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Foreign buyers keen to buy British country homes

Foreign buyers keen to buy British country homes

Properties in rural parts of Britain are attracting attention from buyers based in other countries, experts have noted.

According to Fine & Country Homes, foreign nationals tend to be interested in houses at the top end of the market.

Indeed, director of the firm Hadley Lyas said it is not unusual for people from other countries to pay in excess of £2.5 million for a property in the countryside.

"They are not in significant enough numbers in the south-east to make a real impact, but they certainly do keep the market moving, for sure," he commented.

However, Mr Lyas stressed that buyers who plan to transfer money to the UKto make a purchase rarely have their minds set on a specific location.

"They could be looking at Purley or at the whole of Surrey," he said.

Mr Lyas added that buyers from outside the UK are "great" because they tend to be cash-rich.

He was speaking after Savills outlined a number of ways in which owners of country houses can increase their value, which could therefore make it a more lucrative asset to sell to foreign purchasers.

Cosmetic issues in both the house and the grounds were cited as a priority, as they all need to be well-maintained and offer a consistent look.

Property owners were also advised to ask themselves how their home measures up against others in the same area.

"Do they look smarter or scruffier? What are the differences?" said Philip Edill of Savills Country House consultancy.

"It's usually not about spending excessively, more a case of attention to detail and pride in ownership."

This could be critical if property owners want buyers to transfer money from overseas, since these people will typically be purchasing for lifestyle reasons.

As a result, issues that could be important in other parts of the country, such as the accessibility of major towns and cities, schools and transport links, may not necessarily be a top priority.

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