Rural relocation

“A boom in demand for rural living and the rise of working from home propelled house prices in the South West to grow at the fastest rate in the UK in the last year.”

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Everyone’s relocating to the South West:

WFH in the West Country pushes up house prices – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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Last night’s BBC Spotlight looked at how the latest rise in house prices is effecting the South West – reporting a 10% rise over the last year:

BBC iPlayer – Spotlight – Evening News: 24/03/2021

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The report follows on from predictions that the ‘stamp duty holiday’ would further encourage prices to rise:

Has Rishi Sunak overheated the housing market? | Home | The Sunday Times (paywall)

As does the warmer weather:

Property: Market in for further boost as clocks change to British Summer Time | Express.co.uk

And as will the ending of lockdown:

The five charts explaining the turbo-charged property market – and what will happen to house prices | telegraph.co.uk (paywall)

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The exact figures are a little confusing, however.

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Country Living puts rural areas – but not the South West – as magnets for relocating city-dwellers:

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10 Rural Areas With The Biggest Property Price Increase in The UK

According to the 2021 Rural Property Report by Coulters Property, houses in rural areas have risen by 20.8% in the last five years — a 3.3% higher increase than in urban areas. We might be spending more time at home, but lockdown has sparked rural relocations, giving many the chance to reconsider where to live. Their research found that Harborough in Leicestershire is one of the most expensive rural areas to reside…

10 Rural Areas With The Biggest Property Price Increase in The UK | countryliving.com

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The Telegraph earlier this week gives a different focus:

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Why house prices in the South West rose by 17pc last year

A boom in demand for rural living and the rise of working from home propelled house prices in the South West to grow at the fastest rate in the UK in the last year. …

Why house prices in the South West rose by 17pc last year | telegraph.co.uk (paywall)

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Today’s report from the Property Industry Eye shows that “reactions to the latest data were mixed” – with a few excerpts from a longer piece:

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The North/South divide goes into reverse – ONS House Price Index

The January House Price Index from the ONS shows that the average house price in the UK was £249,309, reflecting an annual price increase of 7.5%,  down from 8.0% in December 2020… House price growth was strongest in the North West where prices increased by 12.0% in the year to January 2021. 

Tahir Farooqui, CEO of private rental platform Canopy:

“With a further increase to house prices comes an even bigger gap between hopeful first-time buyers and their new home. While the government is promoting a range of incentives such as 95% mortgages and a tapered end to the stamp duty holiday, it’s not addressing the true problem. House prices are too high and securing an affordable mortgage is a pipe-dream for many.”

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops:

“Higher prices continue to be driven by vast numbers of buyers who are looking to snap up stock due to a whole host of lockdown-incentivised lifestyle reasons, coupled with buyers rushing to beat the original stamp duty deadline in March. This created a huge gap in the supply of new property available and demand from buyers. In January, Jackson-Stops data showed that 16 buyers were chasing every newly listed property across the UK.”

Rich Horner, Head of Individual Protection at MetLife:

“However, at the lower end of the market a level of reservation could move in. For a significant number the events of the past twelve months have left them in an ambiguous financial position.”

Jonathan Hopper, CEO of Garrington Property Finders:

“New hotspots are emerging and burning bright, with average prices across Northern England rising at well over 8% a year. With the North-South divide now in reverse, prices in the North aren’t so much levelling up as flying up.”

Anthony Codling of Twindig:

“It is still incredible that house prices have risen so much during a global pandemic and at a time of such turmoil for the wider UK and global economy.”

The North/South divide goes into reverse – ONS House Price Index – Property Industry Eye

   
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