Moving From City to Country

The pace of buyers wanting to exchange city living with a country lifestyle is gathering pace, even though the Stamp Duty Holiday is ending shortly and those buying now cannot reap its benefits.

Analysing our database of purchasers we have dozens of buyers who have already sold and are living in rental accommodation whilst looking to purchase in the area. Having moved into a rental these buyers are not looking to buy before the Stamp Duty deadline, and are able to give our clients the flexibility to find and buy the house they want in their own time frame with many extended completions being agreed upon.

Talking to our city buyers throughout the country, the various Lockdowns have brought forward their plans to move to the country and many who thought they would make the move in retirement are looking to relocate sooner. After being cooped up in their homes they are looking for more space and rooms in their new property, and also outdoor space and an open outlook. Many come from crowded terraced streets and are now looking for detached houses with garages and gardens

The majority of these buyers still want to be close to amenities so they are looking on the edge of a village or town, with some of the most popular areas being around Totnes and Newton Abbot due to the great rail links. The idyll of living in the middle of the countryside is, on the whole,  not attractive to these buyers as they are used to having everything on their doorstep and are not used to driving everywhere or being a taxi service for their kids. For younger families the ideal is the ability to walk the children to school and many want to have somewhere close at hand to get a coffee or a pub/restaurant close by. They have to live without Uber, can you imagine!

One of the absolute top requirements we are seeing from buyers is the necessity for a home office and many want two suitable rooms/spaces as both will be working more from home.  This can be an extra room within the house or an annex or space for a home office to be created in the garden and just the capability for this enhances the attraction. One of the more regular questions we get asked now is what the broadband is like at our properties and a great broadband signal or fibre is a real bonus. As they will still be called to their offices for meetings convenient transport links and nearness to motorway links is extremely attractive.

Although the trend of moving to the country appears to be a relatively new thing due to COVID, we have been talking to our buyers for many years that have wanted to have a better work/life balance by working from home. The interesting thing is quite a few of our buyers are relocating their businesses as well often bringing some of their employees with them. This is an exciting development as entrepreneurs moving to an area will be injecting money into the local economy and employing local people. We believe this is no flash in the pan and we will see more people and businesses continuing to want to be based in this beautiful part of the UK.

With regard to prices it has become the perfect storm exacerbated by the Stamp Duty Holiday. With increased demand from people throughout the country, the reticence of home owners to put their properties on the market at the moment is creating rising prices and hence competition for the few properties actually on the market is stiff. The potential clients we are talking to are finding it difficult to make the decision to market their homes as they research the property portals and cannot find anywhere to move to. Some of these sellers are putting off their move until after the summer as they are not going abroad and want to enjoy all the joys of living in the South Hams over the holiday period.

Although we are seeing slightly more property coming to the market (it does not stay “For Sale” for very long!) and we predict that we will only see significant supply coming into the autumn period.

So the perfect time to sell is now and if you are thinking of doing so please contact us, as you may be surprised at what your property is worth.

Miles Kevin MRICS