Equestrian property buyers should prepare to part with about £775,000 for their new home. According to the Horse & Hound property index, which tracks advertisements placed in the magazine, this sum is the median price — the midpoint that leaves as many values above it as it does below — for a house with a yard. The most frequent asking price is within a similar range at £778,000.
How far does this money go? On average, it will buy a four-bedroom property with three to six acres and a handful of stables. But the difference among homes for sale is striking and entirely dependent on location and the size and type of residential accommodation.
Lindsay Burden of Fox Grant in Salisbury reports that, in the West Country, £775,000 should get you “a good four- to five-bedroom family-sized house and from five to 25-plus acres, depending where you are”.
But, she adds: “You will get substantially less in Hampshire, working up to be more as you go west towards Dorset and Somerset.”
In East Anglia, price variations are hugely influenced by transport.
“From Suffolk and the Essex to Suffolk borders southwards, the amount that can be bought for one’s money decreases rapidly,” says Emily Cooper-Reade of local agent ECR Properties. “If purchasers are prepared to go towards the less popular areas such as the Fens, they will get better quality, more facilities and more land for their money.”
To illustrate her point, she draws on some examples of properties that have recently come to the market.
“Spending in the region of £775,000 will buy a comfortable and well-presented period four- to five-bedroom property with up to seven acres, three or four stables and manège in Suffolk or south Norfolk. It will also net a Suffolk farm in need of modernisation with 50 acres and agricultural outbuildings, or a well-presented bungalow with bed and breakfast potential, 20 acres, annexes with holiday let potential, lakes, good outbuildings, paddocks and outriding.”
In Lancashire, values are similar to Suffolk. Geoff Rowlinson of Fisher Wrathall, an agent covering north Lancashire and Cumbria, reports that buyers can expect to get a four- to five-bedroom house with up to eight acres, two to six stables and a manège for the Horse & Hound median price of £775,000.
Likewise, in Northumberland’s Tyne Valley, “this price tag would buy you a three- or four-bedroom house with up to 10 acres and possibly some timber stables in Rowlands Gill, Matfen, a relatively short distance from Newcastle”, according to Barbara Huddart of local agent George F White.
Better value is available west or south of Hexham, where Huddart reports: “A four-bedroom house with stabling and 27 acres is for sale at £625,000, although you need to spend another £100,000-£150,000 on the house.”
Buyers who are prepared to settle for a smaller home will get more yard and land for their money regardless of location. In the uber-expensive stretch between the M25 and the Ashdown Forest, Martin Cundey of local agent Howard Cundey explains: “Land for equestrian properties in this area is running at between £10,000 and £20,000 per acre, so you could take a smaller property and get another seven acres.”
Fox Grant’s Lindsay Burden agrees: “The traditional period farmhouse is increasingly being challenged by more contemporary houses that may look more functional, but deliver on the stabling and facilities.
“Ultimately it depends on one’s priorities, whether they are the stabling, having an arena in situ in a planning sensitive area, quality versus quantity of pasture, good outriding, or the house itself,” she adds. “As we say, property is like Quality Street — there’s usually something for everyone if they look around.”