Shakespeare's birthplace, Warwickshire, UK, beckons buyers of flats in restored Haseley Manor

By Ryan Swift / | December 4, 2019 1:45 PM SGT
Haseley Manor, located in the county of Warwickshire in England's West Midlands, is an example of a new kind of property investment opportunity: take an old manor house and convert it into a handful of luxury residences.
The restoration has returned the manor to its former glory, and nine new houses occupy the grounds, while the manor has been converted into 12 flats ranging from one- to four-bedroom units. Eight acres of greenery surrounds the cluster of luxury homes, and the property also consists of an old deer park once owned by King Henry VIII. All flats have their own allocated parking spaces.
Two properties are still available for £895,000 (US$1.1 million) and £1.3 million. The most expensive was sold for £1.7 million.
Haseley Manor drawing room. Photo: Spitfire Bespoke Homes. alt=Haseley Manor drawing room. Photo: Spitfire Bespoke Homes.
The redevelopment of Haseley Manor was done by Spitfire Bespoke Homes, which is based in the area and has done numerous developments in Warwickshire, the birthplace of William Shakespeare and the game of rugby.
Though the company is focused on new home builds that reflect their historic surroundings, Spitfire says it has another project similar to Haseley in the pipeline.
Haseley Manor, a grade II listed 19th century building, formerly served as the head office for Spitfire and for its parent company, IM Properties, which is owned by British billionaire Baron Robert Edmiston, who made his fortune in car dealerships. Edmiston is originally from the West Midlands and his company is now based in nearby Solihull.
Mark Johnson, residential development partner at Knight Frank, said that properties such as Haseley Manor are rare, noting the difficulty of getting the right amount of land and being able to divide a manor in a way suited to residential property buyers is no mean feat. The expense involved in refitting historic buildings can render such projects financially impossible for developers.
"The pricing for developments of this nature are always slightly above the local average, given the higher delivery costs associated with period property conversions. However, interested potential buyers are typically looking to own a real piece of history, and accept that the price might be higher as a result," said Johnson.
Spitfire said that many buyers had been looking for their second property or as a buy to let investment.
The property is just a few miles from ancient Warwick town, home to Warwick castle and summer displays of knights jousting and outdoor performances of Shakespearean plays.
The West Midlands, in which Haseley Manor is located, recorded property price rises of just 1.5 per cent in the past year, according to Property Data, a UK analytics firm, compared to a slight drop in London residential property in the past year.
Johnson said that buyers were more likely to be living and working in the UK, rather than buying as an investment. Haseley Manor is close to the M40 motorway, giving quick access to the major urban centres of Birmingham, Oxford and London.
The nearby University of Warwick is ranked 11th in the UK, and specialises in the humanities and arts.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.