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Pandemic rural home buyers now fleeing back to cities say estate agents

12 Dec 2021 2 minutes Read
Benllech on Anglesey. Picture by Joe Hayhurst (CC BY 2.0)

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).”

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

So having come and pushed up house prices beyond a level that local wage earners can afford, they are all off again? We may well see the perfect storm of unaffordable property and lots of empty homes facing a growing homelessness problem.
Back to squatting?

Adrian wright
Adrian wright
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Welcome to our world

Reenie
Reenie
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

The important thing to keep in mind is- who sold the houses to these people who now want to leave? Sadly we have to look to our own. People wanted the money. They didn’t care for culture, community, neighbourhood or consequences of ghost villages and towns. They saw easy money and SOLD UP.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

Good, now f-off back to England while we deal with the mess you caused.

Pob lwc
Pob lwc
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

This may shock you, but there are cities in Wales as well.

Chris Thomas
Chris Thomas
24 days ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Good job not everyone is like you. I work in England at a large civil service establishment where there are several Welsh people. They moved here because they couldn’t find work in their own area which paid a good wage and used their educational attainment. We don’t moan that they took well paid jobs from English people.

Don’t be a miserable twerp:-)

Sharon Elsbury
Sharon Elsbury
1 month ago

Wasn’t just in Wales. Somerset is the same. No rental properties about as they’ve all been sold.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago
Reply to  Sharon Elsbury

Looks like this discussion needs a Neo-Con to jump in and say “There is no problem. The Market will re-adjust as the excess of houses now for sale will bring down prices.” The key question is the extent to which the housing market is smoothly operating or suffers from a built in ratchet upwards.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Good point, good question. I don’t think there’s been a slump since late 90’s into early 2000. Prior to that we used to get “adjustments” especially if interest rates changed dramatically. Since 2008-10 governments internationally have contrived to keep interest rates at rock bottom not out of regard for the borrowing public but to enable them to access cheap money for their own spending plans. Good idea had they not wasted so much of the loot. So the silly house prices are part of the unintended consequences.

William Booth
William Booth
1 month ago
Reply to  Sharon Elsbury

Sold due to government greed – section 24 tax grab. Nothing to do with lockdown.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago

Cue Windsor Davies…

Argol Fawr
Argol Fawr
1 month ago

If that’s so, then it’ll become a buyers market and there’s no sign of that. The properties being bought are 2nd homes. You don’t flee back if your not using a 2nd home for yourself. You list it on AirBnB! This estate agent and the Times are taking us for fools. Aided by Nation.Cymru.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
1 month ago
Reply to  Argol Fawr

Yes, the estate agent’s statement does seem a somewhat optimistic take on the housing crisis in the West. There probably are instances of it, but those properties will almost certainly be out of the financial reach of local people without WG intervention in the housing market.

ROB
ROB
1 month ago

The market will adjust. If people want government to intervene then they vote for one that will. Stop blaming “the English”,”foreigners” “other people”. It’s you and how you vote.

Martin Thomas
Martin Thomas
1 month ago
Reply to  ROB

You could have a point…nah, blame them for it, I blame them for everything else.

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