There has been lots of changes in the UK in the last two to three years from Brexit to Covid, the landscape, jobs, way we live, and work has had to change. At the start of Covid we saw huge demand in rural properties from those living in major cities such as London, Bristol and Birmingham. The potential of selling a one bed flat in London and buying a large farmhouse in Somerset with land was a dream come true for those being forced to stay indoors during lockdown. So unsurprisingly, this was the way of 2021 with strong demand and those with rural properties cashing in.
However, as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end! Working from home seemed to be here to stay, so the ability to work from your country home in your dressing gown made a lot of sense. However, this trend is starting to reverse with employers asking employees to return to the office for more and more days. With commuter prices, train fare, petrol prices and the Mayor of London extending the ULEZ even further, commuting is starting to bite those that moved away.
Unsurprisingly then and according to data from Rightmove the trend has reversed with a 50% increase in rural homeowners heading back to the big cities when compared with January 2021.
We are quote fortunate at Smith Heritage Surveyors to cover a wide area from Devon, Somerset, and Devon, through Wiltshire and Hampshire up to London, Reading and Oxford. This means that we get a good view of which properties are selling, where the main activity is and what types of homes are selling more than others. Certainly, during lockdown, we were on the forefront of the rural survey front being specialists in period and listed properties. We have seen a swing back into the cities particularly Salisbury, Oxford and London. Each of these cities has great transport and a good variety of housing stock including first time buyers’ properties.
Over the next six months as businesses start returning to even more normality, we expect this trend to continue.
Whether you are buying a property in the countryside or a property in the city, each building will have its own individuality and require a full assessment by a building surveyor prior to occupation. If you require a building survey, please call us and we will be happy to talk you through the different options available.