Pandemic rural home buyers now fleeing back to cities say estate agents
People who moved from cities to rural areas during lockdown are now moving back as the promise of being able to work from home indefinitely is disappearing, estate agents have said.
According to the Times newspaper, the newest property trend is people regretting their “pandemic property purchase” and “fleeing back to the city” after making “the most expensive mistake of their lives”.
Wales was one of the prime property hotspots for those moving to rural areas, with 12 local authorities in Wales making up the top 20 biggest house price rises in Wales and England since the start of the pandemic, according to estate agency Hamptons. House prices in Carmarthenshire have risen 17% in the last year.
Now the same estate agency is saying that many are moving back after finding themselves far from friends, family and the convenience of city life.
“We are seeing buyer’s remorse among urbanistas who probably never even owned a pair of wellies, but lockdowns terrified them and they thought they had to get away because everyone else was,” Joanna Cocking, the head of prime country sales at Hamptons told the Times.
Wales overall has seen the biggest overall price rises across the UK, with annual house price inflation of 12.9 per cent, according to Halifax’s index.
The rise in house prices in Wales means that the average home is now selling for £198,880 said Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax.
“One of the key drivers of activity in the housing market over the past 18 months has been the race for space, with buyers seeking larger properties, often further from urban centres,” he said.
“Combined with temporary measures such as the cut to stamp duty, this has helped push the average property price up to an all-time high of £270,027.
“Since April 2020, the first full month of lockdown, the value of the average property has soared by £31,516 (13.2 per cent).”