The Great London Migration

As we head into the second half of 2018 Tom Hayman-Joyce of Hayman-Joyce, a leading Cotswold estate agency, comments on the key trends in the Cotswold property market and expectations for the rest of the year.

The Cotswolds is an outstanding part of the English countryside and spans from Bath in the south to Chipping Campden in the north. At Hayman-Joyce, we focus on the North Cotswolds which everything between Cirencester and Stratford-upon-Avon.  

The Cotswold market is unique and runs on its own set of drivers.

The majority of demand is for pretty period Cotswold cottages, houses and estates which are limited in number. The vast majority of new development is around the largest ten market towns and villages. Building in the open countryside or quintessential villages is against planning policy and this is where the demand lies. This always creates a limited supply which keeps gentle upward pressure on the market.

We are continuing to see migration from London to the Cotswolds, selling property both openly and off market to London buyers, either as second home purchases or to those selling up in London and making the move out to the Cotswolds.

The factors driving the migration from London are quality of life and lifestyle.

Selling a £2,000,000 town house in Fulham you can purchase a small farmhouse or manor house in the Cotswolds, where property sells in the region of £300 to £500 per square foot, significantly different from prime central London figures. 

With excellent communications via the M40 and rail, many commute to London daily or weekly. Trains reach London Marylebone within the hour from Banbury and Oxford Parkway stations, both short drives from the Cotswolds or via the slightly slower GWR mainline running through Moreton-in-Marsh, Kingham and Charlbury to London Paddington. 

Schooling is another key driver, whether state or private the quality and availability is excellent in the Cotswolds. Both Chipping Campden and Cotswold Academy (in Bourton-on-the-Water) Secondary Schools are Ofsted Outstanding. There is an abundance of outstanding primary schools dotted through many of the Cotswold villages – a short walk to an outstanding village school in the morning is quite a draw for many.

Socially there is so much to offer theatres in Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Cheltenham, Soho Farmhouse, Daylesford Organic, many exceptional pubs and hotels, racing at Cheltenham, shooting, hunting, fishing, riding, eventing, polo, country shows, distilleries, breweries, walks and even an Opera House in Longborough village! 

The economics of house move, especially stamp duty land tax, is another factor. The increased rates have impacted the market, especially for second home buyers and properties of higher value. However, a few years on, this now doesn’t significantly dampen the market, as either it can be afforded or mitigated. Many mitigate it by buying property with a commercial element, it is then classed as mixed use and the non-residential stamp duty land tax percentages apply and exclude the 3% premium for a second property. If buying a second home for £4,000,000 you would save over £300,000 in stamp duty.

With an improving London market, I can only see this trend and migration continuing.