Prime homes get a lift in the commuter belt zones

COMMUTER belt properties are continuing to outperform the rest of the UK, with the average price of prime country properties around London rising two per cent in the third quarter of 2009, according to the Knight Frank/City A.M. Prime Commuter Property index.<br /><br />In comparison, similar properties in the rest of the UK only saw their value rise by 0.8 per cent over the same period. However, prime commuter properties are still down 11 per cent year-on-year. <br /><br />Andrew Shirley, head of rural property research at Knight Frank, said: &ldquo;The rise comes on the back of extremely strong growth in the prime central London market, where house prices have risen 3.9 per cent in the past three months.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;Renewed confidence in the City, where share prices are on the rise and talk of substantial bonuses being paid again, is helping to push prices upwards.&rdquo; <br /><br />He added: &ldquo;Underlying this, however, is a shortage of good quality property available to buy combined with pent-up demand from potential buyers who put their plans on hold during the credit crunch.&rdquo;<br /><br />The third quarter saw properties priced between &pound;1m and &pound;2m rise three per cent, the greatest increase across all price brackets. Prime country properties in Tunbridge Wells saw the fastest growth in the quarter.