24th April 2018
After a long winter, the tardy arrival of spring has brought with it a determination from buyers who remain frustrated at having failed to find the right house last year.
Brexit aside, and despite the ongoing political volatility, buyers seem to have decided that life has to go on.
This appears to be the case especially for those who live in the Cotswolds, as local buyers accounted for 61% of our purchasers in 2017.
However, buyers are understandably demanding in terms of requirements, and appear reluctant to compromise. Therefore we are advising our sellers that everything about their property should be ‘tip top’ before marketing.
The Cotswolds is a uniquely beautiful and accessible part of the country, and buyers recognise that property remains a solid investment.
Butler Sherborn have a superb portfolio of houses to sell this year, and we look forward to helping both buyers and sellers move forward with the next chapter of their... more
23rd April 2018
As we look towards Badminton in the first weekend of May, Ben Way, Head of Butler Sherborn Equestrian, has a number of young horses entered in the Burghley Young Event Classes for 4 and 5 year olds, held on Wednesday 2nd May.
Ben was due to run Galley Light at Badminton in the main 4* event. However, the atrocious weather recently has resulted in the cancellation of many early season events, hampering Galley Light's Badminton preparation. As a result, Ben has now rerouted, and is taking Galley Light to Germany in June to compete at the Luhmuhlen 4* event instead.
Within the Young Horse classes, Ben will be competing two very exciting 5 year olds; Jocelyn Rosenberg's Monbeg Rise, purchased in the autumn of 2016 and produced last season, and a recent purchase from the Gorsebridge Going for Gold sale, MHS Bonanza.'
23rd April 2018
Equestrian Properties: ‘Opportunities and Pitfalls’
Alongside my work as Head of Butler Sherborn’s Equestrian department, I also run a business competing event horses. The business ‘Team Way Eventing’ is based at home on the family farm in Warwickshire. My wife, Sarah, and I, compete around 30 horses for a number of different owners. Our horses range from 4 year olds, starting off their careers in the young horse classes, through to the older horses, which we compete at the very top of the sport. This practical insight, alongside my professional experience in sales, letting and formal valuation, gives me a good insight into all aspects of equestrian properties, the opportunities they can present, and the range of pitfalls and ‘grey areas’ that come with all things equestrian……
We have seen a good level of activity within the equestrian property market with both sales and lettings over the last twelve to twenty four months. In our... more
3rd April 2018
Hedges have been in the news recently for two reasons causing farmers challenges whether regard to Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications or managing the extended hedge cutting rules.
As reported in last week’s Farmers Weekly, farmers have started to complete this year’s BPS claims and have noted serious errors in mapping data held in relation to their hedges. This year the RPA has introduced a new hedge layer which shows the location and length of hedges which are eligible to count towards the ecological focus area (EFA) obligations. However farmers are finding that land parcels where hedges exist in reality are not showing on the RPA’s system along with non-existent hedges appearing where they should not be!! Our advice and that of the RPA is that if you need hedges to meet your EFA and if they aren’t showing on the mapping hedge layer that you need to fill out and RLE1 form and get them added back in to cover your EFA hedge claim position... more
29th March 2018
The Government has announced, via a Statement from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government that it is proposed that new regulations - The Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development (England) (Amendment) Oder 2018 will come into force on 6th April 2018. These new regulations particularly effecting permitted developments under ‘Class Q’ which relates to the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential use.
This revised planning guidance could bring fresh hope for some previously rejected schemes under these regulations.
The main changes proposed that up to 5 units can be created now be from existing agricultural buildings on a farm, to residential use, rather than the 3 allowed at present allowing either:3 larger homes within a maximum of 465 square metres; 5 smaller homes each no larger than 100 square metres; A mixture, within a total of no more than 5 homes, of which no more than 3 may be larger homes
9th March 2018
Promote your property effectively in London at a dedicated Exhibition in Kensington, on Tuesday 17th April 2018. Conatct our offices for more information.
8th March 2018
Cheltenham Preview- Despite our main contender not being in the squad this year, we have our largest contingent heading to The Festival, with some exciting chances amongst them. Here is a little bit about each intended runner.
Gowiththeflow (below) - Grade 1 Albert Bartlett and Ballymore.
With Entries in both Grade 1 Novice Hurdles, this lovely horse is likely to go to the Albert Bartlett on the Friday of The Festival.
This smart recruit from the Irish Point to Point field has shown some impressive form this winter, and heads to The Festival off the back of a win up at Doncaster, after beating the Grade 2 runner at Paisley Park. He has some great form against the Nicky Henderson trained Mr Whipped, and he heads there in good form. We have no doubt this honest horse will give his all on the day.
Nestor Park - Grade 1 Champion Bumper
He is quite simply a gorgeous horse, who has shone brightly this season, and if the ground is soft, will take up his place in the Champion Bumper. He won impressively at Ascot after a ding dong up the home straight with Portrush Ted. He was then beaten a few lengths in, what has been described as, the hottest bumper of the... more
7th March 2018
There is a great amount to deal with on the death of a loved one. If property was owned by the deceased then this will need to be valued as part of the process to obtain a grant of probate.
In an attempt to make this process easier, we have compiled a short summary of answers to frequently asked questions, designed for family or executors.
Whilst obtaining a probate valuation is administratively important, it is vital to ensure proper co-ordination between valuer and tax advisors to ensure that valuations are properly considered and tax liabilities are mitigated where possible. This is something we do regularly for houses, farmland, estates and equestrian property. We are happy to discuss any valuation requirements in confidence and without obligation.
Contact Richard Greasby 01285 883740 email@example.com
Probate Valuations – Common Queries Explained
I am an Executor of an estate. Will I need Probate to sell the Property?
All assets which were held in the deceased’s sole name will be ‘frozen’ after death, until a Grant of Probate has been obtained.
The word Probate means ‘proving’, as it involves... more
7th March 2018
The latest RICS/RAU Rural Land Market Survey for the second half of 2017 shows availability of farmland continuing to decline. The principle driver for this is political uncertainty, with the Brexit process being held largely responsible.
Demand for farmland has also eased back from the peak of the market in 2015, for much the same reasons.
“Against this fall in supply, demand now appears to be starting to stabilise, which can only be good news for sellers and buyers” says Richard Greasby, head of Butler Sherborn’s Rural department. He goes on to say that “the market is however polarised, which makes commentating on it in general terms tricky”. The best demand and prices are for higher quality land in good locations, whereas lower grade farmland, where access or conditions are more challenging, seeing much lower demand and prices.
“Within the Cotswolds we find that our local market follows these wider national and regional patterns” says Richard, “... more
8th February 2018
Senior Sales Negotiator (Full Time)
A superb opportunity within our growing agency department, for a dynamic and experienced sales negotiator.
An ambitious and focused individual to compliment the current team who provide an exceptional level of agency expertise and client care.
The successful applicant will have previous sales experience and demonstrate effective negotiation and management skills while achieving and exceeding monthly budgets and targets.
Responsibilities and Duties
• Promote Butler Sherborn and generate new business
• Secure instructions
• Manage sales to completion
• Work with clients, buyers and professionals.
• Produce Budgets and Management Accounts
Competitive salary, commission and career progression for the right energetic candidate.
If this role is of interest, please submit your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to
43-45 Castle Street... more
6th February 2018
An ideal Cotswold family home on the edge of the village of Bledington with a self contained annexe, large garden and paddock
Little Close is a classic Cotswold property located on the edge of the very popular village of Bledington. Having been renovated and extended by the current owners Little Close now offers an extremely attractive and well configured family home, retaining many of the orginal period features throughout.
The property has open views over the surrounding countryside and private access onto a nearby footpath. Within the grounds is a self contained one bedroom annexe, ideal for use as a holiday let or for additional accommodation.
Adjoining the garden is a well fenced paddock with field shelter offering buyers the option for a variety of different uses.
The much sought after village of Bledington is centred around the village green and
duck pond, comprising period Cotswold stone properties. Bledington enjoys a wonderful community spirit with its renowned pub The Kings Head (Good Pub Guide 2017 - Pub of the Year). It is also one of the last remaining villages to... more
30th January 2018
A perspective of the capital's residential property market and the capital's interest in the Cotswolds
The UK economy and property market were demonstrably resilient in 2017, despite the first increase in the base rate for ten years and interminable Brexit negotiations.
Market extremes are, however, concealed within this overall assessment of the nation’s property markets. Substantial price inflation occurred in the West Midlands, whilst the central London property boom came to a juddering halt in 2017, with the first annual fall in prices since the financial crash in 2008. The Nationwide Building Society gave an annual fall of 0.5%.
It appears that the London residential market peaked in 2014, when the market roared ahead by 21%. It has since been pegged back by first time buyers, who cannot afford to buy, punitive increases in Stamp Duty, and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
Despite this check to growth in the capital’s residential market, London remains easily the most expensive place to buy a home in Britain, with prices more than double the national average. As a result in part, we are witnessing increased enquiries from buyers looking to move out of London, and taking advantage of the substantial price differential between... more
26th January 2018
The Hedgerow and Boundary grant is individually worth up to £10,000 and is designed to help farmers improve farmland boundaries.
The application window is now open and closes on 30th April 2018.
Farmers can apply for a one-off grant towards the restoration of a range of traditional boundaries including hedgerows, dry stone walls, stone-faced banks and earth banks. Payment rates are fixed for each item. These include hedge-laying or coppicing, hedgerow restoration through gapping-up, stone-faced bank repair and stone wall restoration, which can include a top wiring supplement.
It is important to note that the land parcel cannot, on the start date of the agreement, be in an agri-environment scheme.
The application process is competitive. Priority is given to smaller holdings and restoring hedges or walls is preferred to stone-faced or earth banks. More points are awarded if the application is for more than £1,000, and if the holding is part of a group receiving Facilitation Fund payments.
Grant offers will be made to successful applicants from July 2018.
If you have any... more
11th January 2018
Butler Sherborn – MRICS Qualified or Trainee Rural Surveyor (full time)
Position: Rural Surveyor (Cirencester)
Butler Sherborn is privately owned with offices in Cirencester, Stow, Burford, Oxford & Wantage. We specialise in Residential Sales & Lettings, Land Sales & Acquisitions, Farm & Estate Management, Professional Valuations, Equestrian, New Homes & Development.
Our Rural department is growing and we are looking for a recently qualified rural surveyor or a highly capable and proactive trainee surveyor (ideally in their second year of training) to help support the expansion. The position offers the successful candidate experience and professional development, working across a variety of professional and management work.
Areas of Work:Estate, farm and property management Country house consultancy Professional valuations Land sales & acquisitions General professional work including, farm... more
8th January 2018
Grants and Subsidies can form an essential income stream for farms and Estate, here is a summary of what is on offer.
Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation Grant
Applicants can now apply for the Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation Grant. This scheme is run jointly by the Forestry Commission and Natural England Technical Services and is open to all qualifying land managers.
If successful, applicants will receive a capital grant of up to £6,800 per hectare and may be eligible for annual maintenance payments for 10 years. The planting must be completed within two years.
Hedgerow and Boundary Grants
The hedgerows and boundaries grant is a standalone capital grant under Countryside Stewardship. Farmers and other land managers can apply for this grant to help provide environmental and landscape benefits on their land.
2nd January 2018
The Cotswold property specialist becomes a LLP from 1st January 2018. Two new partners join founding partner, Sam Butler
Butler Sherborn, the Cotswold property specialist with offices in Cirencester, Burford, Stow-on-the-Wold, Oxford and Wantage, has changed its business status to become a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) with effect from 1st January 2018.
In addition, two new partners - Elizabeth D’Allemagne and Richard Greasby have been appointed to join Sam Butler who founded the business in 1991.
“The move to become a Limited Liability Partnership will support the growth of the company, and is a really exciting opportunity for our clients, employees and partners,” says Sam.
“We have established a firm foundation over the past 26 years as the leading independent property specialist in the Cotswolds, and developed a name for serving our clients. This transition to LLP status will place the business on a solid footing for the future, and better meet our clients’ requirements.”
With specialisations in residential and rural property sales and lettings,... more
11th December 2017
An Oxfordshire pub is gaining a reputation as the go-to destination for punters whose favourite tipple is a gin & tonic. Capitalising on the current craze for all things gin, The Plough at Clanfield specialises in the spirit and boasts more than 450 varieties including its own.
Quirkily packaged in a tin not much bigger than a hip flask, Gin-in-a-Tin is designed to fit through a post box so it can be ordered (and consumed) at home as well as the pub. The Plough’s gins can be sampled at its gin pantry, where you can book a tasting and even create your own bespoke bottle, the recipe for which will be kept for you to re-order whenever you like.
The initiative is that of proprietor Martin Agius, known locally as ‘The Gin Man’. Oxfordshire born and bred and a long-time lover of gin, he bought The Plough ten years ago and offers aficionados witty opportunities to imbibe including Hendricks Gin & Tea at four in the afternoon (cream tea and cakes with a teapot of... more
5th December 2017
Whilst there have been reports in the press, about the difficult London residential property market, this isn’t entirely the case across the board.
It can be summarised by a dual market, with an under supply of properties up to £1m, and strong demand putting upward pressure on prices. However above this figure, there is little demand, which together with over supply, has resulted in a drop in prices.
This state of affairs is re-enforced by the latest UK Finance data for Q3, which shows that first-time buyers in London borrowed £3.31 billion, up 7% on Q2 and 9% on Q3 2016, to reach its highest level for a decade. It has been sometime since the market has been driven up by first time buyers.
The Chancellors’ decision to reduce SDLT for first time buyers, on properties under £500,000 in London, will only add to this price pressure. The higher end is slow and asking prices are being reduced to absorb the high rates of SDLT. For example, a £2m property... more
4th December 2017
“I am prepared for worst, but hope for the best” Benjamin Disraeli
Whether you are considering a future sale of your property or hoping to avoid planning enforcement in the future, a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development (CLEUD) can help to avoid future complications, issues and needless worries.
What is it?
A Certificate of Lawful Existing Use or Development is a legal document, not a planning permission, issued by a Local Planning Authority. It is used to regularise either a breach of planning policy or conditions and unauthorised development.
Once issued, a certificate establishes that an existing use, or activity, is lawful and that enforcement action cannot be taken.
When does it apply?
The length of a use, development or breach is the key consideration in assessing eligibility for a CLEUD.
Minimum time periods apply as follows:4 years for material change of use of a building, or part, to use as a single... more
1st December 2017
In a year where the dialogue has been dominated by the “Brexit” negotiations and the general uncertainty this has wrought on the UK economy, it is very refreshing news indeed that the UK Government is set to throw £50 Billion+ at finally resolving the inertia. The country can then set about getting back on to the sure footing it enjoyed before the European Referendum. Uncertainty in any market is an issue and given this latest news, we are expecting less of it in 2018. In 2017, the market has been beset by decision paralysis, primarily amongst Sellers, who have been reticent and have in greater numbers than expected held off in making the decision to sell. Available stock levels could therefore see a bounce in the first quarter of 2018, which will serve to stimulate buyers, whose impression in the second half of 2017 has been that the market has been somewhat static. The still very low cost of borrowing makes 2018 a window of opportunity in which to buy whilst prices are stable,... more