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November 24, 2015

A tale of two markets

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 10:25 am

Two distinct property markets have emerged in 2015, a trend that looks likely to define 2016, according to high-end estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, with 44 offices nationwide.

Whilst the mainstream market has prospered in recent months, the higher value markets continue to prove more difficult, as a result of stamp duty reforms back in 2014. There remains a stand-off between buyers and sellers as each remain reluctant to absorb the additional costs of the transaction. Furthermore, the country house market is losing its once strong connection with prime central London, causing further problems for the top end of the market looking forward.

Nicholas Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff, comments: “In 2015 we have certainly seen an improvement in the middle markets where there has been sustained demand, particularly around the regional centres. However, the top end of the market continues to prove more difficult. Prime Central London is dominated by international buyers and so we are not seeing the traditional ripple effect into the country house market like we did before. This disconnect is likely to remain a market feature for sometime”

With London set to continue to hold its value thanks to its safe haven status amongst international high net worths and the strong rental returns it offers, home-grown buyers are increasingly priced out of the capital. This is in turn influences the nature of demand for the £1 million plus country house market as international buyers, as a rule, do not purchase property in the countryside, according to Jackson-Stops & Staff director Dawn Carritt.

Dawn Carritt also highlights a “mortgage famine” amongst older buyers who are struggling to get second mortgages approved at the upper end of the market. She adds: “Consequently, people are staying put in one property for many years. This trend echoes property patterns seen in the sixties and seventies where people had one family home, a trend that is unfortunately stalling the country house market.”

James Wilson of Jackson-Stops & Staff Shaftesbury has noticed this drought of London buyers commenting: “Whilst we have seen buyers come from far afield, we have seen fewer from London than had been anticipated with most of the non-local buyers arriving from the Home Counties.” Similarly, Brian Bishop of the Taunton office attributes about half of his buyers to London with the rest being local.

Alastair Hancock of Jackson-Stops & Staff Sevenoaks has noticed buyers being more resistant at the top end of the market, commenting: “2015 has been reasonably strong up to £1 million with a lack of good stock in that price range. However, over £1.5 million has been very patchy and consequently there is plenty of choice but not many buyers. That being said, I am hopeful that 2016 will be busier at this end of the market. It seems that many vendors put their plans on hold in 2015 because of the potential uncertainties over the election.”

William Leschallas of Jackson-Stops & Staff Burford adds: “The market at the moment is really sub £1 million and certainly over £1.5 million it is much more difficult.”
Whilst the top end of the market has proved a challenge, the mainstream market is prospering in many areas in the UK. The main challenge here has been a lack of good stock, meaning buyers are more price sensitive than ever.

William Leschallas of Jackson-Stops & Staff Burford comments: “The real issue we all have now is a shortage of supply. We can sell them if we have them, assuming they are at the right price, but the market remains very price sensitive.”

Furthermore, Nick Talbot of Jackson-Stops & Staff York speaks of “the market picking up with a vengeance following the election result.” However he adds: “As we have moved through to the latter part of the year, there is still a great deal of demand but we are short on supply. Going forward, I see demand only increasing but hope that we will begin to see an increase in new instructions as a result of improving confidence among vendors.”

The narrative from Chester is much the same with Nick Withinshaw offering a warning to vendors to be realistic with their pricing. He says: “If anything is even marginally overpriced it falls on deaf ears as buyers are more selective than ever before. In 2015 we have seen an improvement on the previous year, certainly in the middle sector of the market. Properties over a million continue to prove more difficult and one of the biggest problems has been a shortage of stock at all levels of the market, which I suspect will continue through the winter months and into next year. However, providing the economy remains firm, and with interest rates forecast to stay low for another year or two, next year should be promising and build on the steady growth of the previous two years.”

Michael Clark of Jackson-Stops & Staff Exeter continues: “Buyers are very discerning and extremely price sensitive. In Devon, especially, people are moving for quality of life reasons rather than for their job which means that although they are committed to the area generally, they are not constrained by time. Therefore they are prepared to wait until the perfect property comes to market at the perfect price.”

In East Anglia, the story is extremely rosy with deals being completed across the board. Tim Dansie of Jackson-Stops & Staff Ipswich comments: “Suffolk is by far the most affordable county within commuting distance of London and this is now being explored by not just those coming out of the capital but from counties such as Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Kent and Sussex. If guide prices are correctly set to represent true market value and are not overstated, we are seeing early sales achieved and in a number of instances competitive interest forthcoming. With such a shortage of stock, we are hopeful prices will rise especially in hotspots such as Aldeburgh, Woodbridge and Dedham where a strong market has been recorded. We had a good start to 2015 and there is every indication that 2016 will begin in a similar way.”

Quentin Jackson-Stops has seen a similar story in Northampton. He comments: “We can look back on a year where the residential property market came strongly back to life. Once the results of the General Election were known in May, new instructions picked up in the Northampton area and year on year the volume of properties sold has increased by over 30%.

The greatest increase in sales has been in the middle of the market between £300,000 and £600,000. At the higher price levels, it has been harder to find a purchaser, clearly the result of changes to the Stamp Duty rates in 2014 which have impacted heavily on properties above £1,000,000.

The market for new homes has been particularly strong in 2015 as buyers have become more interested in energy efficiency and the technology that new homes offer in terms of their construction, systems and their fittings. On several sites, where we have been involved, new homes have been selling ‘off plan’ before construction has virtually started. Good sites for small developments are becoming harder to find and the trend for strong new house sales is expected to continue through into next year.

We expect much the same in 2016 with gently rising values for properties up to about £900,000, with the greatest rises being for properties under £500,000. The £1,000,000 plus properties will in all likelihood see little change in value in the next twelve months. However, with interest rates look set to remain low for some time yet and with mortgage finance easier to obtain, we believe that the outlook for Northamptonshire appears rosy for 2016.”

May 8, 2015

“The clouds over the London property market have now dispersed” – Nick Leeming on today’s Election results

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 1:51 pm

Nick Leeming, Chairman of national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, with 44 offices nationwide, comments on today’s Election results:

“With the Conservatives looking set to win the majority, the clouds that have hung over the London property market have now dispersed. Having seen the number of property transactions slow down sharply over the last six months, as the prospect of mansion tax loomed on the horizon, with today’s result, we expect to see greater activity in the London market from now on. High valued properties, whilst still affected by some of the more recent tax changes, should see more stable demand and the resurgence of international interest. Now that London is open for business again we expect the wider markets to respond accordingly.”

April 30, 2015

Property as a political see-saw must stop

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 11:14 am

Leading property Nicholas Leeming today called for an end to all the major political parties exploiting housing and the property market as a political see-saw – as the latest figures from the Land Registry shows a monthly price decrease of 0.8 per cent.

Nicholas Leeming, Chairman of national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, with 44 offices nationwide, blamed the cooling in the London market on political uncertainties and the risk of higher value property taxation. London saw a monthly increase of 0.2 per cent, although the annual increase is the highest at 11.3 per cent.

He said: “Our politicians are indulging in see-saw politics, causing confusion and uncertainty among homeowners and investors. Many vendors are failing to adjust to current market conditions with unrealistic guide prices and this has resulted in the number of property transactions reducing substantially. International buyers are showing caution and some will not commit to purchases for as long as the outcome to the election remains in doubt.”

Nicholas Leeming welcomed the news that the economic upturn is continuing to deliver good news to areas outside the capital. He said:” The market outside London is seeing increased activity with values up by an average of 0.8 per cent in the South-east as the regional economies prosper, the cost of mortgages remain low and confidence feeds through into this sector.

“Higher value properties outside London are also affected by political uncertainties: sales of between £1 – 2m and above remain slow with values reflecting more limited demand.”

August 8, 2013

Jackson-Stops Staff launches: A guide to Britain’s coastal hotspots

The temperature has picked up and along with the appearance of sunshine, this month also sees the launch of Jackson-Stops & Staff’s guide to Britain’s coastal hotspots.

With a reach that spans over 650 miles of Britain’s coastline, Jackson Stops & Staff are well positioned to help you find a coastal home, with this latest guide highlighting some of the best coastal locations the country has to offer, from the town of Filey in North Yorkshire through to the quaint village of Trearddur in Anglesey, right down to the celebrated foodie haven that is Bridport in Dorset.

An excerpt from the guide can be found below:

“Coastal living brings a new lifestyle dimension, providing inspiration for beach themed interiors, with bold nautical stripes, bleached wood and bright blues and white, to reflect the quality of light, sun, sand and sea. As well as a new home, a seaside home will often bring a new circle of friends – useful connections for any future, more permanent move.

Coastal properties are always in demand. Recent statistics from the Halifax have shown that property prices in seven out of ten seaside towns in England and Wales have seen greater increases than the national average since 2001, while in the most popular seaside areas, prices have more than doubled over the past decade. Through its network of offices in and around coastal areas, national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff has unrivalled knowledge of Britain’s coastal hotspots, with a reach that spans over 650 miles of coastline, from the beaches of Anglesey, right down to the south coast of Cornwall.”

To read on, please download the full pdf guide here.

July 18, 2013

A room with a view

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 1:51 pm

As the famous 1908 E.M. Forster novel points out, a good view can provide the catalyst for love and a happy life, but what defines the perfect view? It could be rolling countryside, views out to the coast, or a view across the capital’s skyline. Here is a collection of Jackson-Stops & Staff properties with outstanding views.

For racing fans, it does not get much better than South View in Newmarket – the horse racing capital of England. This substantial Victorian property enjoys a convenient town location with a rear garden that backs onto the Long Hill racehorse training grounds, with panoramic views across the grounds and beyond.  South View has six bedrooms and requires some modernisation to bring it up to date, with a separate cottage available by separate negotiation. The property is on the market for £950,000 with our Newmarket office, for more information please click here.

Situated on the 14th floor of the award winning Neo Bankside development on London’s Southbank, this three bedroom apartment has stunning views of the capital’s landmarks including St Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard and the City. The six sided design of the building has floor-to-ceiling glazing, creating a perfect viewing gallery. The property is on the market for £5,750,000 with our Pimlico office, for more information please click here.

A short distance away from the popular Trearddur Bay, Moryn, on the isle of Anglesey, not only enjoys a spectacular view but comes with its own private beach. This impressive seaside property, dating to the 1930s, has been recently restored to an exacting standard, now forming an ideal permanent residence or coastal escape. The layout of the property capitalises on its coastal position, with the main reception area and three out of four bedrooms having sea views. The property is on the market for £785,000 with our Chester office, for more information please click here.

July 2, 2013

The thrill of the mill

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 10:20 am

Whether it’s the towering stone structure of a former windmill or the idyllic riverbank location of an old watermill, mill conversions can make the perfect home for those looking for something stylish, unusual and with the all-important ‘wow’ factor.  Here is a selection of the finest mill conversions currently being marketed by Jackson-Stops & Staff:

Mill House in Bidborough, Kent comprises an 18th century roundel tower mill combined with a modern detached house, fused together by a glazed hallway, which is bright and airy. The main house has five bedrooms, while the five storey tower mill features a gym, study and drawing room complete with original mill gear wheels, a reminder of the building’s past. The property is on the market for £1,195,000 with our Tunbridge Wells office.For more information please click here.

Situated on the edge of the River Darant, The Old Mill House in Shoreham, Kent, has origins as a corn mill and fulling mill (a process used to refine high quality cloth), before being finally used as a timber mill. Converted in the 1970s, the property is spacious and benefits from a range of period features including exposed ceiling timbers and brass furniture. The Old Mill House sits within attractive grounds, with a hard tennis court, swimming pool and additional oast house with separate living room and bedroom. The property is on the market with our Sevenoaks office for £2,400,000, for more information please click here.

Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful houses in the Test Valley, Bossington Mill was previously used as a mill and workshop before being converted into a family residence in the 1960s. Frederick Halford, recognised world-wide as being synonymous with fly fishing, took rooms at the property Mill in 1880 with the intention of studying with J S Marryat, who had a reputation of being the best trout fisherman in England. After six years of intensive work, Halford wrote ‘Floating Fies and How to Dress Them’ in 1886, remaining at the mill until 1888. The accommodation is laid out over three floors with the main reception rooms on the first floor, thus taking full advantage of the views over the River Test, the grounds and adjoining countryside. The property is on the market for £2,450,000 with our Winchester office, for more information please click here.



June 13, 2013

Game, set, match.

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 4:53 pm

With Wimbledon, the only grass court grand slam, just a few days off, two young and exciting British players in the women’s draw both ranked in the top 50 and a British junior winning the boys doubles at Rowland Garros last week – things are looking up and no doubt more people will be inspired to play tennis.  Jackson-Stops & Staff has a number of properties currently on the market featuring tennis courts. Here is a selection of the best.

The Old Mill House near Shoreham village in Kent is a beautiful converted former mill dating from the 18th century with a detached oast house. Situated next to the River Darent on the edge of the village, it has a fenced, all-weather tennis court – ideal for a rally or two during the warm summer afternoons.  Shoreham is a popular country area with a range of local amenities, while commuters are also catered for with direct trains to London taking just over an hour or faster links from Sevenoaks in around 20 minutes. The property is on the market at £2,400,000 with our Sevenoaks office, for more information please click here.

Occupying a prominent position in the area of Lexden in Essex, 28 St Clare Road is a spacious six bedroom family home, complete with a hard tennis court as well as swimming pool, neatly situated in grounds of around 1.5 acres. The grounds are secluded, with packed shrubbery borders and mature trees which form natural sun canopies. St Clare Road is one of the premier roads in the popular area of Lexden and is within easy reach of Colchester town centre. The nearby schools are well regarded, with notable examples including the County High School for Girls and Royal Grammar School for Boys. The property is on the market for £1,575,000 with our Chelmsford office, for more information please click here.

Little Paddocks in Landulph, Cornwall is a beautifully presented property offering versatile accommodation, with period features combining effortlessly with contemporary touches. Having undergone a recent renovation, Little Paddocks now offers light, spacious living accommodation for families and those looking for a special entertaining space. Outside, there are spacious gardens, a tennis court and paddocks for those with equestrian interests. The Landulph Peninsula is one of the region’s most scenic positions, just a short drive north of the Tamar Bridge.  The riverside village of Cargreen is only about half a mile from the property, with its yacht club, deep water moorings and other facilities including a primary school at Landulph Cross. The property is on the market for £895,000 with our Exeter office, for more information please click here.



May 23, 2013

Britain in bloom

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 12:08 pm

The  2013 Chelsea Flower Show got under way this week, a show which sees thousands of people across the country come together to share and celebrate all that is good about Great British horticulture. Jackson-Stops & Staff has a number of properties with gardens that spring to life during the warmer months, here is a selection of the best.  

Situated on 32 acres of land and with origins from the 15th century, Cutbrawn in Lost Withiel is a striking mini estate that has been totally refurbished and enjoys stunning views. The property offers plentiful accommodation, including six bedrooms in the main house as well as a converted apple barn which can be let out for holiday income. The gardens surrounding the house are a delight of terraces, lawns and herbaceous beds, complete with a host of shrubs and ornamental trees including magnolias, roses and olives. Water features and lily ponds complete the arrangement, with a thatched summerhouse that forms the perfect place to relax in the evenings. The property is on the market for £2,200,000 with our Truro office, for more information click here.

Approached via a long private driveway, Goodmans House in Membury, Devon enjoys utmost levels of privacy and seclusion within this renowned Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Sympathetically restored and updated over the past few years, this Georgian country house is spacious, with elegant interior styling and spacious rooms flooded with natural light. Five holiday cottages offer a considerable additional income, while expansive lawned gardens are complimented by well stocked herbaceous borders and various terraces with views across the surrounding countryside. The original walled garden at the rear of the property now forms an ideal setting for the Roman style heated swimming pool. The property is on the market for £1,650,000 with our Taunton office, for more information click here.

Offering unparalleled levels of grandeur and elegance, The Mount in Henbury is a four bedroom Regency house surrounded by sublime gardens with breathtaking views of the Clwydian hills. The gardens have been lovingly created by the current owner and have been open to the public for the National Garden Scheme for many years now, consistently attracting high levels of interest. Numerous formal and informal areas have been created within the grounds, seemly stitched together by beech and laurel hedging. An avenue of pruned yew trees lead the eye over the heated swimming pool, while the garden rises up in tiers to a formal lawn overlooked by a rose-clad arboretum. The property is on the market for £1,795,000 through the Wilmslow office, for more information click here.


May 16, 2013

Eco homes score top marks for efficiency

While many new build properties offer high levels of energy efficiency and score well on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a legal requirement for all homes, it is less common to see an older property do the same.

Dean Barn in Wilmslow is one such property, converted last year by developers Mac-Taylor. Awarded with a coveted ‘A’ EPC rating, the property features a full spectrum of contemporary eco features, including solar panels, an air source heat pump, rain water recycling and a grass roof on the attached annexe, all of which translate into considerable savings for the homeowner. The property has been meticulously converted from a dilapidated barn, and fuses traditional red brickwork with oak cladding and large double glazed windows, which ensure bright and airy accommodation. An open plan living space with double sided log burner forms the centrepiece, while three double bedrooms are positioned at the opposite end of the barn.

Dean Barn is neatly located on the edge of Wilmslow town, which boasts many restaurants, shops and bars as well as fast links into Manchester, while the picturesque village of Alderley Edge is little over three miles away, forming part of Cheshire’s prestigious ‘Golden Triangle’. The property is on the market for £945,000 with our Wilmslow office, for more information, click here.

Anthony House in Ivybridge, Devon also has excellent eco credentials. Built in the Scandinavian style, the property mixes architectural excellence and interior design combined perfectly with quality materials. The property has been built specifically with ease of maintenance and high thermal value in mind, including triple glazed windows and solar panels. The property is on the market for £625,000 with our Exeter office, for more information please click here.

Jackson-Stops & Staff have also recently sold a plot with planning permission for The Bower, a detached five bedroom eco home in Upper Basildon, Reading, with the emphasis for the plans focusing on a cost efficient property to build with low outgoings. If you would like more information about any of our land development opportunities, please click here.


May 2, 2013

Buy in to the best places in Britain

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 3:36 pm

Recently listed in The Times ‘101 best places to live in Britain’ guide, Barnard Castle has been praised for its splendid scenery, endless walking routes as well as its host of quirky boutiques, eateries and curious cultural corners such as the Hayloft Emporium and renowned Bowes Museum.

Jackson-Stops & Staff York are instructed on Bowes Hall, an eight bedroom Grade II listed mansion, built on the site of a roman fort around four miles outside of Barnard Castle. Steeped in history, Bowes Hall was built during the reign of Elizabeth I and was once one of the infamous ‘Yorkshire Schools’ – known for their notoriously strict regimes and the inspiration for Charles Dickens’ novel, Nicholas Nickleby. Historical touches remain, including a two flight stone cantilever staircase with arched Venetian window, stone floors and an impressive fireplace in the morning room. Bowes Hall sits within extensive gardens and grounds, surrounded by rolling countryside which, according to The Times, inspired much of acclaimed landscape artist, Joseph Mallord William Turner’s work. The property is on the market for £795,000, for more information, please click here.


Marazion in Cornwall was also listed in The Times guide, and described as a ‘dreamy strip of white sand that is popular with children and windsurfers’. The Truro office of Jackson-Stops & Staff is selling Netherleigh in Marazion for £525,000, a village house with a glimpse of the sea, perched on the beautifully sandy sweep of Mount’s Bay. For more information, please click here.


Popular with those who commute to Norwich and housing a fine collection of Georgian and Victorian properties, Bungay on the Norfolk-Suffolk border also earned a place on the coveted list. Tranquil and historic, with excellent walking, cycling and fishing, the town is also in close proximity to The Norfolk Broads, perfect for day trips on sunny weekends. Jackson-Stops & Staff Norwich is selling Brome Lodge, a refurbished country house set in a leafy parkland setting just outside of Bungay. For more information, please click here.


April 19, 2013

International stars hit the right notes in Mylor

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 11:05 am

Few quaint parish halls can boast headline acts such as world-renowned classical guitarist John Williams, 80s diva Toyah Wilcox and comedian Jack Dee – but that is exactly what is happening in the village of Mylor in Cornwall. Resident Steve Hutt, an entertainment industry veteran, recently moved to the village and set up the Mylor Sessions, a series of events showcasing the best in arts, comedy and musical talent.

Nigel Stubbs, director at Jackson-Stops & Staff Truro and a resident of Mylor, said: “Mylor’s celebrity connections provide the icing on the cake for this friendly village that has always been a popular choice for buyers, both with those looking to relocate permanently and those in the market for a holiday home.”

Big name acts are not the only thing that Mylor has to offer; the village, which lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is home to charming pubs, restaurants and bars, while Mylor Harbour provides a natural backdrop for a range of water sports. The towns of Falmouth and Truro are also within easy reach, with notable attractions including Pendennis Castle and the National Maritime Museum slightly further afield.

Jackson-Stops & Staff Truro have a number of properties for sale in Mylor, including Rivers Edge, which as the name suggests, is a contemporary property situated just 30 metres from the head of the creek.Timber clad in the ‘New England’ style, the house has a full width veranda and balcony, which affords splendid views across the creek and village itself. Internally, the styling is clean and contemporary, with three well proportioned bedrooms, one with a Juliet balcony. The property is situated on Trevellan Road, widely regarded as one of Mylor’s most sought after residential addresses with several south-facing waterside properties. The property is on the market for £595,000, for more information, click here.

New to the market, Mill Leat is a highly individual family home dating from 1960 which has been extended and tastefully updated over the past few years. Like Rivers Edge, Mill Leat enjoys a veranda porch as well as a decked roof terrace on the above the garage which offers clear creek views. Internally, the property is spacious and bright thanks to large windows, also benefiting from solar water heating and recent double glazing throughout. The property is on the market for £650,000, for more information, click here.

Of note, the office have also recently sold 11 Lemon Hill Gardens, an attractive cottage with views over the village and to the countryside beyond, as well as Trevavon House, a spacious five bedroom property with direct river frontage.

If you would like to find out more about Mylor, please call Nigel Stubbs at the Truro office on 01872 261160.


March 27, 2013

Invest in the West

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 10:51 am

With house prices in the West Country set to increase by 29% over the next four years*, properties in the region offer a prime investment opportunity – and with a whole host of attractive towns and villages to choose from, buyers are spoilt for choice.

Situated in the heart of Helston in Cornwall, 10 Cross Street is a historical and architecturally interesting Grade II Listed property with many original features and piles of charm. The four bedroom property, dating back to the 1700s, has rooms of grand proportions set out over a series of different levels. Helston is a market town with a range of amenities within close proximity to a number of local beaches and beauty spots. The house is on the market at £450,000 with our Truro office, for more information, click here.

Enjoying unspoiled rural views, Cholloways in Chittlehamholt, Devon is an attractive thatched cottage that comes complete with outbuildings, paddocks and stabling.  Situated at the end of a long private driveway, the property enjoys a high degree of privacy in a tranquil location.  The area is renowned for its unspoilt rolling countryside and was made famous in Henry Willamson’s book ‘Tarka the Otter’. Within easy reach is the spectacular North Devon coast, with its sandy surf beaches, while the National Parks of Exmoor and Dartmoor provide ample opportunities for outdoor pursuits. The property is on the market for £595,000 with our Exeter office, for more information, click here.


Formerly part of the Portman Estate, Tuckerton Farm in Somerset is a period farmhouse with a wildlife pond, parcel of land and outbuildings – perfect for those who wish to keep livestock.  The property has a range of character features including an inglenook fireplace with wood burning stove, as well as exposed beams throughout. The hamlet of Tuckerton itself is conveniently placed just six miles from Taunton, which offers a range of well regarded independent and state schools, including Taunton School, King’s and Queen’s Colleges, Kings Hall Preparatory School and Richard Huish Sixth Form College. The property is on the market at £650,000 through our Taunton office, for more information, click here.

*Telegraph March 2013

March 22, 2013

2013 budget reaction

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 3:40 pm

On Wednesday 20 March, George Osborne – Chancellor of the Exchequer – took to the dispatch box in the House of Commons to unveil his 2013 budget. Among his announcements were a number of new policies which will affect the property industry, including a new Help to Buy Scheme, Government backed mortgage guarantees and the streamlining of planning procedures.

Dawn Carritt, director of national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, backed the announcement for mortgage guarantees.

She said: “The announcement to continue with the guaranteed mortgage scheme will help support not only first time buyers and those looking to obtain a mortgage with limited funds for a deposit, it will help support the housing market, enabling not just new owners but existing owners and go towards freeing up the market and support the signs of recovery in the housing market which are just starting to emerge in some areas of the country.”

Tim Dansie, director of the Jackson-Stops & Staff Ipswich, also comments on Wednesday’s budget:

“Any stimulus to the property market is not only of direct assistance, but it also engenders confidence all round in the property market. It is good news if the government are prepared to put their weight behind the housing market, as then confidence will rise with the economy as a whole.

“We now just need a bit of activity to get going in the country and an increase in the volume of transactions. Prices seem to have held up, but the volume of transactions has been down.”

Ben Babington, director of residential development at Jackson-Stops & Staff, welcomed the news but suggested there were other areas that needed to be looked at:

“The Chancellor’s announcement to get planning processes moving more quickly is welcome news; but what the country really needs is an entire reform of its planning system, if we are to deliver the million new homes needed by 2015.

“More sites need to be released for redevelopment and it is only the local planning authority’s ability and willingness to release this supply that can change this. Without a clear set of guidelines to reduce the number of appeals that have to be made, all it does is clog up the development pipeline of suitable land.

“On the funding side, the government really has to do whatever they can to encourage the traditional bank to start lending to experienced developers again. We have so many clients that have been successful developers for over 25 years, yet the traditional lending routes are largely unavailable to them. The traditional high street lender has to be encouraged to lend and support these experienced firms with a good track record.

“The First Buy scheme has proven to be incredibly successful with a number of our developers, so it is great to see that this has been extended. Not only is it a great way of getting those at the bottom of the chain on the ladder, but it will continue to have a positive affect on getting the rest of the market moving.”


March 8, 2013

Escape to the Cotswolds

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 11:36 am

Famed for picturesque honey coloured villages and rolling green hills, the Cotswolds feature some of the most beautiful countryside in England. Spanning six counties and designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, its many villages are home to a wealth of charming properties, traditionally built from locally sourced stone.

Situated in the village of Old Minster, Lovell Cottage is a pretty period cottage, constructed of Cotswold stone and enjoying unspoiled views over adjoining fields to the rear. Tastefully refurbished by the current owner, the interior of the property has a number of period features including exposed beams and mellow stonework.  Regarded as one of the most attractive West Oxfordshire villages, Old Minster is a small hamlet, situated in the Windrush valley amongst unspoilt countryside – noted for its many paths and bridleways. The property is on the market for £700,000 with our Burford office, for more information click here.

Recently renovated and refurbished to a high standard, Michaelmas Cottage occupies a convenient position just minutes away from Chipping Campden high street. This spacious two bedroom property has generously proportioned rooms and a striking oak extension that houses an open plan dining / garden room, flooded with natural light throughout the day. A self contained one bedroom annexe in the rear garden could also provide additional income.  Chipping Campden is one of the most historic market towns in the Cotswolds, well known for its architecture, much of which dates to medieval times. The property is on the market for £555,000 through our Chipping Campden office, for more information click here.

Serving as an example of all that is best about Cotswold architecture, The Manor House, Frampton Mansell, enjoys an enviable position, tucked into the hillside with open views down the valley. Believed to date back to the 15th century but principally constructed in the 17th century, the L shaped property offers spacious accommodation full of character. The garden is of particular note, with numerous lawned areas, raised terraces, a stone built summer house and well stocked borders which flourish during the spring and summer months. Frampton Mansell is a quaint village that blends the best of picturesque surroundings with the convenience of being a short distance from Cirencester.  The property is on the market for £1,200,000 with our Cirencester office, for more information click here.


February 14, 2013

The last thatched house in Knaresborough

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 4:03 pm

According to Jackson-Stops & Staff in York, thatched properties are a rarity in North Yorkshire, which makes the office’s latest instruction even more noteworthy. Manor Cottage, which occupies an outstanding position overlooking the river Nidd, holds the title of the last remaining thatched property in Knaresborough.

Thought to have been constructed in the 14th century as one of a number of thatched cottages in the area, Grade II listed Manor Cottage has withstood the test of time and has undergone extensive renovation and refurbishment, with care being taken to ensure its period features were retained.  Situated on Water Bag Bank, named after the ponies that carried bags of water from the river to the town, the cottage enjoys an enviable position with unspoiled views of the magnificent stone railway viaduct that passes over the river. The attractive town of Knaresborough is set around the central market square and offers a range of boutique shops and eateries, as well as various tourist attractions including the famous Mother Shipton’s Cave. The property is on the market with our York office for £550,000, for more information click here.

Jackson-Stops & Staff also have a number of other historical thatched properties on the market, including Dalleys Cottage in Chilton, Devon. Grade II listed and dating to the 19th century, the property began life as two separate cottages, before being combined to form this spacious four bedroom family home. Situated in the heart of rolling farmland, Dalleys Cottage enjoys seclusion and privacy, yet is within easy reach of nearby Tiverton and Exeter. The property is on the market through our Exeter office for £585,000, for more information click here.

Aptly named, The Thatch is an 18th century cottage that enjoys uninterrupted views of the nearby water meadows of Longparish, Hampshire. Constructed of attractive white wash brick, the property is spacious and has recently been rethatched. The village of Longparish lies in the Test valley and offers a range of amenities as well as the renowned ‘Test Way’, ideal for walking and cycling. The property is on the market with our Winchester office for £585,000, for more information click here.

February 6, 2013

The great Valentine’s Day escape

For old-fashioned romantics, few things can beat the archetypal idyll of a cosy cottage, tucked away in seclusion with a roaring fire.

Manor Gate Cottage in Plush, Dorset is the quintessential winter cottage. Situated on a no through road in the heart of the Dorset countryside, the two bedroom cottage offers character and charm, combined with peace and privacy. The nearby village of Plush remains in keeping with the romantic archetype; the Brace of Pheasants pub offering home cooked meals and real ales, while the pretty church of St John the Baptist  plays host to a series of highly regarded classical music events. The property is on the market with our Dorchester office, for more information click here.

Thought to date to 1750 and extensively renovated over recent years, Chance Cottage is a picturesque cottage in a quiet location with secluded grounds and a large swimming pool.  Constructed mainly of Cotswold Stone with a natural Cotswold Slate roof, the property provides substantial family accommodation, complete with a small studio/office room above the double garage outside. Four miles from Chance Cottage is the idyllic town of Burford, cited as ‘The Gateway to the Cotswolds’ and home to a range of historic public houses and inns, independent shops and galleries as well as breathtaking scenery. The property is on the market with our Burford office, for more information click here.

For those who fancy a ‘storybook’ romantic hideaway, few properties can top 10 Holme Eden Hall.  Built in 1833, in a Tudor style by renowned architect John Dobson, this magnificent country house has been split up into number of apartments, all boasting far reaching views across the Upper Eden Valley. Although situated in a picturesque rural position, the property is within short distance of some of the most famous areas in the north of England, such as the ancient city of Carlisle and the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall – perfect for those brisk romantic strolls. The property is on the market with our York office, for more information click here.

January 29, 2013

An alternative conversion

A church or chapel conversion with striking gothic architecture, beautiful stained glass windows and spacious, open plan rooms offers great character and grandeur.

The Chapel in Mayfield, East Sussex is designed by the renowned Victorian architect Edward Pugin. This Grade II listed building was part of what was Mayfield College, a boarding school run by monks of the Xavarian Brotherhood.  The subsequent conversion and restoration has been sympathetic to the original style and the chapel still features the stained glass windows, gilded gold ceiling and ornate stone carvings. The property has a state of the art kitchen and high quality fittings throughout. The property is on the market with our Tunbridge Wells office, for more information click here.

Perhaps not as bold as The Chapel in Mayfield, The Chapel House in Henley, Dorset still oozes character and charm. This three bedroom former Baptist chapel was converted into a family home around 20 years ago and has been extensively updated and improved. The master bedroom is of particular note, incorporating a bath and shower and coming complete with a timber clad ceiling that has been meticulously refinished to a high standard. The property is situated in Henley, which forms part of the larger village of Buckland Newton which has a range of local amenities and lies 10 miles north of the county town of Dorchester. The property is on the market with our Dorchester office, for more information click here.

Deceptively spacious, The Old Chapel in Bethersden, Kent is an imaginatively converted former Methodist Chapel with a most attractive symmetrical arched front entrance. Internally, the property has been meticulously crafted and refinished, creating a contemporary living space that is ideal for entertaining. High vaulted ceilings add to the sense of space, while exposed timber beams maintain the traditional character. The Old Chapel is set in the popular village of Bethersden, with easy access to further facilities and transport links in picturesque Ashford. The property is on the market with our Cranbrook office, for more information click here.

January 17, 2013

The walkers’ choice

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 11:19 am

For lovers of the great outdoors, a winter walk along a meandering coastal path will blow away the cobwebs – and with 6000 miles of undulating British coastline, there is no shortage of potential routes.

One of the largest and most renowned coastlines in Britain is the Jurassic Coast, a strip of coastline in South-West England that spans almost 96 miles and over 180 million years of geological history.  

Franklyns Farm near Honiton, Devon is just a short drive away from Lyme Regis, on the Jurassic Coast, providing numerous walks along the coast and in the surrounding Blackdown Hills. The property is a stunning design, constructed of green oak and a fusion of classic and contemporary materials, with full height windows that offer an almost 360 degree view.  Outside, the property enjoys well stocked gardens with natural ponds and a gently south facing pasture, around 12 acres in total. The property is on the market through our Taunton office, for more information, click here.

Rockhaven in St Minver, Cornwall also offers a range of coastal walks all within a short distance. The beautifully finished four bedroom home is contemporary in style and sits just a few minutes drive away from Rock on the North Cornish Coast, a favoured residential and holiday village. The circular walk, from Rock to St Minver, is a particularly popular choice and suits both novice and more experienced walkers alike, conveniently passing three pubs and a brewery along the way should you require refreshment. The property is on the market with our Truro office, for more information, click here.

Moving to North Wales, 1 Victoria Terrace is situated near the water’s edge at Beaumaris, one of the most popular seaside towns on the Island of Anglesey. Reputedly the only Grade I listed townhouse in Wales, the property forms part of the Victoria Terrace building, built in the early 1830s as a fashionable centrepiece to the port. The property offers unspoiled ocean views and is well placed to take advantage of the superb walking routes around Anglesey’s coastal path and in the Snowdonia National Park. The property is available through our Chester office, for more information, click here.

December 21, 2012

The perfect Christmas dining room

For many homeowners, the focus at Christmas time often shifts from the opening of presents in the morning, to the afternoon feast in the dining room – a room that not only provides a place to eat but also often forms the central entertaining area in many homes during the festive period. An impressive dining room provides the backdrop for splendid food and jolly conversation – often with a few too many glasses of port thrown in for good measure.

With a combination of royal blue, gold and rich reds used in the lavish decor, the dining room at Holly Tree House in Chelford, Cheshire epitomises country house elegance. The room enjoys plenty of natural light, with large windows on three sides overlooking the grounds and a wealth of space – perfect for entertaining and dining during the Christmas period. The property is on the market with the Wilmslow office. For more information on Holly Tree House, click here.

The dining room at Holly Tree House


The dining room at Temple House in Horton offers a slightly less ‘traditional’ Christmas dining experience – although is equally opulent in its own right. Flagged stone floors, wicker chairs and stone figureheads create a Rococo themed environment;  a style that was popular in Paris during the mid-ate 1700s – characterised by lightness, elegance, the exuberant use of curving and stone ornamentation. The property is on the market at £875,000 with the Northampton office, for more information, see here.

The dining hall at The Temple House


For those who fancy a slightly more contemporary dining affair, the recently converted Cooperage in Ilmington could provide the perfect solution. Not so much a dining room as a dining hall, the spacious 41 ft long hall is airy and flooded with natural light during the day. Complete with six bedrooms and an open plan layout throughout, The Cooperage not only caters for the Christmas dinner but also post drinks and obligatory rounds of Pictionary. The Cooperage is on the market at £1,595,000 with the Chipping Campden office. For more information, please see here.

The dining room at The Cooperage

November 12, 2012

Full steam ahead

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , — Four Communications @ 2:55 pm

Viewing Amberwynd from the front, you’d never guess there was a working miniature railway in the spacious rear grounds.  ‘Miniature railway’ also conjures up images of child sized locomotives, but at Amberwynd the railway track at the rear is home to a traditional locomotive weighing in at 3.5 tons, with enough steam to pull up to 80 people.

For owner William Heller, a long time railway enthusiast, Amberwynd provided the perfect opportunity to fulfil his ultimate railway dream.  “As I grew up, so did the size of the railways I owned, from a simple circle of track in the lounge, to a baseboard in the loft and, finally, out into the garden.”

On running days, Amberwynd’s platform comes to life. Trains run to a strict schedule, while a station master and signalman control the proceedings – setting the scene for sheer railway nostalgia. 

On the market with Jackson-Stops & Staff Exeter, not only does the property provide spacious gardens and grounds – it also boasts a spacious, contemporary designed interior, with five bedrooms, a living room, kitchen/breakfast room, study, as well as balcony that overlooks the grounds.

Amberwynd isn’t the only railway themed property that Jackson-Stops & Staff currently has on the market. Woodside in Pocklington, available through Jackson-Stops & Staff’s York office, also gives buyers the chance to own a small piece of railway history.

Once home to the crossing keeper for Burnby Lane on the Beverley to York line, this piece of railway history was built in 1855 and still proudly displays its distinctive railway chimneys and stone plinths. The line was eventually shut down and the cottage sold by the railways in 1968.

50 years after the last train rattled over its crossing, today the black and white cottage caters perfectly for family living, offering a good size kitchen/family room, sitting room, study, music room/ dining room, five bedrooms and two bath and shower rooms.

For further information on Amberwynd – currently on sale for £875,000 – please see here. For £150,000 on top of this guide price, the property can come with the miniature railway included.

For further information on Woodside – currently on sale for £475,000 – please see here.

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