Lockdown Unlocked!



At the end of a historically turbulent year the rural property market here in the South East has fared remarkably well and been fuelled in part by the desire of many city dwellers to sell up and move to rural properties whilst still remaining within easy reach of central London.

Unfortunately, property supply coming onto the market hasn’t kept up with this high level of demand in many desirable locations, an issue that doesn’t look likely to end soon.

With the ability to work from home and the desire for more outdoor space to beat lockdown frustrations, urban based applicants are keen to buy into the rural lifestyle, but they are also wary about making an expensive mistake. Many buyers will also be looking to complete their property purchase before the end of the Stamp Duty holiday on 31 March 2021. Where mortgage borrowing is needed to complete a purchase there are some reports of bank valuations being lower than accepted offers, suggesting lenders are remaining cautious despite such a competitive market.

Sensibly priced property is attracting interest from buyers in a strong position to proceed but some need help and advice to enable them to make the right, long term decision. We are therefore delighted to announce our new property search and acquisition service BTF Finders which will be headed up by Christopher Linton who has nearly 30 years’ experience in buying, negotiating and selling property throughout the South East. Christopher has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the property market in Kent and Sussex and a wide network to help and guide buyers to make a confident purchase.

Our ability to match buyers and sellers along with our wider Kent & Sussex network to support and advise on rural land and property ownership means we can help open doors through our existing client network and to help identify more discreet off market opportunities. Not everyone wants to put their property onto the open market for a number of reasons so having access to a confidential network of buyers can be important.

Many lifestyle buyers also value the support and extra information the firm can provide to enable them to understand some of the complexities of property ownership. So, in a market where supply is limited, why not see what opportunities we can help unlock and doors we can open?

On the market this autumn for the first time in over 65 years is the Manor Court Farm Estate, Ashurst, East Sussex, a diversified rural estate in the High Weald AONB available as a whole or in five lots with 261.22 acres and a guide price of £3,750,000.  Early interest is encouraging.

Also on the market is Huggetts Farm, Five Ashes, Nr. Mayfield available as a whole or in three lots, with a guide price of £2,340,000. The farm includes a Victorian farmhouse, planning permission to convert an agricultural barn and 77 acres of pasture fields with woodland shaws.

Both of these properties are being dealt with by our Heathfield office which has recently been refurbished and doubled in size for staff and client comfort and to command an even more prominent position on the high street.

The Challock agency office has been extremely busy over the summer, completing a wide-range of sales including development land in East Kent, a significant equestrian livery business north of Maidstone, and a 70-acre residential farm in the Weald where the owners have relocated to the West Country.

Solicitors have recently been instructed on 75 acres of land near Cranbrook in an executor sale which saw competitive bidding from several different horticultural and growing businesses in the Weald.

Also available at the moment is The Moat Farmland, Benenden in Kent, which consists of a ring-fenced parcel of  Grade III arable land in all measuring 87 acres with a guide price of £750,000.

The spring pipeline looks healthy and we predict an early start to the selling season soon after Christmas, so purchasers with a particular property in mind would be well advised to register with us early to avoid disappointment or contact Christopher Linton at BTF Finders.