The Spear’s Indices
Top Ten Country Specialists
A country boy at heart, Mark McAndrew only ever intended to stay in the big city for three years. Now, 31 years later, he is meeting Spear’s in the lobby of Strutt & Parker’s Mayfair office, but at least he’s wearing a farm-ready khaki gilet.
Talking to McAndrew, it becomes clear that country property is somewhat distinct from the rest of the market. ‘Since 2007 the property world has been turned on its head, but farmland started to increase in value,’ he says. ‘This is because of the realisation that the world was consuming more food than it was producing.’
High values have been solidified by the Boris bounce after sales fell 30 per cent last year. But rural property is as subject to change as the rest of the market, adds McAndrew. Brexit trade negotiations will undoubtedly affect agricultural land, as well the looming Agriculture Bill and the threat of global warming.
The country market, as well as being beholden to different forces, is also a much more personal affair, according to McAndrew. Because country estates are more difficult to buy and manage than a flat in prime central London, they are not a traditional trophy asset: ‘With country, clients are buying something with their heart rather than with their head. They’ve earned their money doing mega-deals in Canary Wharf, so now they want to actually enjoy the properties that they own.’