The slowdown in London, the region with the slowest growth this year, has sparked a trend for “staying put”. Many homeowners are biding their time and renovating. However, some families are making a different assessment of conditions and opting to relocate to the country now, before the gap between property values in the metropolis and those in the shires or cities, such as York, narrows further. Downsizers who want a different pace of life, but also want to free up money so that their offspring can climb on to the property ladder, are also minded to brave a move to the country.
City slickers and yummy mummies may be longing for space for the kids to go feral and some pretty greenery but they are not interested in anything too remote. This explains why demand is highest in places that are less than an hour and a half’s journey from the capital. There is also less interest in the acquisition of a magnificent rural wreck. City dwellers who have summoned the courage to leave their buffed-up pad in Clapham or Fulham in southwest London want a country house that is restored, not a doer-upper. This may be linked to difficulties in obtaining finance for a renovation project.
The average price of a sold property in the UK is £225,956, according to the Office for National Statistics’ index — an annual price rise of 5 per cent. The largest annual growth is in the northwest (6.5 per cent), followed by the southwest, east of England and East Midlands (6.4 per cent). London’s growth rate was the lowest at 2.6 per cent.