Since the initial lockdown in March, the demand for rural properties has increased massively due to changing property priorities and working habits.
Rightmove’s yearly review for 2020 shows that both coastal and rural areas were favoured by buyers as many moved away from central locations.
The top 10 best selling areas in the UK last year were dominated by idyllic locations, such as Devon, Surrey and Somerset.
Similarly, properties with larger living areas, dining rooms and gardens all seemed to be the most popular on the market.
With many expecting to be working from home for a while, or even swapping to remote working on a permanent basis, the significance of a central location is no longer as prevalent for buyers and tenants.
According to Rightmove, out of the top ten best selling areas of 2020, seven of those had a population of 10,000 or less, showing that life away from the hustle and bustle of the city was preferred by many during the pandemic.
Specific areas that have seen impressive growth since the outbreak are Wiltshire, Hampshire, Stockbridge, Suffolk and Hertfordshire.
Amongst these, Hertfordshire was the most popular with a 75% increase in sales year-on-year, and no evidence of this slowing down.
Similarly, suburban areas in the north west have seen the biggest price growth this year, with prices rising from £184,299 to £213,706 on average.*
Rightmove’s director of property data, Tim Bannister, said: “this year we’ve seen an uplift in the number of home-movers escaping to the country and we think this trend will continue for now as people show their willingness to make significant life changes.
“The data highlights just how influential the unexpected events of this year have been in shaping the nation’s housing priorities, with many buyers determined to swap city streets for rural and coastal retreats.”
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*Property Industry Eye