How Covid Has Changed Where We Want To Live

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the kind of property we want to buy, and countryside dwellings have overtaken London this year as the most highly searched for locations on Rightmove, according to analysis by the property portal for the BBC.

Many people have turned a long-term plan to escape to the country into a short-term reality. Although the market slowed considerably during the height of the Covid outbreak, sales then lifted at a faster rate in more rural areas, according to Rightmove.

The popularity of a more rural or coastal lifestyle, confidence in improving broadband, and the attraction of indoor and outdoor space are linked directly to the lifestyle that lockdowns have forced upon most people in the last year.

Consider too that the word “garage” was the most popular keyword on property searches on the Rightmove portal in the last nine months, providing more evidence of the shifting sentiment.  This appears to have been driven by owners wanting to convert a garage into a permanent office, to allow them to work from home, or into a gym or workshop.  Some may actually even want to park their car in it.

Dreams of a more secluded lifestyle have led to a huge rise in interest in countryside areas.  Older people are moving closer to family, younger buyers are looking for a good place to start a family, and undoubtedly people have been moving out of the big cities because they know they’ll now only need to go to London once or twice a month for work.

Stamp duty holidays may have helped financially, but socially the inspiration comes from wanting more room, space away from neighbours, and working from home.

Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister says: “More space has always been the most common reason for people moving home, but the evolution for many from balancing their laptop on the end of a bed in March 2020 to making an office a permanent addition to a home has led to a need for even bigger homes than before.”

We are fortunate here in Buckinghamshire to still be close enough to large towns, with great travel links to the city, while still having the countryside on our doorstep.

For more guidance about finding your dream house, give us a call on 01296 433666.


By Sherry Hostler

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