prime urban locations, price growth totalled 9.1% year-on-year, compared with 9.4% growth in the prime markets surrounding cities such as Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Winchester and York, according to Savills’ data.
“Since the summer we’ve seen the return of strong buyer demand in key prime city locations,” said Ms Clacy.
“But the value on offer in village and rural markets, because of their longer term underperformance, will continue to drive demand in these areas.”