Love is in the air for homes in our local area

As Valentine’s Day fast approaches, love is in the air across our local property market, according to the latest data from PropCast. The house selling weather forecast examined the percentage of homes for sale that are under offer or subject to contract in January 2023, to see which properties were located in a hot sellers market where it’s easier to sell, and which were in a cold buyers market where it’s harder to sell. 

Analysing buyer demand across Oundle, Rutland, Stamford, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, PropCast revealed that all of these locations are in a hot sellers’ market still. This means buyer demand is still going strong, suggesting the market is stable despite initial concerns of a looming property crash. Northamptonshire recorded the highest market heat temperature at 50° meaning 50% of homes for sale are currently under offer or subject to contract, followed by Rutland (45°), Stamford (45°), Oundle (45°) and Lincolnshire (37°). 

LocationMarket Heat Temperature – January 2023 Type of Market
Northamptonshire50°Very hot sellers’ market 
Rutland45°Hot sellers’ market
Stamford45°Hot sellers’ market
Oundle 45°Hot sellers’ market
Lincolnshire37°Hot sellers’ market
Source: PropCast Feb 2023

This is really encouraging news for local homeowners who may be hesitant about bringing their home to market due to all the recent doom and gloom. That said, sellers still need to be realistic about their asking prices, as buyer demand has dipped slightly over recent months. This is to be expected though, given increased interest rates which have impacted mortgage re-payments for some. Plus, it’s important to remember that the extreme level of activity we all witnessed throughout the various lockdowns could never continue at that pace forever – house prices were always going to stabilise. Confidence is slowly returning to the market however, as buyers realise that the situation isn’t as disastrous as they initially thought in terms of a potential recession and house price crash – and sellers are realising this too.

At both our Fine & Country offices, we have seen the market pick up substantially this year. Good quality homes are holding their value, so as long as you price your home correctly by listening to the advice of a good honest estate agent, and have somebody on board who is implementing a coherent marketing strategy, then you stand a very good chance of selling quickly and for the best possible price.

Considering selling? 

If you’re considering selling, now could be the best time to be putting your house on the market. Contact our Rutland, Stamford & South Lincolnshire office on 01780 750 200 or the Oundle and North Northamptonshire office on 01832 808 008 for more information about how we promote homes to the widest possible audience with our award winning marketing services, and/or to arrange a no obligation market appraisal. 

Tips for buying a home in the current property market


Despite a rise in interest rates and cost of living, demand is still going strong in our part of the world. In fact, it is still a sellers’ market according to recent data by property analyst, PropCast, which found the counties of Rutland, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire all in very hot markets still. Although understandably buyer demand may have dampened slightly over recent weeks, there are still plenty of purchasers keen to find their dream country house in and around Rutland, Stamford, Oundle and Northamptonshire. 

Here are a few of our top tips to ensure you stay ahead of the game when it comes to not only finding a country house, but also securing it…

Keep in touch with estate agents

With a list of eager registered buyers ready to pounce, estate agents will make them aware of what is coming up for sale before properties have hit the open market. This means that something may sell without you even knowing it was for sale in the first place. To maximise your chances of finding out about these homes, register with estate agents in the area you are looking, meet them so they are familiar with your face, and keep in touch regularly. By building a rapport, you will be kept at the top of their minds. We have recently opened a beautifully refurbished office in the heart of the market town of Oundle in the historic building of The Old Town Hall at Market Place, so do pop by and say hello to your local Fine & Country team.

View properties as soon as possible

The really good houses go within days of launching. If there’s something you like the look of, book a viewing at the earliest opportunity. There will be some buyers who will literally do everything in their power to be the very first through the door, which means you could lose out if you wait too long.

Cash is king 

Some vendors are now prioritising proceedable buyers over who is offering the highest price. Cash buyers, or those with a relatively small mortgage, not only offer a vendor a quicker sale, but they also reduce the risk of a sale falling through due to affordability issues. This is because they are not relying on a huge mortgage, which vendors are finding very desirable at the moment. If you have already sold a property and have the funds ready to go in your bank, make the estate agent aware as this should act in your favour.

Moulton Seas End

Have your finances in place

If you are relying on a mortgage, have your finances in place. Also ask an accountant to write a letter confirming proof of funds. If you would like our recommendation for an independent financial advisor, please let us know as we work closely with a small family firm who offer a wide range of products available on the market and able to find you the best and most suitable mortgage deal.

Be flexible on completion date

Vendors are also prioritising buyers who can be flexible on a completion date. This is because they may need time to find something else themselves. 

Secure an excellent lawyer and surveyor

Make sure you are paying for good advice, as this will save you time and money. Also having these appointed as your search begins can put you in good stead in the eyes of a vendor. Cheap is often more expensive in the long run, so choose a solicitor because they have a good reputation and/or are recommended. We are able to send you recommendations of ‘tried and tested’ solicitors who will provide you with a service you desire.

Don’t panic

With multiple buyers looking at a property, you can easily overstretch yourself to beat the competition. However, you should only pay a premium if it’s the right house for you. Don’t panic buy, otherwise you could overspend on the wrong place and regret it. Research the value of the house you want to buy and calculate your maximum budget – then keep to it.

Longthorpe Green

Find Out More

For more information about any of our country houses for sale, or to register with us, contact our Rutland, Stamford & South Lincolnshire office on 01780 750 200 or the Oundle and North Northamptonshire office on 01832 808 008.

Stamp duty tax has been cut in the Mini Budget

On 23rd September, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced at the Mini Budget that he is reducing (and in some cases eliminating) Stamp Duty immediately for residential property buyers. 

The levy is a tax paid over a certain price when somebody buys a house, flat or a piece of land in England, where the monies owed are based on various price thresholds, as well as where you are buying.

For non-first-time buyers, the threshold at which the tax begins has been increased from £125,000 to £250,000. The remaining thresholds have remained the same, to include those buying an additional property or a second home where there is still an extra 3% to pay on top of the relevant standard rates.

Standard SDLT Rates 

Property ValueSDLT Rate
Up to £250,0000%
The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)5%
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)10%
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)12%

Whilst for first time buyers, the SDLT threshold now begins at £425,000 – previously £300,000 – in a bid to give them an extra boost onto the property ladder. The value of the property on which they can claim stamp duty relief has increased from £500,000 to £625,000.

Are you wondering how much stamp duty will now cost on our homes?

We have had a look at some of our houses for sale and worked out the new SDLT for you. Perhaps you could put the saving towards something else such as new furniture, school fees or renovation works?

Drove House, Surfleet

Total SDLT: £103,250

Drove House is  beautiful period property offering everything you might need for a quintessential English country lifestyle. The main house provides 5 generous reception rooms and a vast, newly extended kitchen dining room with 5 double bedrooms, 2 en suite, and a family bathroom whilst a recently built adjoining annex has 2 bedrooms, a large kitchen, a living room and a bathroom. With over 13 acres of land, there are paddocks, stables, an enclosed outdoor heated swimming pool, a hard tennis court, garden buildings, chicken runs, a vegetable garden as well as numerous trees and a lake supporting wildlife. Read more

Snake Hall, Moulton Eaugate

Total SDLT: £51,250

Snake Hall is a beautiful Grade II listed, Georgian former farmhouse with 5 bedrooms and 5 reception rooms surrounded by open fields. Standing on over 4.5 acres, it also provides a brick stable block with haybarn, paddocks, garages, storeroom and workshop. Built circa 1795, this red brick house is typically Georgian with its symmetric façade. Inside, the house is airy and spacious with large windows, and rooms are very generous in size with high ceilings and lovely views over the garden, and the far reaching landscape from upstairs. Read more

Bridge House, Sutton St James

Total SDLT: £32,500

Bridge House is an extraordinarily sleek, spacious, minimalist home built in 2019 which is a reminiscent of a vast, converted old barn. It has an industrial edge with its Crittal-style glazing and huge spaces contained within a combination of exposed brick and plastered walls, that include four en suite bedrooms, a spectacular open plan kitchen living room, a dining room, a games room, a cinema, a study, an adjoining double garage and a separate workshop outside. Read more

Ducks Nest, Oundle

Total SDLT: £22,500

Ducks Nest is one of the oldest properties in the historic market town of Oundle; a date inscribed on the gable end states 1637 but other parts are far older. Part of it – the current dining room – was once owned by the Knights Templar and much later, in the 16th century, Sir Thomas Tresham, a prom- inent Catholic landowner whose eldest son, Francis, was embroiled in the gunpowder plot, owned the property for a time up until 1564. Some years later, Oliver Cromwell is reputed to have stayed there, perhaps whilst it was The Anchor Inn, which it was for hundreds of years. This Grade II listed quaint stone cottage provides three bedrooms, one en suite, a family bathroom, three good-sized reception rooms and a farmhouse style kitchen. Read more

Church Street, Eastern On The Hill

Total SDLT: £25,000

This three-bedroom period stone cottage is an English classic within a very desirable village, but it the peaceful and private mature garden, intricately designed, that makes this property stand out amongst others – a paradise for those who enjoy watching the hours pass by surrounded by nature. Read more

Bank House, Sutton Bridge

Total SDLT: £13,750

Bank House is a four bedroomed 1930s house, that has been completely refurbished and modernised. The interiors are light and airy with rooms including a hallway, living room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, attic room and a master bedroom that has a dressing room and an en-suiteRead more

Find Out More? 

For more information about these homes, or to be kept up to date on those we will be selling in the future, contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 or 01832 808 008.

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

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: You can also visit our website here.

‘Sale’ through to completion this Spring

Holwell – Stamford

The first signs of spring are starting to appear… daffodils are poking through the soil, the sun is shining a little bit more and what a joy it is to have lighter evenings again! It’s also a very exciting time to be selling your home, as traditionally Spring is one of the busiest times of year, especially if you own a lovely country home with gorgeous gardens. So now is the best time to be preparing your home for sale so that photographs can really emphasis them in their full glory. 

However, once you have an offer accepted on your home, nothing is guaranteed until you exchange. The gap between exchange and completion is relatively small compared to pre-exchange, and although most buyers and sellers wish to exchange quickly, sometimes complications can arise which can make the process take months, causing a lot of unnecessary stress for everybody involved. 

Here are some top tips on how to make the process between exchange and completion less painful this Spring… 

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, exchange of contracts means when the buyer and the seller sign legal contracts, and the buyer pays a deposit. Once this has happened, everything becomes legally binding so nobody can back out of the transaction. Most people need to sell their own property first in order to pay the deposit, which can cause a delay – especially at the moment when buyers are struggling to find houses for sale. However, there are many other factors too. A good estate will of course be chasing things up on your behalf, but here’s a few things you can do to help you on your way too… 

Use an excellent solicitor

Also referred to as a conveyancer, they will be your legal representative who deals with the transfer of property on your behalf. They are crucial to the whole process, so ask around for recommendations for firms known for their fast turnarounds. 

Start your buying search asap

There’s still an inbalance between supply and demand, which is making it a lot harder for buyers to find houses because they are up against a lot of competition. Don’t leave your property search to the last minute. Start the process as soon as you possibly can, because one of the leading causes of delays is because the seller can’t find another house to buy.

Have a written mortgage in principle for your next property

If you’re buying something else, many estate agents will only work with proceedable buyers now due to how intense demand is, so start applying for a mortgage at the beginning of your search, if not before. 

Be on top of paperwork

Various forms need to have been filled in. For example property information form, fixtures and contents form, necessary certificates and service reports I.e electrical certificates/boiler service report.

Book your removal company 

Most removal companies are being booked out well in advance at the moment, so make sure you have yours arranged the moment you know your completion date. It may even be worth checking when they are free before agreeing to a completion date, otherwise you risk changing it because you can’t find anybody to move your belongings.

Have costs covered 

Have all the necessary funds in place for all the costs involved in the moving process.  

Always be available 

Make sure you are easily contactable and around to sign the paperwork and contracts. I.e don’t go on holiday! If you know that you need to be away then plan ahead by signing paperwork before you leave and give power of attorney to your solicitor so the process can move forward regardless you are unavailable.

Find Out More 

Despite it being a really strong housing market here, there are numerous things to think about to attract significant interest quickly, and then ensure a smooth ride to exchange and completion. For more information about Fine & Country can help, contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 or e-mail:

UK property market sees strongest January for 17 years 

The Spinney

According to Nationwide, 2022 started off with a bang for the UK housing market, recording the strongest January since 2005 as annual house price growth rose by 11.2%.

This has brought the average price of a home to £255,556 – the sixth monthly increase in a row. Growing 0.8% from 10.4% the previous month, this is also the highest monthly rise since June last year. 

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, mentioned: “Housing demand has remained robust. Mortgage approvals for house purchases have continued to run slightly above pre-pandemic levels despite the surge in activity in 2021 as a result of the stamp duty holiday, which encouraged buyers to bring forward their transactions to avoid additional tax.

“Indeed, the total number of property transactions in 2021 was the highest since 2007 and around 25% higher than in 2019, before the pandemic struck. At the same time, the stock of homes on estate agents’ books has remained extremely low, which is contributing to the continued robust pace of house price growth.”

Meanwhile Rightmove claim early-bird sellers benefitted from increased buyer competition last month as the number of buyers enquiring about homes was 15% higher than January 2021.

What do we expect for 2022? 

The UK housing market has certainly had a good time so far this year. January is traditionally a strong month anyway, as many people add ‘moving’ to their list of New Year’s resolutions, but 2022 has been a phenomenal one. 

As we quickly head towards spring, we are now starting to see early signs that more property choice is on its way, which is great news for our long list of registered buyers. Owners of country houses tend to have lovely gardens, and these only look their best in the warmer months. We have therefore been very busy valuing such properties since the beginning of the year across Rutland, Stamford and South Lincs, as homeowners start to chat with estate agents and solicitors, whilst preparing their homes for sale. This shall certainly help rebalance supply and demand, but there are still plenty of purchasers out there. They may be slightly more cautious about how much they spend due to rising energy prices and the bank rate, but we still expect it to be a very busy year indeed. As long as sellers are realistic about what their home is worth and ensure they are using an estate agent who is using the best marketing methods possible to reach the widest audience as possible, 2022 should be another bumper year. 

Considering selling? 

If you’re considering selling this spring, you can contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 for more information about how we promote homes to the widest possible audience with our award winning marketing services, and/or to arrange a no obligation market appraisal. 

Buyer demand remains higher for houses than flats in Rutland

Kilthorpe Grange – Ketton

Property buyers prefer houses over flats in Rutland recent research has found – pwew, given we sell country houses rather than apartments!

Covid-19 is the main reason why, as people seek more space inside and out. According to recent findings by house selling weather forecast, PropCast, 72% of houses for sale are under offer or subject to contract in Rutland, compared to just 48% for flats.

The findings form part of a nationwide report, where PropCast analysed buyer demand across England to see what percentage of houses and flats for sale were being snapped, and how that differed between the number of bedrooms. 

On average 73% of houses for sale are under offer or subject to contract – substantially higher than the figure for flats (43%). Three-bedroom houses are in most demand at 76%, followed by two-beds (75%), four plus-beds (69%) and one-beds (62%). 

Meanwhile overall in Rutland, buyer demand has continued to grow since the pandemic began, with the market rising from a cold buyers market at 32° to a very hot sellers market at 70° – up an astounding 118%. 

We too have seen how hot our local housing market is right now at Fine & Country. Properties we bring to market are flying off the shelves soon after their launch whether on the open market or being sold discreetly, with London buyers being a key part of those transactions. Bidding wars, sealed bids and homes selling over guide price have been a weekly occurrence, and our offices have had one of the best years we have ever had as a result. For local homeowners, this is really reassuring news as everybody expected the property market to crash when the global pandemic first hit our shores early last year. When in fact, many areas have thrived – particularly the prime country house market.

So is now a good time to be selling your country pad? 

With buyer demand so strong, yes it could well be. As long as your home is being promoted in all of the right places (not just the property portals), it has been professionally shot, it’s looking its very best on viewings and the price is set correctly from the offset, you have a very good chance of achieving a sale quickly and for the best possible price. 

For more information about how our Fine & Country team can help achieve similar success for your country home in Stamford, Rutland or South Lincolnshire, contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 or e-mail

Looking for a country house?

Take a look at our homes for sale in Rutland, Stamford and South Lincolnshire here.

Spring Housing Market Report: East Midlands

Fine & Country has put together their latest regional property reports, and here are the results for the East Midlands!

In the East Midlands region, the average price of property is £590,398, which represents a 4.59% annual change in price. The premium price threshold in the East Midlands is £450,000, which means that the top 5% of sales in the region were above this figure. Over the last 12 months the average price per square foot has been around £282. The total value of sales over the past year has been £1.54 billion with 107 sales at or over £1 million.

While some areas have seen a decrease in the average property price, others have performed extremely well. Lincoln and Loughborough have seen a 12% annual increase, the average price in Nottingham has increased by 10%, Kettering has increased by 4%, Northampton and Chesterfield house prices have increased by 2%, Derby and Leicester have increased by 1%, and Mansfield has decreased by -1%.

The highest premium threshold in the East Midlands is in Northampton at £523,000, with Loughborough second at £495,000.

Click here to read the full F&C Spring Housing Market Report: East Midlands