New research reveals from Hamptons International reveals the average age for moving to the country has fallen by 10 years. A decade ago those deciding to escape urban life typically did so at the age of 47. Today it is 37.
Many are being driven away by the cost of properties, particularly in London, where a couple with two children looking for a terraced house would have to pay an average of £674,400.
Other reasons include wanting more space for less money and a better quality of life somewhere quieter and less polluted. Flexible working and improvements to broadband in rural areas are allowing more people to move without having to leave their jobs.
Air pollution, overcrowding, noise, the ungodly race for school places, dog dirt and litter on the pavements, the perception of high crime rates in cities: all these factors are prompting urbanites to head for the verdant hills.
“It used to be ‘Have baby, move to country’, but these days it’s definitely more ‘Have absolutely had enough of the city, move to country’,” says Jemma Scott, a partner at The Buying Solution, who recently moved from the capital to rural Buckinghamshire. The appeal of more house for less money — a house that has a garden with an actual lawn, a spare bedroom and even, heaven be praised, a utility room — is particularly powerful.
Jemma also highlights that it won’t be cheaper or any more eco being in the countryside. In reality many country homes are draughty and poorly insulated, losing heat from gas-guzzling ranges and every nook and cranny. The open fire or ancient woodburner is a source of emissions. Worst of all, you need a car — probably two if you’re a couple — that you will drive constantly. “My carbon footprint is through the roof,” Jemma Scott says. “I used to cycle to and from the office, walk and jump on the Tube or bus. Now I destroy a forest’s worth of ozone in one week, simply functioning.”
Read the full articles here (and fill in your own quiz to see if you’re ready for the move):