Coronavirus: interest in country life

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There has been a surge in interest in relocating to the country due to the changing priorities of city dwellers during the coronavirus lockdown, estate agents have said.

People are looking for more outdoor space and may have more flexibility to work from home, Rightmove said.

Across the UK, inquiries to buy a house in a village jumped 126% in June and July compared to the same time last year, he said.

Frank Knight reported similar trends.

In some cities, like Liverpool and Edinburgh, searches have more than doubled, Rightmove said.

Miles Shipside of Rightmove said, “The allure of a new lifestyle, calmer and with an abundance of beautiful scenery and more outdoor space, has made more city dwellers choose to become rural residents. .

“The most popular village moves are still in the same area where the house hunters are now, as they are likely to keep their current jobs, but they may be able to move less often and to set up their workspace at home. “

Money is not the motive

Rightmove said the number of inquiries from Liverpool residents looking for a village lifestyle almost tripled (275%) from a year earlier, when there was had a 63% increase in city inquiries, Rightmove said.

In Edinburgh, village surveys increased by 205% and in Birmingham they increased by 186%.

The website says some townhome owners may have benefited from strong house price growth over the years, which now makes it possible to trade into the country.

But money does not seem to be the main reason for moving, as the average asking prices in villages are often more expensive than in cities.

In many cases, research shows that house hunters seek out villages within walking distance of their current town, suggesting that people are drawn to the lure of a quieter lifestyle.

Mark Rimell, director of the country houses department at Strutt & Parker, said: “A slower pace of life, outdoor space and tight-knit communities go hand in hand with village life – something many have come to appreciate. in recent months and which has a lasting appeal. “

Work at home

Rightmove’s research was published as part of a separate Barclays Mortgages investigation, which found that the South West of England, with its rural and coastal communities, is a particularly desirable location for those currently in in Birmingham, Nottingham, London and Manchester.

Barclays Mortgages found popular reasons for people wanting to relocate: a bigger garden, being closer to essential services, living where they can easily exercise, being closer to their parents and a stronger local community.

Dr Peter Brooks, Chief Behavior Scientist at Barclays, said: “More outdoor space and the benefits of being closer to friends and family are high on the list of ‘must haves’ for many. movers.

“As working from home becomes more and more common, traveling across the country appears to be more feasible for many as there is less need to be a short commute to the office.

Freddie Wright, Partner, Knight Frank Bristol, said: “The Bristol City property market is extremely busy right now – many of those selling are looking to relocate to villages such as Banwell because people are looking for a pace of Slower life after -lockdown, and these villages offer the best of both worlds. ”


Do you live in a city but are considering relocating to the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic? Will you be able to keep your current job if you move? E-mail

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