The Times – buying and selling in the South Downs

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In an increasingly competitive market, more properties are being agreed off-market and properties in the South Downs are no exception. Against the buzz for Somerset & the Cotswolds, it has long been overlooked despite being conveniently placed for commuters from London and Brighton.

The region was better associated with an ageing demographic however, there has been an influx of younger interest. “The arts scene may be bringing in a younger crowd to places like Midhurst and Petworth – in the old days you’d just be able to get a bad cup of [instant] coffee, but now there are plenty of places to spend too much on coffee” says Tom Hudson.

The tip for a Bruton alternative in the Hampshire South Downs is Hambledon, “a pretty little market town with lots of artisan places to go”.

As London goers are working from home more frequently, areas that weren’t on the conventional commuter belt are now being considered. Having access to a wide variety of school options is another key driver for higher demand.

There is a ‘cultural pull’ that is unique to the South Downs, with events such as Petworth Festival and Goodwood inviting guests who want to be “in the middle of everything while being in the middle of nowhere”, Stewart Collins, the artistic director of the Petworth Festival.

Mark Crampton notes the change as you move along the Downs, “The East Sussex stretch of the South Downs is much more open and rural and that little bit more beautiful than the Haslemere to Midhurst patch [in Hampshire and West Sussex], which is all a bit glitzy. It doesn’t have the cachet and as a result is a little more untapped and more bohemian. They have the polo set around Cowdray and we had the Bloomsbury set in Charleston”.
A property that recently sold for £3.5 million in East Sussex could well have cost £1 million to £1.5 million more in one of the more popular villages in West Sussex or Hampshire.

Full article on The Times.