Homeowners are leaving the city for this surprising new property hotspot

Rightmove has seen a surge in home hunters looking to escape to the country

The lure of moving to the big city for home hunters appears to be waning. New research from Rightmove reveals enquires from city dwellers about village homes have doubled in the last two months.

Related: Kirstie Allsopp reveals her prediction for the next property hotspot

Lockdown has had a fundamental impact on the property market. However, one of the most surprising impacts has been an increase in home hunters craving the village lifestyle.

In June and July, the number of city residents contacting estate agents to buy a home in a village rose by 126 per cent compared to last year. Enquiries for homes in towns was also up by 63 per cent but were outperformed by villages.

villa with garden lawn

(Image credit: Adam Carter)

Liverpool saw the number of residents looking to relocate to a village almost triple compared to last year. In the Scottish capital Edinburgh enquiries into village homes were up by 205 per cent, and by 186 per cent in Birmingham.

Rightmove revealed that in some locations more people are still looking for homes within the city. However, for the majority, the number of people looking to stay in the city has dropped.

London has seen the largest increase in Londoners looking to leave the city. Last year 45 per cent were looking to move out of London, this year that has increased to 54 per cent.

living room with sofa and cushions

(Image credit: Ti-Media)

There isn't one rural hotspot that city dwellers are flocking to. Instead, they are heading for villages in their region that are within commutable distance of their city. For example from homeowners in Bristol, Banwell in Somerset has received the largest number of enquiries. From London, Iver in Buckinghamshire has been the most popular with home hunters.

'The lure of a new lifestyle, one that is quieter and has an abundance of beautiful countryside and more outdoor space, has led to more city dwellers choosing to become rural residents,' says Rightmove's property expert Miles Shipside.

garden with wooden chairs

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

'We saw a shift as early as April in more people living in cities enquiring about moving out of that city, and this trend has continued,' he adds. 'The most popular village moves are still within the same region the home-hunters are currently in. As it's likely they'll keep their current job, but may have the flexibility to commute less often and set up their working space at home.'

Related: Step inside this country pile in a small Oxfordshire village

If you're longing for spacious gardens and fresh air, beat the crowds and start looking for your escape to the country now.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.