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Moving out of the Big Cities

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CITY LIFE: Why people are leaving the city for the countryside


Being locked down during the pandemic has not been easy for any of us, but it has been especially hard for people in built-up areas without gardens or easy access to nature. 

This has created a surge of interest in moving to the country, where people can work from home but enjoy a more rural environment. 


Changing Priorities

Miles Shipside of Rightmove says: “The lure of a new lifestyle, one that is quieter and has an abundance of beautiful countryside and more outdoor space, has led to more city dwellers choosing to become rural residents.”

And as COVID-19 restrictions ease many people are realising that they would prefer to continue to work from home or commute to the city.

London City worker Iona Cardell lives on the outskirts of the capital. She said: “I’ve enjoyed working from home and am absolutely dreading going back to the office and coping with rush hour again.

“I have been as productive with my work, if not more productive, and my boss has agreed that I can continue working from home as long as I come into the office on the days we have important meetings.

“This means we can fulfil our dream of moving to a more rural location, but somewhere that is commutable for those days I need to be in London.”



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Should I move out of the City? 

Some city homeowners have benefited from strong house price growth over the years making it possible to now trade up and out to the country. For the price of a London home you can buy a lovely new four or five-bedroom home with a large garden in a rural location, yet with essential services and great facilities nearby. 

A survey conducted by Barclays Mortgages found that the five most popular reasons for people wanting to relocate are: 

A bigger garden 
Being closer to services 
Living where they can exercise easily 
Being nearer to relatives 
A stronger local community. 

Dr Peter Brooks, chief behavioural scientist at Barclays, says: “More outside space and the benefits of being closer to friends and family are high on the ‘must have’ list for many movers. 

“As working from home becomes more commonplace moving cross-country looks to be more achievable for many as there is less of a need to be within a short commute to the office.” 


Why the countryside? 

The nation has witnessed a change in attitudes to the countryside. Instead of being a nice place to escape to occasionally, people now want to join a community. 

Compared to the big city, Londoners realise they can invest in regions like East Anglia and be able to enjoy more of the countryside 24/7. What is more, they can then visit London whenever they like with only a 50-minute direct train journey from Peterborough straight into Kings Cross station.  With family and daytime tickets, London can be affordable again. 

Housing company, Larkfleet Homes are seeing a rise in potential buyers from outside of the counties of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. More and more people realise that they can still enjoy city life, whilst also having more space at home. Even people who have lived in London all their life are now seeing the long-term benefits of moving out of the city. 

People's heads are turned when they see they can get a brand-new property with more room for less money - it becomes a very viable option. The mix of families, young professionals and the newly retired are noticeable from the enquiries received. There are some useful links below with more information on the region and what it can offer;  

Decision made - I want to move out of the City

So where do I start?  

Depending on whether you want to stay in your existing job, you will need to think about either commuting distance, or starting afresh in a new town with a new job.  Before you choose a property, you will need to choose an area. Do you want somewhere quiet where you will have a laid-back lifestyle, or somewhere busier with lots going on? 

If you have a family you will be looking at schools, amenities and facilities, such as parks, soft play areas, playgroups, nurseries and toddler groups.  You might want somewhere with a lot of community events and groups for adults, such as WI, running or cycling clubs, a local gym and other sporting clubs. 

If you like a local pub, it might be near the top of your list! Also, nearby shops or a post office, even if it’s just a small convenience store. 

Young families may prefer to live on a housing estate where there are other similar families around to socialise with and for children to play out with. 

Once you’ve thought all this through and done your research you can start to spend your evenings looking at property in the area online – and then the exciting part – arranging viewings!