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Sun 1 Mar 2020 04:18 PM

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Middle East buyers among top buyers of large UK country houses

Popularity of UK country houses fuelled by private education options, according to Kinght Frank

Middle East buyers among top buyers of large UK country houses

In one of the Wentworth Estate’s most secluded positions, at the head of its own private lane and adjacent to the 17th hole of the East Course, Woodshore House, at $19.4m is the consummate new residence.

Buyers from the Middle East are among the top three when it comes to purchasing country houses in the UK worth more than £5 million ($6.5m), according to data from Knight Frank.

The number of Middle Eastern buyers increased threefold from 3.8 percent in 2018 to 13.8 percent last year, making them the largest source of international demand.

Henry Faun, head of London International Project Sales at Knight Frank Middle East, said: “The attraction of private education options is particularly significant to Middle Easterners seeking to place their children in the UK education system. Areas in close proximity to London, such as North Surrey, have been extremely popular with Middle Eastern buyers.

“The many respectable international schools, combined with easy access into London, makes the Surrey area particularly attractive to buyers from the Middle East looking to settle in the UK.”

Purchases by European buyers almost doubled (from 11.5 percent to 20.7 percent), as they upheld their second place position in the country house buyer rankings.

Although dropping slightly in 2019, UK buyers maintained their position with the largest share of the prime country market responsible for nearly six in ten (58.6 percent) purchases.

Rupert Sweeting, head of National Country Sales at Knight Frank, said: “Although the dip in UK buyers can be explained by the concerns over the general election and Brexit that clouded 2019, international purchasers still consider the UK as politically stable and are confident in the country’s long term growth prospects – despite stamp duty taxes.”

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