Property values soar in the English countryside

Call it the “Kale Effect.” We all know when a Whole Foods or an artisanal shop that curates 100 kinds of ketchup takes up residence in a city neighborhood “change” is accelerated.

But the same seems to hold true in more rural areas — even far-flung sections of the British countryside. Affluent foodies are apparently driving properties near these markets in the small town England sky high.

For instance, the opening of a stylish farm store and cafe called “Daylesford Organics” in Daylesford, in Gloucestershire in 2002 by Lady Carole Bamford caused Londoners to flock to the area. Over the years the brand expanded and now has four shops, a spa, a Michelin-starred country pub and culinary school.

“They want somewhere to go where they can get their skinny latte,” explained Luke Morgan, a partner at Strutt & Parker’s country department. It sure doesn’t hurt the area is a hop, skip and a jump — just 90 miles– from London and features charming period properties. Where better to enjoy a gluten-free biscuit and organic green juice?

And Daylesford isn’t the only example.

“More recently we have seen a reinvigoration of the local pub in the surrounding areas, where in many, food has taken center stage,” Lady Bamford told the Wall Street Journal.

Just one caveat to those heading, cash in hand, to scoop up some quaint high-end properties in the area: in 2016 the British government imposed a 3-percent stamp-duty surcharge on second homes. Therefore anyone spending about that amount for a home away from home will pay a whopping $122,850 in taxes. That’s a lot of green — and not the organic kind. [WSJ]