EWW’s regular property columnist, Louise Elliott interviews event rider and Savills Country House sales agent, Rebecca How about the South East’s equestrian property market –
Tell us about where you work and the South East…
Although I work in London, I focus on the area from the M23 round to Sevenoaks. This area offers people a slice of country living and access to equestrian facilities and venues, whilst still being within easy commuting reach of London. For those who are trying to combine equestrian interests with a career in London this area can offer a great solution with trains from Sevenoaks running into Charing Cross and London Bridge taking around 30 minutes. Most of the country properties in this inner commuter belt are situated around Sevenoaks in the Kent Downs AONB. Over the course of this year we are anticipating a modest increase in prime house prices and over the next five years an increase of 25.1% is forecast.
What about further away from London, surely not everyone needs to commute….
Further away from London buyers can certainly expect to get more for their money, especially in terms of land and facilities. In the outer commute area in the South East buyers can still expect acceptable commuting times with trains running from Haywards Heath into London Victoria in 45 minutes, and from Tunbridge wells into Charing Cross in 58 minutes. House price growth is anticipated to be similar to the inner commute with another modest increase expected in 2015 and 24.5% growth forecast over the next 5 years.
What do you expect will happen in your area in 2015?
Prior to the election we are seeing a large number of people registering interest in country properties, both with and without equestrian facilities. We’re seeing the greatest activity between £1 million and £2 million.
Mainstream properties across the South East are predicted to offer the best investment across the UK with house prices expected to increase in value by 26.4%.
Wow, 26.4%! Why do you think the South East is so popular?
The South East is well served by bridleway networks, with access into the South Down national park in Sussex and High Wield AONB in Kent. There are a large number of equestrian centres for a broad range of interests from dressage at Oldencraig on the Surrey/ Sussex boarder to Blue Barn and Golden Cross in Kent which both have busy mixed schedules in Kent. Bell Equine Veterinary Practice offers some of the most innovative veterinary facilities in the country.
Is anyone likely to pick up a bargain?
The ability to commute to London does tend to affect prices so the areas further into Kent tend to offer the best value.
Heather Cottage in West Sussex is a delightful family home in a lovely private setting of 6 acres with excellent equestrian facilities, adjoining Ashdown Forest. Guide price is £1.25 million. Click here
High Meadows is a house with wonderful character set in private grounds with southerly views, equestrian facilities and excellent ancillary accommodation, it’s about 45 miles from the city of London. Guide Price: £3,750,000 Click here:
You were spotted competing last weekend in your Savills branded numnah, what are your plans this season –
It’s now less than a week until the BE100 Badminton Grassroots Championship, which I’ve qualified for with Lisha Luba. We’ve had a great start to the season, with a placing at Tweseldown at our first event of the year and we stepped up to Novice at the South of England Horse Trials, for which Savills was one of the sponsors. We had a fabulous run around the cross country and I am excited about tackling the Badminton Grassroots course. We have a final run in the BE100 at Hambleden on 24th April and then we’re all set.
We’ll then be moving back up to Novice and hope to be able to complete in a couple of CIC*’s by the end of the season. I’ll be out and about across the South East so keep an eye out for me.
Finally, if EWW readers want to know more where can they find you?
I am based out of Savills head office in London and also spend time in our local offices in Haywards Heath, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Cranbrook. If you would like to know any more about the South East Property Market please get in touch at email@example.com or on 07972 028973.