In a post-lockdown world, we’ve come to learn a few things: namely, that working from home is far easier, cheaper and more desirable than we all could have imagined and humans crave nature.
So it’s no wonder that people are packing up their city lives and moving out to the countryside where they can have cleaner air, afford bigger properties and continue to work from home whilst still occasionally commuting back into the city when needs be. In fact, Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside notes that they ‘saw a shift as early as April in more people living in cities enquiring about moving out of that city, and this trend has continued.’
He explains: ‘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 the numbers back this hypothesis up: Rightmove reports that enquiries from city-livers looking to move to more rural villages has more than doubled year-on-year. Enquiries from Londoners looking for a taste of village life is up 144 per cent on June-July 2019, but there’s been an even bigger demand from the city-dwelling residents of Liverpool (275 per cent), Edinburgh (205 per cent), and Birmingham (186 per cent).
However, we’re not looking to run away to the deepest depths of the countryside (just yet) – as we embrace the new way of flexible working more than ever before, the top villages people are flocking to are still within a commutable distance of their city, making it easy enough to commute back into the city when needed, but with a quieter way of life to return home to at the end of the day and even work from for at least part of the week.
The village Londoners are most looking to move to currently is Iver in Buckinghamshire – located just 17 miles out of the city and a brief 26 minute train ride into central London, it’s not hard to see why residents of the pricey, ‘concrete jungle’ capital are flocking there.
Meanwhile, Manchester-dwellers are enquiring about moving to the village of Charlesworth in Derbyshire the most (a quick 20 minute train ride away) and city-dwellers of Edinburgh are looking to move out to West Linton in Peeblesshire – a slightly longer commute out of the city with a 45-minute train ride, but certainly still doable.
Have we just found the ultimate work life balance?