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