Homes with glorious gardens

Gardens are a major selling feature at this time of year for buyers, as flowers bloom, plants thrive and greenery flourishes, but outdoor space as a whole has shot to the top of a buyer’s house hunting list. This is due to the pandemic where we all found a new found love for our gardens, whether it was for al fresco dining, creating interesting play areas for the children or for a bit of horticulture from homebound green thumbs. We believe this is a trend that is set to continue for the rest of the year, especially during the warmer months, so with that in mind we have selected some of our homes for sale with gardens to suit a variety of requirements…

Chapel Lane – Barrowden, Rutland

Spring has definitely sprung at this charming Grade II listed house in a popular Rutland village, as the tulips bring gorgeous colour into the walled garden. The sunny and barely overlooked garden is deceptively large as it turns the corner at the back into a more secret, secluded area. With plenty of places to sit in the sun or shade, the garden retains structure all year round with box balls, hedging and topiary. Read more

Red House Farm – Donington, South Lincs

The grounds at this beautifully presented farmhouse largely consist of the lawn to the front (ideal for children’s trampolines, slides and swings perhaps?) delineated by a striking, curving walled haha, beyond which stretches the post and railed paddock of about one acre. Read more


College Farm – Moulton, South Lincs

The attractive gardens at this Georgian farmhouse are mainly lawn with an area to the front divided by a high, old wall behind which is a brick shed and a private, sheltered, paved area capturing the sun from late morning onwards. Evergreen hedging borders the garden and divides it up into sections. At the back, a delightful triangular box garden has been clipped to create sculptural forms for year round interest, and a timber trellis arch leads you down to further lawns where a greenhouse is to one side. Read more

Find Out More? 

Contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 – we would be delighted to show you round one of these glorious gardens.

Why is Spring an excellent time to sell?

Chapel Lane, Rutland

Spring is traditionally one of the best times of year to sell a country house. People are feeling happier with blue skies, lighter warmer days and a bit more sunshine in their lives rather than the dark cold days of winter. Families also begin their house search in time for the new September school year. Combine this with today’s very active market as a result of ‘pandemic buyers’ flocking to the countryside, Spring 2022 is a great season to be selling …

Buyer demand is still very strong causing record prices

Demand over the last two years has been truly remarkable, causing far more buyers than there are homes for sale. Rightmove have recently reported there are twice as many buyers as there are sellers and when compared to this time three years ago, sellers are twice as likely to find a buyer within the first week of launching. Meanwhile, house selling weather forecast, PropCast, has found buyer demand is very strong in our area. Anything over 50° is considered a very hot sellers’ market so in Grantham for example, the market heat temperature is 74°, meaning 74% of homes for sale are under off or subject to contract. In Stamford it’s 73°, The Deepings it’s 72°, in Rutland it’s 67° and in Bourne it’s 67°. This indicates sellers in our area have a very good chance of selling their home quickly – as long as you make sure your chosen estate agent has priced and marketed your home correctly of course.

As a result of demand outweighing supply, house prices keep on rising. Rightmove’s latest Index says the average house coming onto the market jumped by 1.7% last month to £353,545, in the biggest month-on-month increase since the mid-noughties. Meanwhile Nationwide reports annual house price growth increased 14.3% between February and March this year. 

Beautiful gardens

Your garden is more important than ever before now, being a big priority for those looking for a country house. The joy of this time of year is that gardens are starting to look very pretty with lots of colour and greenery. This makes for a stunning setting not just on viewings but also in photographs. If you’re lucky enough to have a south facing garden as well, prospective buyers will be able to see just how much sun they can enjoy during the day if they live there themselves.

More light and warmth

This time of year brings longer days, which is great news when selling a home. This is because a brighter home has a much better chance of selling than a darker one. Our professional photographer can really maximise the natural light to create amazing photos as well. Also, given the choice between moving home in the freezing cold and pouring rain, or the warmth of the sun, most buyers will choose the latter. 

Families are looking for schools now

The new school year starts in September and for some families, this means their children are starting at primary or secondary level. With school places now secured, such buyers are now looking for a family home close by, usually within a twenty minute drive. We are very lucky in our part of the country as the region boasts some outstanding schools such as Oundle School, Uppingham School, Casterton College, Oakham Primary, Prince William, Spalding High and Grammar and Stamford Junior and High School. Homes with three plus bedrooms, two bathrooms house and a good sized garden close to these schools are highly sought after. 

Find Out More? 

Contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 – we would be delighted to explain further the benefits of selling in Spring.

Buyer demand remains very strong in Rutland, Stamford & South Lincs

Chapel Lane, Rutland

Buyer demand is still going strong in our local area according to recent findings by house selling weather forecast, PropCast, with Grantham leading the way.

PropCast analyses buyer demand across England to see what percentage of homes for sale are being snapped up, and we thought we’d see how some of the areas we sell country houses in are performing. Here are the results in order of market heat… 

LocationMarket HeatType of Market
Grantham74°Very hot sellers’ market
Stamford73°Very hot sellers’ market
The Deepings72°Very hot sellers’ market
Rutland67°Very hot sellers’ market
Bourne67°Very hot sellers’ market
Spalding62°Very hot sellers’ market

Source: PropCast

So what does this all mean for local sellers? 

The PropCast tool calculates ‘Sold STC’ and ‘Under Offer’ properties as a percentage of ‘total stock’ for sale, down to postcode district level. The temperature metaphor is often used when describing property markets and so using artistic license, the tool uses a degree to express a percentage.

Markets states are designated as follows:

·  0° – 25° = very cold / extreme buyers’ market

·  26° – 34° = cold / buyers’ market

·  35° – 49° = hot / sellers’ market

·  50° -100° = very hot / extreme sellers’ market

Using Grantham as an example, PropCast says it has a market heat of 74°. This means 74% of homes for sale are under offer or subject to contract, indicating a very hot sellers’ market where it is much easier to sell a property, and quickly. The results for Stamford, The Deepings, Rutland, Bourne and Spalding are just as impressive. 

We too have seen how hot our local housing market is right now. The country house market has certainly thrived over the last two years, and it is still going strong despite a rise in energy costs and mortgages. Our homes are attracting buyers soon after they launch whether off-market or on the open market, with both local and London buyers being a key part of those transactions. Some buyers are a little bit more cautious about how much they spend now, but we are still going to sealed bids and bidding wars due to the volume of people liking what they see.

For example, in the Rutland village of Seaton, one home went to sealed bids with the winning bid being 13.7% over the asking price, whilst we agreed a sale on another house two days post launch at 7.6% over the asking price. In a small village just outside of Stamford a buyer paid full asking price within a few days of launch. Meanwhile our Oundle office secured a sale on a house 3.3% over the asking price before it hit the open market, whilst in a small Lincolnshire village we had an open house where the buyer instantly paid full asking price.

Find Out More 

For more information about how our Fine & Country team can help achieve success for you in any of these locations, contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 or e-mail stamford@fineandcountry.com.

In The Press… Country & Town House

One of our new instructions has appeared in Country & Town House’s round up of ‘the best country homes for sale.’ We can understand why they chose College Farm! It is a charming Georgian farmhouse overlooking open fields in the South Lincolnshire fens, and not far from the pretty village of Moulton. It’s presented in excellent order and brimming with character. Key features include four bedrooms, attractive farm outbuildings ripe for conversion, a cottagey feel, high ceilings with a wealth of beams and large windows allowing in a great deal of natural light.

Find out more about this delightful home here.

We have won ‘Best Real Estate Marketing Europe’ at The International Property Awards

Fine & Country Rutland & Stamford were honoured to have been awarded ‘Best Real Estate Marketing Europe’ at the International Property Awards, which was held at The Savoy Hotel on 25th February 2022.

You may recall that in November last year we announced that we had won nine awards at The United Kingdom Property Awards 2021, which included Best Estate Agency Marketing United Kingdom and Best Estate Agency Single Office United Kingdom. These award wins meant that we were automatically entered into the shortlists for the same categories in the international regional heats, where we competed against other industry professionals across Africa, Arabia, Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the UK. 

This is only the second year we have ever entered, so we really are over the moon to have our commitment to adopting a lifestyle marketing approach recognised at an international level so quickly – the best in Europe! How we market our homes to buyers is integral to our selling strategy for clients, with elements including professional photographs, engaging tiktok videos, PR endorsements in the national press, stunning brochures and more, so we truly understand the importance of sophisticated presentation when selling a house.

Widely known as one of the industry’s largest and most prestigious award ceremonies where only the highest quality of products and companies are allowed to enter, we are thrilled to have had our hard work recognised in this way. These awards are in their 28th year and the winners represent the highest levels of achievement in both the residential and commercial sectors. As always, the International Property Awards were judged by an independent panel of over 80 industry experts, focusing on design, quality, service, innovation, originality, and commitment to sustainability, with the expert judging panel being chaired by Lord Caithness, Lord Best and Lord Waverley who are members of the House of Lords in the UK Parliament. 

Our first ever Apprentice receives double distinction in her exams

As one of hundreds of A-level students across the UK who had their exams cancelled during the pandemic, local high school student Molly Thomas, decided to embark on a new academic journey by becoming a Level 2 Junior Estate Agent Apprentice with us in December 2020. 

Over the last thirteen months or so, Molly has been working very hard with our team to learn what it takes to be a successful estate agent, which culminated in a two-part exam last month. And after what felt like an agonising few weeks of waiting for the results, we are delighted to confirm that Molly secured a distinction in both exams! This means that her apprenticeship is now complete, and we have offered her a permanent position as a Property Sales & Marketing Consultant.

To add to her achievements, Molly also secured her first sale from start to finish just five months after her apprenticeship began – at full asking price too. The property was a stunning three bed house in Fleet Hargate, where she was responsible for booking in viewings, giving feedback to the seller, assisting in the negotiation process, and progressing the sale through to exchange and completion. 

It has been so rewarding supporting Molly in her journey and taking her first steps onto the career ladder. She has developed a lot of key skills very quickly across all areas of being an estate agent, so we couldn’t be prouder of what she has achieved in such a short amount of time. We look forward to progressing her career even further as the business grows.

Molly said on her achievements: “I have had such fun with Ildi and Jan at Fine & Country, and have learnt so much from them and the monthly one-on-one zoom lessons I had with my tutor. I have been involved with pretty much everything an estate agent would do, to include learning how to manage enquiries, conduct market appraisals, book in viewings, create stunning property brochures, creating fun tiktok videos for buyers to see, responding to press requests, keeping sellers up to date and progressing the sale to completion. I have also loved visiting beautiful properties, and the feeling you get when you can hand over the keys to a buyer after you have found them their dream home is just amazing. This apprenticeship has given me such a wonderful opportunity to learn and be in the workplace at the same time, so I couldn’t be more thankful for Fine & Country’s support. I continue my journey with them with more confidence and key skills that I never dreamed of having at such a young age.”

Want to be an apprentice yourself? Do you like the idea of being an apprentice at our Fine & Country branch in Rutland? If so, do get in touch by e-mailing Ildi and Jan at stamford@fineandcountry.com. We’d love to hear from you!  

Biggest monthly jump in house prices in over 20 years as buyers get FOMO

Sellers can still rejoice as house prices continue to impress as we fast approach the end of Q1 2022, with various housing reports singing the property market’s praises. 

Rightmove’s latest House Price Index has noted that the average asking price of homes has increased by £7,785 to a record £348,804 – the biggest monthly jump in more than 20 years, and 9.5% higher than a year ago. This great achievement means that the average asking price has risen by nearly £40,000 since the pandemic began, compared to just over £9,000 in the two years prior to 2020. For the East Midlands where we operate, the good news continues, seeing the biggest annual increase across all UK regions, up 13.3%, with the average home taking just 40 days to sell.

Meanwhile, Nationwide’s House Price Index, found the average annual house price rose for the seventh consecutive month by 12.6% in February – up from 11.2% the month before. They also noted that the UK has seen the largest ever annual increase in cash terms since their housing report first launched in 1991, with a typical home now worth 20% more than in February 2020, with the average price increasing £29,000 over the last year alone.

What does this mean for sellers now in Rutland, Stamford & South Lincs?

With Spring well on its way, we are still expecting the traditional high levels of activity over the next few weeks that we would usually see, as it’s the time of year when country house buyers want to sell as their gardens are looking lovely. However, this year it’s going to be even busier!

The imbalance between demand and supply is still continuing, causing a fear of missing out (FOMO) with buyers. This is what is supporting the impressive price rises everybody is seeing, especially from those who are downsizing or second steppers seeking more space where they can part commute part work from home. For example, two houses we were instructed on last week both sold over the asking price before we even had a chance to send our professional photographer in! It took just a couple of phone calls to our registered list of buyers to arrange the viewings and secure the sale. 

We are also seeing an uptick in new instructions. This is being driven mainly by downsizers who own the big lovely country garden homes which tend to come to market in Spring. This age group have also been trapped in their homes over the last two years, but now feel safe having people walk around their properties again. These sellers are also buyers, and they have realised the benefits of selling their home (subject to contract) whilst trying to purchase themselves, as those that don’t tend to be the one’s who are missing out. People want buyers who are proceedable now, and this is absolutely key for anybody looking for a country house at the moment. 

Find Out More

For more advice about selling in the Spring market, and the benefits of doing so, contact Jan or Ildi at Fine & Country on 01780 750 200 or e-mail: stamford@fineandcountry.com. You can also visit our website here.