Londoners Looking for Homes in the Country
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people to rethink all aspects of their lives. This forced lockdown we’ve all had to endure has given us all time to think about our work and home life.
An increased number of Londoners are searching for homes outside the city, according to Rightmove. With a 9% increase from Londoners currently looking for country homes compared to this time last year. Searches from Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh as well as many other cities in the UK tell a similar story. Londoners are being lured by the promise of trees and a garden and may now be considering living in the countryside after their lockdown life reassessment.
Rightmove’s search results suggest city folk are considering the countryside more then they did in previous years. Being confined to an apartment in the middle of London for eight weeks, 23 hours a day without a balcony, even with a balcony can make you dream of a picturesque country escape. The day-dream may be better than reality when work starts again at the office and you add the commute, with some people averaging a three-hour commute per day?
The experience of work from home may have changed some of our lives forever, for the better. Some of us may be considering continuing, yes #WFH for good… I know a lot of our working lives will never be the same again, with evolution of roles, techniques and procedures meaning a new ways of doing things.
This could potentially make an urban home feel too small and claustrophobic, with this extra time on our hands we’re considering all our options. We’re considering a country home as an alternative, with loads more space, a garden and surrounded by the gorgeous UK countryside.
The real estate market has seen a fall in sales everywhere. This is an enforced fall due to the enforced, but definitely necessary, lockdown. A lot of us are wondering if an economic crisis is also on the horizon. As always the experts are divided. We’re very positive and optimistic here @Rubicon HQ, from on the ground in Canary Wharf and Limehouse our reality is, clients are waiting to come to market and sell their homes and there are a lot of buyers looking for properties to fulfil their ‘Lockdown Day Dreams’. We know that as soon as lockdown ends we will start selling a lot of homes again, it will just be done in a more efficient more personable manner due to our refined processes courtesy of the Pandemic.
This countryside searching trend on Rightmove will not have a dramatic effect on city property prices. We believe the majority are just window shopping and when it comes to the reality of longer commutes, less entertainment, choices of restaurants, etc… most of us will remember why we’re city folk, becoming parents will be more of an incentive to move to somewhere with clean air, trees and a beautiful garden.
What we do believe is there will be an increase in people looking for properties in London with outside space, properties with South or West facing terraces will command a premium and any property with an actual South or West facing garden in London will definitely be the most desirable. I personally am coveting my neighbours sitting in their south-facing garden in the sun from my shady east facing terrace.
So what will this trend in search of country homes mean in reality? Some of us may be ready to and want to leave London, Lockdown was the last straw but perhaps they were already on their way out! But like all cities, there will always be a similar number that want to move into the bright lights. To add to this there’s also a trend of city folk taking short-term lets, six months or so, on country homes in a bid to try country life after lockdown, could you class this as a try before you buy scenario, or just a ‘get me out of here’ reset?
However we look at it, 2020 is incomparable to any other year I’ve known, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the year unravels, whatever happens, we will be here to help and support in any way you need it.