Interest in equestrian properties in the United States is growing, following several years of limited interest.
Evidence suggests that horse enthusiasts are jumping back into the market across the country.
Industry pundits say the buyers are not just looking in their local patch, with more mobile ageing baby boomer looking to move wherever they want.
Horseproperties.net, which says it is the nation’s largest specialist horse property and equestrian real estate website, experienced a dramatic rise in listings in 2012 and early 2013. It says it receives 68 per cent of internet traffic in the niche market.
Web traffic to the site doubled over the last year, said Barbara Greenhill, its founder and owner.
The rising demand for equestrian real estate was astounding, she said, considering the reports of poor sales from the last five years. Florida and Arizona were particularly bad.
Greenhill remembers one agent telling her: ““I can’t even give it away for free!”
She said the lift in interest pointed to a promising year for equestrian brokers.
Many properties were receiving multiple offers.
An Oregon real estate agent reported that she got four offers on her equestrian property listing within one month and all of them were over asking price.
Real estate agent Tad Craig, from Shelbyville, Tennessee, observed a huge demand for his listing: “I was surprised how many horse owners are trying to buy equestrian properties now.
“I’ve had calls and leads from all over the country from clients specifically searching for equestrian farms.”
Equestrian brokers realise they not only have to please potential buyers with a property’s look and size, but also provide suitable quarters for horses. Brokers know the homes themselves often come second, after the paddocks, pastures and barns.
Greenhill suggested the rising cost of boarding horses might be another factor for the rise in interest.
Rising boarding fees in the US and abroad may be prompting owners to keep their horses at home.
High-end stables on the east Coast and California can easily reach $US3000 a horse a month, which includes training, housing and feeding. Part of that rising cost is attributable to rising feed costs.
More information: http://www.horseproperties.net