As predicted, the rural and coastal areas in the UK were the big winners on the 2020 property purchase landscape by a significant margin. That is according to the latest figures from Rightmove, indicating that Bruton in Somerset topped the table as the most searched-for place among people looking to buy homes this year.
Bruton achieved an impressive 72% increase in buyer interest compared to the same time last year, followed by Pitlochry in Scotland which jumped in popularity by 50% over the same period. Aylesford in Kent followed closely with 48%, after which Salcombe in Devon – a popular seaside resort for short breaks during the summer – proved 47% more popular than last year.
Both Dartmouth in Devon and Lightwater in Surrey saw major gains in popularity, attracting 46% more buyer searches than at the same time in 2020.
Here is the full rundown of the 10 most searched for places in the UK this year, according to Rightmove:
The popularity of coastal and rural areas reflects the growing trend of relocating from crowded towns and cities to quieter and more tranquil regions among first-time buyers and movers alike. With people spending more time at home than ever before, buyers’ preferences and priorities has shifted wildly over the past 12 months.
Today, the desire to live close to work in a crowded urban center has been largely replaced with the motivation to move to larger and often more remote properties, ideally with private outdoor living spaces or easy access to nearby green space.
These shifting priorities among buyers have also had a major impact on average asking prices across many regions of the UK. For example, Eccles in Manchester saw the biggest overall annual house price growth for 2020, with homes increasing in price by an average of 16%. This dwarfs the national average house price increase of 6.6% by a huge margin.
Impressively, a further six places in and around Manchester made it into the top 10 list of highest annual property price increases in the UK for 2020. Wavertree and Chadderton proved particularly popular during the year, chalking up 12.2% and 10.9% average property price increase respectively.
The full overview of the 10 biggest average property price increases by area in the UK for 2020 can be seen below, as published by Rightmove:
“This year we’ve seen an uplift in the number of home-movers escaping to the country and we think this trend will continue for now as people show their willingness to make significant life changes,” commented director of property data at Rightmove, Tim Bannister.
“The data highlights just how influential the unexpected events of this year have been in shaping the nation’s housing priorities, with many buyers determined to swap city streets for rural and coastal retreats.”
With home working set to continue as the new norm for the foreseeable future at least, the collective desire among UK homeowners to relocate to quieter and more sparsely populations across the country are likewise set to perpetuate indefinitely.