Bing and Corfe Castle, Dorset

How wonderful to see Corfe Castle featured on the home page today. (Bing Canada daily wallpaper) Well done Matt Gibson (photographer). As this beautiful image beams its way around the world on Bing, time to celebrate. After all, this is one of the benefits of living in coastal Poole, Dorset no less. A short hop across the Poole Harbour ferry to this wonderful Norman castle and surrounding Isle of Purbeck village. Time for a visit maybe?

Bing & Corfe Castle, Dorset

Bing & Corfe Castle, Dorset

Below we share a few more photos of this dramatic stone castle, standing high above the Dorset hills, dramatically exposed to the frequent battering of strong, salty coastal winds.

Corfe Castle, The Purbecks, Dorset


Corfe Castle, The Purbecks, Dorset

Corfe Castle, Dorset


Corfe Castle

Corfe Village, The Purbecks, Dorset

Corfe Castle and Village, Dorset

Corfe Castle, Dorset, England

For more details on Corfe Castle visit the National Trust website.

How Will Mansion Tax Affect Home Owners In Coastal Poole, BH13?

Currently a major concern across the property sector, the pending threat of ‘mansion tax’ on UK home owners with properties valued at above £2million is causing much concern.


Will it affect Poole properties for sale now or in the future? Is the sun setting on the market for properties in this price band?

Looking at Berkeleys sold house price data here there have been 29 sales of properties over £2 million in BH13 and BH14 Lilliput area over the last two years. All sales have been houses, except one. An apartment sold during this period for £3.76million on Sandbanks Road. There are 86 properties currently for sale on rightmove in BH13/BH14 Lilliput areas valued at £2million +. There are 426+ for sale across all price bands. We should also mention land and plots, so important to this coastal spot. 12 plots above the £2million price point have also been sold.

Mansion tax will clearly have an affect on a relatively small percentage – maybe 5% – of local residents in this area because many residents are retired, living in large homes, yet living off low incomes. The key question is how will they find the resources to settle these new tax bills which could significant and annual charges. Labour is indicating that retirees may be able to defer their bills until the home owner dies. A cheerful prospect for people enjoying their later years, planning to help their families and grandchildren, not pay more tax.

For home owners with homes valued at close to £2 million or indeed above, the question is what to do now, if you are thinking of selling. The threat of mansion tax has had a major impact on the London market, and agents are reporting a slow down in sales in this sector. The £2million+ market has slowed in Poole too, but remember many home buyers in BH13 are buying ‘forever’ homes or relocating – moving out of London – financing their purchases in varied ways and continuing with their plans to move on regardless. They are less likely to be international buyers. We do not see this trend ending any time soon.

How does renting and letting feature in this scenario? We are actually seeing an upsurge in activity in this area currently, as home buyers choose to rent in the interim, whilst the picture is unclear. Owners of £2 million+ properties could choose to become landlords for the very same reason if they need an alternative option to selling in the interim.

The market for homes clearly valued under £2 million remains competitive and in our opinion will continue to be so this winter. This is the space to be in – the comfort zone – for the moment. There is no sign of the sun setting here.

If you would like to discuss the possible impact of mansion tax alongside your home buying or selling plans, get  in touch with our Berkeleys BH13 office today. 01202 708383.

Why Established Estate Agency Brands Count In The Canford Cliffs Property Market

In such a small high-end property market, it appears that established estate agency brands really do count in Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset. When Berkeleys Estate Agents opened its doors in 1991, it was one of probably three property agents on Haven Road, Canford Cliffs. Today there are seven, counting bricks and mortar agencies only, but not forgetting online agencies are growing too.

Berkeleys Estate Agents, Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset

What does the local property market make of the evolution of estate agency services locally? It has certainly been a decade of change. Local clients have seen new nationals and small independents move into the Village, all offering what appears to be a ‘similar’ service. So what differentiates agents today – service, commission, reach, knowledge, people or perhaps…brand?

With the average house price in the area now exceeding £644,000 this summer, and the number of house and apartment sales transactions in BH13 around 251 over the last 12 months, it’s an interesting market for agents for sure, and a solid one too if you look at the maths.

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South Coast Home Buyers Uncover The Charms Of Chines In England

It is the season for buying coastal and waterside homes and coastal Dorset has seen more of a wave than a ripple of buyer activity this year. Here is Poole, Dorset we have already been named one of the country’s key areas outside London affected by the housing bubble (Land Registry prices up 15-20% since 2009)

Much has been written about the beachfront homes of Sandbanks, Poole. However home buyers are less well versed in the hidden charms of the coastal chines of England.


There are only three areas where you will find chines in England: Dorset, Devon and the Isle of Wight. The word chine is only used in the south of England and describes a steep-sided ravine or valley that leads down to the seafront. Not only are chines interesting for their geological history but they make highly desirable locations for holiday home buyers and family home buyers, as many are discovering today.
Dorset’s coastline has a host of chine’s spread between Bournemouth and Canford Cliffs, adjacent to Sandbanks in Poole, Dorset. The chines have created interesting walks along beautiful ravines, which often contain a stream flowing into the sea. They also harbour some wonderful clifftop homes delivering a contrasting combination of wooded landscape and sparkling seascape.

“We recently sold two beautiful homes overlooking Canford Cliffs Chine and Branksome Dene Chine,” explains Pippa Sole, Branch Partner at Berkeleys Poole, “Our buyers appreciated the dual coastal and wooded land/seascape that a chine creates as well as the healthy lifestyle benefits. Looking at average prices achieved for properties located on a chine, a price premium of 10-15% is not uncommon when factoring in a sea view with proximity to a chine,” Pippa explains, “the chines in Poole also command higher prices currently than the chines situated in either Bournemouth or Boscombe.”

These properties also make attractive rental investments. Gemma McGowan, Head of Lettings at Berkeleys notes, “We have recently rented some very attractive apartments on Alum Chine and Branksome Chine, notable for the speed at which they were snapped up. Savvy locals know that a chine based property is likely to be in close proximity to the beachfront or clifftop.”

Every chine is unique offering differing lifestyle benefits. Some chines are more secluded, others more family-friendly whilst one is designated a wildlife conservation area. When buying on a chine, by doing some research first, buyers can uncover truly wonderful properties that will fit their lifestyle today, be they families, second home buyers or young professionals with a passion for water sports.

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In Celebration of Arts and Crafts Movement Homes

What makes a great Arts and Crafts home?

A grand entrance hall with hand-crafted timber wood panelling
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A magnificently crafted stained glass window

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William Morris design references and original Arts & Crafts furniture

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Hand made timber doors and patterned terracotta tiled floors at the entrance

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A display cabinet celebrating craftsmanship and English crafted pewter

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 Tapered timber door frames and door panels

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Finally, an owner inspired to celebrate this wonderful movement.

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 Images taken from an original Arts and Crafts movement house located in Poole, Dorset and sold by Berkeleys in 2013.




Property insights into Sandbanks, Canford Cliffs and Branksome Park, Poole, Dorset.

Berkeleys has just published the latest Spring property report for Sandbanks, Canford Cliffs and Branksome Park in Poole, Dorset.

Sales volumes (the total value of property sold – at prices greater than £200,000 in BH13 and BH14 only) in both Quarters 3 and 4 2013 were nearly 50% ahead of the same figures recorded for 2012, almost across the board – other than in Sandbanks, where volumes are down year on year.


Some of the interesting trends in the local property market that Berkeleys have noted this year include:

  • At the top-end (Sandbanks, Branksome Park and Lilliput), development-led transactions are a feature of the market once more, as are the number of people downsizing from larger homes into “lateral” (i.e.apartment) living.
  • The family house market (£500,000 – £1.5 million) is also a strong contender in all areas, with a shortage of stock tending to push prices a little higher – or, at least, reinforce asking prices.
  • At the value-end of the market (£200,000-£500,000), activity is buoyant, especially in apartments throughout Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs and Lower Parkstone.

Chart: Property Sales Across The Poole Area June To December 2013 v. 2012 (Land Registry data)


Of course values and activity levels vary amongst other things not just by area, but also by price band, by reference to age and condition of the property being sold and a host of other points. A similar range of disparity of values will also apply in other segments of the market. It’s vitally important to understand exactly where along that paradigm your property fits if you are thinking of selling.

Our recent analysis of trends suggests that the average time to achieve a sale on properties in BH13 and BH14 varies very considerably, by market segment – above £2 million, the average interval between initial marketing and an achieved sale is over 600 days (in 2013) – with some of those sales having taken over 4 years, testament both to vendor’s drive for a top price and – often, if not more often – to ineffective guidance from their agent.

Even in the £200,000 – £500,000 market, the interval is an average of 262 days (just over 8 months). However, it is noticeable how well-priced (i.e. accurately-priced) property tends to have a much shorter transaction cycle, particularly when one takes into account the length of time it can take for some deals to exchange and complete. Some of the better-priced deals are concluded within one week to a month.

There is a considerable body of evidence now available to suggest that, if a more realistic approach at the outset can be set, much shorter transaction timetables can be the result. If you are thinking of selling your home, it is often a false economy to over-price the property initially.

Read the full version of this marketing report published on our website today or call us for an in-depth discussion. t: 01202 708383.

Berkeleys top 5 tips from The Listed Property Show

If you are the fortunate owners of a Grade I or Grade II Listed property – or you are on the look-out for a home with a significant heritage, then the Listed Property Show, held at London Olympia is a great place to go.

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We popped in to see what was on offer: it was a busy Sunday afternoon with a respectable amount of footfall meandering through the plethora of specialist suppliers and heritage home services. Here’s a recap of our top five tips and take-outs from the show.

1)      Join the Listed Property Club. For £48 a year subscription you can gain access to unrivalled expertise in this sector, as well as receive a rather beautiful glossy members’ magazine filled with inspiration, guidance and a supplier’s directory for Listed home renovation and restoration projects.

2)      Make windows  a priority.  With the current weather conditions, keeping the rain and coastal wind out can be a losing battle. There were several specialist window suppliers at the show, but Vale attracted our attention with its architectural bronze casements collection.  With the rich patina of metals heralding a come-back in interior design, handmade bronze window casements have both heritage and contemporary appeal. We loved the idea of double-glazed, leaded stained-glass window casements to frame window ‘works of art’. The floor to ceiling doors with bronze frames had a minimalist, modernist look and feel, perfect for either the Cap D’Antibes or indeed the Cap de Canford Cliffs, Dorset!
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3)      Consider the third way: reclaimed artisan floor tiles. Parquet floor or stone floor? – a common restoration dilemma – but there is another rather exciting option attracting attention today. Bert & May presented these eclectic reclaimed floor tiles. With Art Deco and Eileen Gray influenced graphic designs, these tiles speak warmth, authenticity and uber-good taste.

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4)      Embrace cast iron radiator classics. This little style tip can transform a room from just restored to newly resplendent. Paladin Radiators had an attention-grabbing display of radiators at the show. Choose from the smooth contemporary Sloane range to the ornate traditional Shaftsbury collection. As a National Trust preferred supplier, this is one not to be missed.

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5)      Still searching for your Listed home? Finally, with many beautiful heritage homes coming on to the market this Spring, making the right investment requires focus, effort and patience. We found Listed Building Surveys at the show, and they offered some solid advice and survey expertise in Listed buildings specifically. Having the right survey done before an acquisition ensures you flush out any issues or challenges with Listed building compliance and conservation matters.   

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We hope you enjoyed our insights, go to for more information.

Dorset Tudor-bethan heritage home celebrated

Historic Tudor-bethan heritage homes are making headlines again. When John Lennon’s former Surrey country house was recently listed for sale, the spotlight fell on an architectural style which takes its influences from the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900s.

Tower Road House

This charming Tudor-bethan home in Poole Dorset, for sale by Berkeleys, is a magnificent example of a popular 1930s style which imitated Tudor architecture and heralded a Tudor revival at that time. It was built in 1935.

Taking its influences from the Arts and Crafts movement, this house style embodies a mix of timber and red brick features. The areas of intricate, herringbone red brickwork, the wooden window frames with iron casements and the leaded panes are all signature mock-Tudor features.

The central porch has a slanting hood, supported by broad timber columns with iron brackets featuring decoratively today. The house is two-storeys high and has two symmetrical, angled sides, originally designed to bring in maximum light to the interior. Inside, there is a magnificent, oak-panelled reception hallway and false ceiling beams feature throughout. The exposed brick fireplace in the hallway echoes an Inglenook style.

Tower Road House3

This three bedroom house is situated on a secluded plot of land located in prestigious Branksome Park, Poole. It also features a heated pool to the rear, with sun terrace, changing rooms and Jacuzzi hot tub, ensuring contemporary lifestyle needs are catered for too. The house is offered for sale at £995,000. Contact Berkeleys on UK +44 1202 708383.

Boat Shows, Boathouses and Bournemouth Air Festival.

The Southampton Boat Show takes place from 13th – 22nd September 2013 and Berkeleys will be calling in to enjoy this impressive on-water event. Living amongst a passionate sailing community here in Poole Harbour, it is our must-visit show of the season.

Poole Quay 065

Will things be different at the Sunseeker stand now Dalian Wanda has taken over the helm of this International luxury yacht-maker based in Poole harbour, Dorset? They do promise that their finest luxury yachts will be present including the sporty new San Remo and the impressive Manhattan 73 Sunseeker – Stand C080 and Pontoon M549.

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With Bessie Ellen confirmed in the line up for the Feature Boats attending the show, we can enjoy the history and heritage of sail boats alongside the latest boat launches and yachting technology.

Don’t miss these 10 beautiful homes with boathouses situated across England, and celebrated by the Telegraph online this summer. Simply stunning.

In August this year, you can also see some magnificent war ships in Bournemouth Bay during the Bournemouth Air Festival including HMS Northumberland and HMS Monmouth. The schooner L’ÉTOILE will also be visiting, she was built in the shipyard of Fécamp, France in 1932 and took part in the Second World War. What a beauty!

Bournemouth Air Festival 2013

Enjoy this fabulous, sunny summer with sailing and schooners right on your door-step here in Dorset.

Luxury Waterside Houses for London City Dwellers

It’s that temperature changing time of year again, – July – London is heating up and the Evening Standard keeps inviting us to escape to cooler waterside environs.  Very enticing.

With the spotlight now well and truly shining on waterside and coastal homes, many destinations are in fact just an hour or so away from London. That’s why so many Londoners choose to invest in a second home with the waterside-factor.

Head South to Poole, Dorset and you’ll experience the temperature go down a little, a fresh breeze come up, and that exhilarating freedom feeling fill your heart and lungs.  The locals swear by it.

Poole Harbour WEB

The lifestyle advantages of living waterside are many but the most popular ones in Poole are probably the ‘sand between your toes’ effect – yes, and on a Friday night – sailing in summer and the breath-taking sea views which have the power to lower stress levels and promote inspired positive thinking.

Does every waterside home deliver the same experience? The answer is very much a no.

Take beautiful “Tansanee” for example. A dream home, for sale with Berkeleys, which promises the ultimate waterside lifestyle experience.

Banks Road, Sandbanks

This exceptional location on Sandbanks Peninsular, Poole can be acquired as a plot or as a turnkey solution to include the building of an architect designed uber contemporary home on purchase. Many luxury home buyers today want to invest in a home whereby they can add their own very personal stamp. This type of acquisition promises a real estate project whereby design and architectural vision can evolve into a reality with the buyer kept in the picture every step of the way. The end result: coastal sunsets and sunrises captured from your private terraces, morning walks along golden sandy beaches and a hotel-lux-home to entertain in throughout the summer season, which includes the British Beach Polo Championships 13/14th July each year.

Poole Harbour from Shore Road

For a weekend waterside experience, “Trevelga” could be the home for you. Situated in a small select development of apartments, this home is located in Poole at the gateway to the Sandbanks Peninsula. Directly opposite the property are the shores of Poole Harbour where windsurfers and kite surfers light up the sky, on a windy day, with their vibrantly coloured sails. It is the views which make this experience complete.

Of course water doesn’t have to mean sea. Take Pine Lake for example, just a short drive from Poole Harbour. Here is an exceptional detached family home for sale enjoying an enviable location backing directly onto Parkstone Golf Course including exceptional views over Parkstone lake. The house itself has an expansive rear garden which rolls down to the lake- situated alongside the golf course – a fresh water lake filled with carp, eels, and currently visited by swans and 14 baby ducklings no less.  The lake was built in Victorian times to supply fresh water locally and the carp were originally introduced to keep the water clean.

Compton Ave 1

So water is the giver of many varied lifestyle experiences, but there is a common thread throughout: when water is a remote, cool, fresh, healthy element on a sweltering hot, sticky, bustling London day, it is a very welcome experience indeed.

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