The time is ripe to take the plunge into the Cotswolds

FOLLOWING a tough year when the market has been in the doldrums, the Cotswolds – the perennial favourite area for City workers’ second homes – are back in the swing of things.

The problem for those who yearn to own a property in those picturesque old wool villages is that they just don’t often come on the market. But this autumn there is a spate of properties going up for sale, and at 25 per cent less than they were going for at the top of the market. This week, Country Life magazine reported a resurgence in the country house market in the attractive £1-£2m bracket.

Rupert Sturgis, of Knight Frank’s Cirencester office, says: “We are in a surge of activity at the moment. We are somewhere near the bottom of the market, and we’re not going to go back down from now. Trading is up across the board – purchasers are having to be enthusiastic and competitive. People want to get to get on with it.”

So why are these properties coming on to the market? “People around here don’t tend to have to sell because of money,” Sturgis says. “Instead, they feel it’s that time in life to move on. People are less sentimental than they used to be – so once the kids have left home, they think about downsizing.” Which is great news for buyers.

But if you are tempted by this chance, then move quickly: Sturgis says that the weak pound means that international buyers are swooping in on the Cotswolds. You’ll have to get your money together quickly if you want to beat the oligarchs.

If something new is more to your tastes and £10m is burning a hole in your pocket, then you might be interested in another stunning Cotswolds property, which is being called the “closest thing to a stately home that it’s possible to build.”

The project is taking place in Wotton-Under-Edge on what was formerly the site of a 19th century mansion. This 379-acre plot of land is on the market for £6m, and comes with with planning permission to build a £4m property. Ross Sharpe, lead architect on the project, said: “This is certainly the first building of this scale in the Cotswolds for at least 100 years.” The Ridge, as it will be called, will have an indoor swimming pool and 11 bedrooms. The Cotswolds are back, and in grand style too.

Price: £1.5m
A Grade II castellated tower and semi-underground home with secondary accommodation in countryside close to Cirencester. Surrounded about 4.15 acres of its own land, it’s grand and racey in one. For sale through Knight Frank; tel: 01285 659771,

Price: £1.95m
Grade II-listed 17th century farmhouse with several modern additions. Flagstone floors, exposed timbers and mullion windows are among features that add authentic character to a thoughtfully restored, idyllic country house. For sale through Savills; 01295 228000,