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Why are homeowners moving from the city to the countryside?
Almost all homeowners have had a change in perspective as to what's important to them, and this especially applies to their housing needs. With more people working from home and no longer needing to commute, the countryside is becoming more attractive to city homeowners across the UK.
After the property market slowed to a halt in the midst of the lockdown, the restrictions easing has led to a massive increase in homeowners wanting to sell their house. Whether this is down to homeowners wanting to sell now to avoid the inevitable drop in house prices, or because they have found themselves falling out of love with their home after being quarantined for months on end, we’ve noticed more sellers are leaving the city behind and heading to the countryside. But why is the countryside calling so many homeowners? We Buy Any House take a look into what’s changed in the market and the reasons why relocating to the countryside is now a viable option.
According to Rightmove, there has been a 125% increase in homeowners wanting to move to villages since the lockdown. They have also commented that they are seeing an increase in numbers of city homeowners looking to move to the countryside, as well as an increase in homeowners in the city looking to move to a town instead. As the market started to open again, there was a huge amount of registered interest from homeowners in cities looking to relocate – a staggering 78% more than there was last year. We’ve created this interactive map for you to see the top ten cities that homeowners are keen to leave and the surrounding countryside that they’re looking to move to.
One of the most significant factors encouraging homeowners to relocate from the city to the countryside is how employment has had to change in the pandemic. A huge amount of the population has been working from home for the past few months, and don’t intend to change this any time soon. A driving factor in living in cities is the commute to workplaces, so without this need, more and more homeowners are reconsidering their life in the city and how it could be improved by moving further out. Throughout June and July, the increase in city homeowners inquiring about relocating to villages and surrounding countryside was staggering, with some areas such as Edinburgh seeing a 205% increase.
Rightmove suspect that homeowners living in the city have been able to benefit from house price growth over the past several years, which has allowed them to now make the decision to relocate to the countryside more comfortably. Most homeowners looking to make this change are still keen to stay in their region, just a quieter area than they were in previously.
What is it about the countryside attracting homeowners?
More and more workers are looking to stay doing their job from home, which has led to huge amounts of homeowners reconsidering why they live in a city. With most having moved into a city originally for easy access to their workplace but no longer needing this, homeowners are keen to leave their cities and see what the countryside can offer them. The pandemic and resulting lockdown has changed the perspectives of almost all of us, and a growing percentage of city homeowners are now more focussed on garden space, being closer to relatives, having open space to explore and exercise, and being able to be a part of a community which is less common in the city. The countryside offers all of this and more, which is enticing homeowners from their city-dwelling – this, along with the difference in house price, makes it clear why so many homeowners are ready to move away.
The lockdown has altered the traditional house necessities for a lot of us, with twice as many prospective buyers now wanting a garden compared to last year. Many of us may not have considered a garden as a necessity before the lockdown, but with so many people struggling without having an outside space that they felt safe in, gardens have now become dramatically more important than they were previously. An office space is also high on the list of requirements for potential buyers which wasn’t anywhere near as important before now – but has become the new normal after so many months of working from home for so many of us.
Why are city homeowners choosing to move now?
During the pandemic, a drop in house prices was expected to hit hard, and between March and June house value dropped by almost 5%. Recently, the Chancellor announced that we are officially in a recession, which will lead to further house prices, with some experts worried that house prices will drop as dramatically as 22% by 2021. Because of this concern hanging over homeowners’ heads, many who were looking to relocate in a few years’ time are choosing to bring their time frame forward to try and avoid their house value dropping any more than necessary.
The government has tried to put measures into place to help homeowners avoid catastrophic damage from this, including the stamp duty holiday which has already encouraged buyers into the market. This, paired with house prices dropping and expected to continue to do so, is signalling to homeowners that now is the time to move if they intended to do so in the next year or two.
I want to move out of the city soon but I’m struggling to sell, what can I do?