Top of the wish list in the country estate and farm property market is space for rural enterprise. Whether the property in question is a main home or a country retreat, space to host festivals, rear specialist breeds or offer boutique accommodation has become the latest must-have in the estates market.
Commercial space was always sought after in the country estates market, but over the last few years, buyers are no longer wanting just farmland to rent out, but space for their own enterprises. Since the economic crash in 2008, buyers are more conscious of where and what they are buying. A ‘trophy asset’ is still wanted by some, but having a property that works for you and earns its keep is far more desirable. Land still sits at the top of the wish list, but it’s not wanted for use as arable and pastoral land, but instead as space to host boutique festivals and specialist events such as Fork to Fork, Green Man or Big Feastival, to name a few.
The growth of the sharing economy has also influenced the country and estates market, many of my clients have bought property with a specific view to host friends and family, but to also achieve a healthy rental income from sites like Airbnb or One Fine Stay. It has also given them an excuse to purchase yurts, build extensive tree-houses and renovate outbuildings.
The opening of the Soho Farmhouse near Chipping Norton, has also given the country a much-needed revival. The staycation is back in fashion, and the country market knows it. Examples like Daylesford, Petersham Nursery and of course, Soho Farmhouse, are being replicated across the countryside by entrepreneurs, especially by women who want that flexibility and to work from home.
’Generation Yum’ has infected the world, we have all become foodies and more conscious of what we are eating and where it is from. In addition to more restaurants and pop-up restaurants – many of which can now be found in fine private homes – keeping rare breeds has also become more popular. Recently, I acquired a home for a client of mine who wanted not only a beautiful historic home, but space for his award-winning cattle herd.
Jess Simpson Property Search is an independent buying agency specialising in the acquisition of country houses, estates and farmland in England. Jess Simpson is the only country buying agent who specialises in farm and land purchasing. www.jesssimpson.com