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  • Writer's pictureJohn. W Engele

Record Highs in "Super-Prime" Country House Sales as Wealthy Londoners Take Advantage of Big Bonuses

If you're an affluent London banker or lawyer with a big bonus burning a hole in your pocket, it's time to start shopping for your very own Downton Abbey-style mansion.

Looks like the rich and wealthy are indulging in a bit of Downton Abbey fantasy, as sales of "super-prime country houses" reach a 15-year high. According to research by a certain well-known estate agent, a total of 168 homes outside London were sold for more than £5m in the year to October 2022. This is the most since just before the global financial crisis in 2007.

Apparently, the surge in country mansion sales is due to "wealth creation" during and after the pandemic, leading to a record number of "ultra high net worth" individuals (those with fortunes of over $50m). It seems that some sectors of the economy, such as financial, legal, and professional services, have performed strongly during the pandemic, resulting in an increase in bonuses to attract and retain top talent.

London-based buyers accounted for 41% of sales in the year to October 2022, compared to 24% in the year to October 2019. Demand is particularly strong for the most expensive mansions, with the sale of homes over £8m reaching 96, a 269% increase on the five-year average.

It's not just a certain estate agent seeing a jump in expensive country house sales, as another well-known estate agent reported a 5.5% increase in sales over £2m in 2022, and a 21% increase over the past two years. Domestic buyers seem to be driving the market, either looking to upsize in rural locations, purchase a second home, or escape urban areas.

One recent sale includes a Grade II-listed mansion next to Blenheim Palace, which sold for a whopping £16m. The 13-bedroom, seven-bathroom Georgian home, set on about 93 hectares with three cottages and stone barns, had been owned by the same family for four generations before its sale was finalized last month.

It looks like the demand for large homes outside London, which began during the pandemic, is continuing. With a shortage of supply and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, it seems the rich are taking advantage and snapping up their own slice of Downton Abbey fantasy.

If you are interested in owning a luxurious, Downton Abbey-style mansion within easy reach of London, Bayonne Estates is here to help. Our team of experienced agents has a deep understanding of the market and can guide you through the process of finding and purchasing the perfect property. Contact us today on 020 8087 2166 or email to start your search for the country mansion of your dreams.


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