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‘RETREAT TO THE COUNTRY’ – HERE TO STAY OR A LOCKDOWN TREND?

‘RETREAT TO THE COUNTRY’ – HERE TO STAY OR A LOCKDOWN TREND?

Spending more time at home over the recent weeks has never been more important, so it’s hardly surprising that there has been a vast leap in demand for countryside living, with rural second properties and metropolitan homes with outside spaces becoming more sought after.

Last week we listened to the Knight Frank podcast, ‘Flight to the Country’, where industry professionals discussed the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, and its significant contribution to the rise in these figures.

As discussed in the podcast, demand for rural homes has rapidly increased due to the shifting of opinions, lifestyle habits and lockdown-dictated working routines. A lack of travel and life as we knew it before, has forced us all to spend more time analysing our own home environments.

As viewed by Knight Frank, London buyers are looking at surrounding counties for purchases. As the property world reopened in the middle of May, rambling land and picturesque gardens have seen a stark rise in viewings and offers.

Data is showing that Londoners expressing an interest are either considering moving to idyllic countryside towns, (that are still convenient and commutable), such as Cobham and Sevenoaks, or keeping their London-property-base and searching for a second home in locations such as the Cotswolds.

Naturally, prime London owners will be in more of a position to look afield for second homes or relocating main residencies, which is coupled with locations where there are good schools.
It’s not surprising that homes finished to very high standards and ready to move into are being snapped up at a rapid rate. These properties are also more likely to achieve higher than the listed guide price.

Across the market we are seeing the desire for inner-city roof gardens and terraces and more room internally – particularly additional space needed for home-working and playrooms, as we pay more attention to valuing home life.

With a greater demand for properties to buy, coupled with fierce competition, it appears to be an ideal opportunity for a sellers’ market. As diverse buyers show interest together with international buyers returning, this makes for a really interesting and exciting period for many. Overseas buyers are still continuing to view and purchase properties using 3D virtual viewing tours, which is becoming more popular as digital technology provides more of an honest and real-time snapshot, compared with that of a photograph which can be edited.

Whether this trend will continue remains uncertain.However, creating home sanctuaries and making improvements to our surrounding environments seem here to stay for the foreseeable future. Equally as important is that homes (particularly high-end properties) are looked after to keep their value, whether used as main residences or a UK base.

At Somerset Estates we are dedicated to the management of luxury residences in London and surrounding counties. We take care of every part of an estate, property and home, whether occupied or vacant, to maintain, protect and improve residencies.

To find out more and to get in touch with one of the team, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 7904 607136 or emailing info@somersetestates.com

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