Wells, known as the nation’s smallest city and a tourist attraction for its 800-year-old cathedral, is five miles west. “It’s beautiful and rural, but you have Bath and Bristol both about 40 minutes by car, Bristol airport 30 minutes away, and good London train connections from Castle Cary,” about 12 miles south, Ms. Drane said. London is about 125 miles northeast.

Propertymark, the membership body for real estate professionals. “It became a popular spot for people exiting big cities.”

Rightmove, prices in Wells averaged £329,520 ($401,000) through 2021, up 8 percent from the average in 2019. Across the South West region, prices were up 12 percent over 2019, though they dipped 3 percent during 2021.

“It’s calmed a bit, because the people who were going to move here have moved here, but it’s still a seller’s market,” said Adam Holland, director of the Holland and Odam agency in Wells. “We haven’t had such a small stock of properties in the 20 years we’ve been in business.”

Britain’s split from the European Union has also been a factor, “with a new range of people coming back from Europe,” said Matthew Clarke, an associate at the Greenslade Taylor Hunt agency in Wells. “We’re also seeing expats returning from Hong Kong.”

Adding pressure to the market, Wells’s status as a tourist destination makes it popular for investors in short-term rentals, said Ollie Jones, branch manager at the Allen & Harris agency in Wells. “Though central Wells has restrictions, other towns have fewer, and it’s an increasing opportunity in our area,” he said.

shortage, building new homes in Somerset is challenging “because of vast waves of protected land and national parks, along with massive restrictions on building,” Mr. Emerson said. “These areas that are attracting people are areas where not a lot of building is going to happen.”

Domestic buyers power the Wells-area property market, “which is driven by two forces,” Mr. Holland said: “One is education, because people want their children to go to the excellent local schools. And the other is retirement, with people seeking a different pace of life, with access to both big cities and the countryside.”

The pandemic tipped the balance toward younger buyers. “Once Covid allowed mobility, the region’s schools, coast access, and commuter links started drawing more families” he said.

While Londoners make up some of the market in the area, buyers from the nearby cities of Bath and Bristol are more common, said Cathy Morris-Adams, managing partner at the Lodestone agency in Wells. “It’s more of a place where locals aspire to live,” she said. While demand from foreign buyers is low, she said, it has soared in nearby Bruton, which Condé Nast Traveller has called “the coolest town in the West Country.”

Healys. “But it’s not easy for a non-UK resident to get a mortgage,” she said, adding that specialized lenders, international banks or mortgage brokers can sometimes help.

survey to determine the condition of the house,” Ms. Bullegas said.

Blackfriars Tax Solutions in London. “The government’s been clamping down on foreigners for the last decade or so,” he said. “Before 2013, foreigners weren’t even taxed on U.K. property investments.”

The primary tax on property sales, the progressive Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), has grown to a top rate of 12 percent, which applies to sales of £1.5 million ($1.83 million) or more. Since 2016, the government has also levied a 3 percent surcharge “if you already own property anywhere in the world,” Mr. Bryant said. And there is a 2 percent levy on non-British buyers, introduced in April 2021 to help cool the market. “It’s all had a massive effect,” Mr. Bryant said. “Prime central London has never regained its peak.”

council taxes in England, total about £3,000 ($3,620), according to Ms. Ladd, the seller. Monthly electric bills total about £250 ($305), she said.

Lucy Drane or Charlie Arden Brown, The Modern House, 011-44-20 3795 5920

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<