MAGAZINE: The British village revival '“ why there is an increasing need to escape the city

The desire to move away from the buzz of Britain's big urban areas and into rural areas, namely villages has is becoming a growing trend it seems.

Monday, 25th April 2016, 12:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 9:58 pm
The British village revival- escape from the city

The Housing Futures report conducted by Strutt & Parker shows that more than 20% of people planning on moving home would like to live in a village, making it easily the most popular type of location.

And it’s not just those wishing to sell up from their city lives to buy in a village setting, with the report showing a significant increase in respondents looking for rental accommodation. 10% of those wanting to move to a village would live in a professionally managed private rental unit, up from 1% in 2013.

The South East, South West and North East are the three leading destinations for people who are intending to move in the next five years. London’s strong economy and housing market will have a direct effect on the South East, which will attract 29% of those intending to move out of the capital as people look for more affordable, spacious accommodation, while also being able to commute to well-paid jobs in London. The South West’s appeal as a lifestyle and retirement location is set to continue attracting moves from the South East (12%) and London (8%). With increased government investment in the Northern Powerhouse, the North West is likely to retain 69% of those who already live in the region. Any outside buyers are most likely to be from the North East or Ireland (both 5%). London will experience the lowest retention rate of any regional (35%) with more sellers planning to cash in on their property equity by moving out of the capital.

An important necessity for those surveyed was ease of access, local transport, medical facilities as well as Broadband and mobile connections being seen as essential to rural life. The shift away from cities is being driven by people looking for neighbourhood safety, space between neighbours as well as for a strong community feel.

According to DEFRA, in 2013/14, the UK saw net internal migration of 60,000 people to predominantly rural areas in England. It is a trend that has been positive every year since 2001. But this reverse migration is not to a traditional rural environment. The influence that technology is having on shopping, communications and working habits is helping to transform villages and the type of people who want to live in them.

Technology is helping to change the rural economy, which plays a key role in creating jobs and prosperity. England’s rural economy now accounts for £210 billion of economic output and hosts over 25% of all registered businesses. New companies are thriving in rural locations, including hi-tech manufacturing, food processing, the service sector, retail and power supply (in the form of renewables).

City slicker or down to earth village inhabitant? Watch our video and decide which one you prefer.

To download the full report, ‘Housing Futures: The Village Revival’, visit: