Liz Rowlinson

Why Wiltshire trumps the Cotswolds in the race for rural homes

  • From Spectator Life
Burderop Park near Swindon, Savills

Wiltshire’s property prices have been given a shot in the arm during the pandemic. It’s one of those desirable rural locations that has suddenly became even more popular as we have veered from daily commuting towards flexible working.

Historic towns such as Salisbury, Marlborough and Warminster have been perennial favourites but are attracting buyers looking for more bedrooms (and larger gardens) for their buck, with the low-key villages of bucolic areas such as the Vale of Pewsey and Nadder Valley in demand.

‘Buyers who previously might have been looking in Oxfordshire and Hampshire are now looking at Wiltshire where prices are typically 25-30 per cent less,’ says Mark Lawson of the Buying Solution, a property search agent. He adds that North Wiltshire offers far better value for money than the next-door Cotswolds.

He says that good train links are key drivers behind newer hot spots in the county that is only couple of hours’ drive along the M4 from London. According to the data company PropCast, that analyses buyer demand by looking at the percentage of homes for sale that are under offer in an area, the hottest markets in Wiltshire are Trowbridge, Swindon and Corsham, at 83, 79 and 78 per cent respectively.

Yet even the lowest ranked area – or ‘coolest’ market in Wiltshire – Marlborough is a sellers’ market with 57 per cent of available homes under offer. One obvious explanation is affordability. The average property price in Trowbridge is £262,770 according to Rightmove – significantly less than Marlborough’s £424,024.

Swindon at £254,457 is even better value, despite it being maligned for its lack of aesthetic charm, the train average train journey to London of 1h 3 minutes speaks for itself. Within its beautiful hinterland a handsome Grade II listed 12-bedroom country house is for sale at £1.85 million through Savills.

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