Is it simply too expensive to live in the countryside? As well as rents outside of London rising at their fastest rate since Zoopla started its rental index back in 2008 – with the portal registering growth of 5% across the UK in the last 12 months – house prices in rural locations are enjoying a run of exceptional growth.
Much has been made of the ‘great countryside escape’, with The Guardian reporting in mid-2020 that rural house prices in England and Wales were increasing twice as fast as those in cities. From Cornish coastal villages and the Cotswolds to sprawling National Parks and pretty Lake District locations, many young professionals pushed out into the wilderness with their laptops and London budgets - pushing sales and rental values up in the process.
For many Londoners who were late to the party, it has simply become too expensive to head for the Surrey Hills or, if they have the finances, they may be thwarted by a lack of property availability – many find the best homes with bucolic charm have already been bought up.
While the ‘rewilding’ of Londoners worked for a while, the lack of value for money in the countryside has coincided with the next movement - ‘the big return’. September's ‘line in the sand’ has seen companies recall employees back to their desks, schools return and even international undergraduates arrive with the easing of travel restrictions.
The countryside’s peak, as well as a small number of returning residents who’ve had their fill of farmland, is making home movers look at London through fresh eyes – especially now you can meet for pre-theatre drinks, watch a play as part of an audience and grab a post-show supper, for instance.
These are just some of the reasons why the Aspire team are noting that current momentum is carrying on and even picking up pace in some residential pockets. The SW London sales and rental markets are better than brisk, so if you have a property to sell or rent out, we’d love to hear from you.