Playing The Name Game: Why What You Call A House Really Matters

James Fisher March 19, 2024

From The Manor House to The Glebe, research from Savills reveals the 10 most expensive house names.

What’s in a name? Well it depends. When it comes to a person, probably not that much. When it comes to a home, however, it can be quite a bit (at least, financially). Savills have done some digging, and found out that properties with the name ‘The Manor House’ command the highest price tag in England and Wales.

This may not come as an enormous shock to readers of Country Life, who probably see The Manor House illustrated in print and online with alarming regularity. So too homes with names such as the Old Rectory, the Old Vicarage, Grove House, the Oast House, Glebe House and, uhh, Mallards.

It seems the English and Welsh have long had an affinity for the ancient feudal system, religion, mythology, flora and beer, and have a rich tradition naming our homes after those things.

The result is that homes with those names command a certain market premium. For example, a ‘Manor House’ was sold 56 times by Savills in the past five years, with the average value of those homes being £1.423 million, and 43% of those homes selling for more than £1 million.

Recommended videos for you As well as The Manor House, homes named Old Rectory, Mallards, Old Vicarage and Oast House all had an average value of more than £1 million. ‘Certain English house names have held steady over hundreds of years, and tell us a lot about the provenance and history of the property,’ says Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills. ‘Still today, house names instantly conjure an image, whether it’s the distinctive roof line of an oast house or the intricate timbers within a tithe barn.’ It is not clear what someone is supposed to imagine when they see a home called Mallards, but I would assume it is something to do with ducks. Or possibly trains.

Rank Name Sales Average Value (£) % over £1m 1 THE MANOR HOUSE 56 1,423,128 43% 2 (THE) OLD RECTORY 355 1,301,424 50% 3 MALLARDS 38 1,164,150 24% 4 (THE) OLD VICARAGE 325 1,086,887 39% 5 THE OAST HOUSE 31 1,038,774 45% 6 LIME TREE HOUSE 33 981,121 21% 7 MANOR HOUSE / THE MANOR 204 967,117 29% 8 MANOR FARM HOUSE 41 966,235 32% 9 GROVE HOUSE 68 962,904 25% 10 GLEBE HOUSE 86 940,814 31% ‘The name of a house can give it a particular charm, even a notional personality, before a prospective buyer has even set eyes on the property. Quintessentially English names symbolise ideal country living, and conjure up images of period drama,’ adds Phillippa Dalby-Welsh, head of Savills Country Department.

‘Manor houses, rectories and vicarages, in particular, benefit from central locations typically sitting on the edge or at the centre of the village. Properties which historically symbolised high stature are also usually very well proportioned with high ceilings and large windows, and good sized gardens, perfect for modern day families.’

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