Exceptional year in haven of beauty
The South Hams gets its name from the old English word hamme which means "enclosed or sheltered place". And that is exactly how the property market in this lovely area of South Devon can be described right now. It is individual, exclusive and less exposed than other parts of the South West. In fact, some might say it's the perfect place to invest your money.
This special haven of beauty includes 60 miles of magnificent coastline around the very southern tip of Devon and has a very diverse and interesting property market.
Right now, I'm finding that the most responsive area of the market here is in the £1 million-plus bracket, but below the stamp duty threshold of £2 million. That doesn't mean to say that the rest of the market isn't moving. As always it is that age-old tune that forever rings in our ears: "it's all about price". If the price is right then the viewings follow and it is only a matter of time before the offer follows.
But certainly things are on the up here. By August 2013, we at Marchand Petit had achieved the equivalent number of property sales as during the whole of 2012. It was an outstanding performance, very much boosted by the influx of new buyers into the area, seeking a change in lifestyle or to establish new roots with holiday homes.
NEW IN : for those cold winter nights highland check dog and cat beds in stock, fleecy and washable ideal for those nights snuggling by the fire...... available in 3 colourways
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Saturday, January 25 2014
A large number of international buyers have also been in the market over the past 12 months. We've also seen many ex pats wanting to re-establish roots back in the UK, often with a five-year plan to take up permanent residency again.
So what is popular? Buyers certainly love the traditionally-built properties on offer here.
Houses with Georgian proportions are at the top of the list, with their beautifully balanced rooms with high ceilings – classic yet simple and stylish. The Old Rectory in the village of Woodleigh is a magnificent example of Georgian architecture, but such properties are a rare commodity in the South Hams and don't hang around for long. However, one thing remains constant in all properties that sell, and that is quality – quality of presentation, of decoration and of finish. Be it a semi-detached house in a village or a Devon longhouse, well-appointed properties are more appealing and sell far more quickly.
The superb weather we have been blessed with this summer combined with an improving housing market seems to have inspired buyers to relocate to, or secure a bolthole in, the area. "Water babies" favour coastal properties and countryside lovers venture slightly more inland. With the abundance of coastline and beautifully tranquil rolling countryside, it is not far for both camps to enjoy each other's environments, too.
However, there are pockets in the South Hams where houses prices are still over-inflated and have not re-adjusted like the rest of the area, which then has a profound effect on pricing. Like any product, it is the price that holds the key.
But even so, here at Marchand Petit we have sold 40 houses in the South Hams priced at more than £800,000 since January this year. Commitment, knowing the buyers and creating relationships are all essential to proven results.
I would say that this autumn the South Hams marketplace is favouring sellers over buyers as there is limited stock coming on sale. But that is not to say there are no outstanding properties appearing.
We have recently taken on a house called Higher Gitcombe just outside Dartmouth, with spacious accommodation and breath-taking rural views within a short distance of the River Dart.
If you are seeking a complete change of lifestyle and a business, we have a Georgian property with six holiday lets, an indoor pool, tennis court and its very own woodland and lake, just a stone's throw from the Kingsbridge estuary.
All in all, this is an exquisite location, free from many of the issues that can affect other areas of the country such as main roads, airports and major housing developments, which can have a negative effect on price and desirability.
So the future is bright. For sheer quality of life in an area of outstanding beauty, one need look no further than the South Hams!
For more details, call 01548 857588 or visit www.marchandpetit.co.uk