When clients come to us seeking a new home and are ready to exchange the city lifestyle for greener pastures there are usually two key areas that they are looking to change. Firstly, lifestyle – in comparison to London, the countryside offers green open spaces, a plethora of good schooling, less traffic, easier access to leisure pursuits, fresh air and tranquillity and an enviable work-life balance. Generally most buyers have reconciled this against a harder commute to work simply to receive the benefits of countryside living.
Secondly, buyers expect greater value for their money in the country with a bigger house, outside space and easy parking. A £2m flat in Chelsea for example could buy you a five bedroom village house in Oxfordshire. This really emphasises what buyers can achieve if they swap the city for a market town.
Increasingly people who are moving to the country do not want to feel like they are severing all ties with life. They are used to being spoilt by having every possible amenity on their doorstep and don’t want this to change. Residents want to feel like part of the community and to have all their everyday needs within a stone’s throw. Everything homeowners can enjoy nearby in the city, they now also want in the country. In truth, they want the best of both worlds.
The best market towns or cities have a vibrant heart where invariably residents and visitors can enjoy coffee shops, decent restaurants, plenty of good independent shops and the pre-requisite Waitrose. Individuality is key and market towns with identities are of the greatest appeal to buyers.