Rural locations becoming more attractive to home movers in the UK
People in the UK want to live in villages but the need to have easy access to shops, transport and medical facilities and good broadband, new research has found.
Some 21% of people who are moving home said that they wanted to live in a village, making it easily the most popular type of location, compared to 14% for a market town and only 12% for either a big city or a suburb, according to the study by Strutt & Parker.
The Housing Futures Report found that broadband and mobile connections are essential to rural life. Access to broadband was a key factor for 49% of those intending to move to a village, while 38% highlighted mobile connectivity.
It reveals that with 60% want to be able to walk to shops, 48% close to local transport and 45% near to medical facilities.
‘The UK might seem to be focused on urbanisation but we believe a new, overlooked trend is set to shape Britain’s housing market over the coming decades and this is the desire to move back to rural locations,’ said Stephanie McMahon, head of research at Strutt & Parker.
She explained that while some research would suggest cities have the upper hand over villages as the urban trend has gathered pace in the UK, a number of negative traits have begun to appear such as a rise in inadequate housing provision, urban sprawl and increased pollution.
She pointed out that the shift away from cities is being driven by people looking for neighbourhood safety at 86%, while 58% want space between neighbours and 48% are looking for a strong community feel.
“The report also point out that technology is helping to change the rural economy, which plays a key role in creating jobs and prosperity. England’s rural economy now accounts for £210 billion of economic output and hosts over 25% of all registered businesses, according to DEFRA. New companies are thriving in rural locations, including hi-tech manufacturing, food processing, the service sector, retail and power supply,” reported by propertywire.
‘The expansion of broadband and mobile communications has seen a greater uptake of working from home in rural locations compared to urban areas. It seems that the same factors that once drove urbanisation, improving economic and social conditions, are now inspiring the village revival,’ added McMahon.
And it’s not just those wishing to sell up from their city lives to buy in a village setting, with the report showing a significant increase in respondents looking for rental accommodation. 10% of those wanting to move to a village would live in a professionally managed private rental unit, up from 1% in 2013.
The South East, South West and North East are the three leading destinations for people who are intending to move in the next five years. London’s strong economy and housing market will have a direct effect on the South East, which will attract 29% of those intending to move out of the capital as people look for more affordable, spacious accommodation, while also being able to commute to well-paid jobs in London.
The South West’s appeal as a lifestyle and retirement location is set to continue attracting moves from the South East and London and with increased government investment in the Northern Powerhouse, the North West is likely to become more attractive.