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Report: rural housing demand declines as pandemic effect fades

Real EstateReport: rural housing demand declines as pandemic effect fades

According to property website Zoopla, demand for rural homes in the UK has declined as the pandemic trend to move to the countryside has eased.

Inquiries for properties in Kent, known as ‘the garden of England’ for its rolling hills and beautiful countryside, fell by 0.5% in 2022 compared to the five-year average. Demand fell by 5% in the wider Lake District National Park area and by 10% in Middle Wales compared to the same period.

Zoopla defines an “inquiry” as an email or phone call to an agent regarding a home for sale.


In April 2020, at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, 46.6% of his workforce worked part-time from home, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. That number climbed to 57.2% in London, with an exodus from busy urban areas as people sought green cities and seaside villages instead.

“Since the pandemic began in spring 2020, freed from daily office commutes, buyers have cast their nets far and wide to find apartments,” said Richard Donnell, executive director of research at Zoopla. said in a press release.

According to ONS data, most people who started working from home during the coronavirus pandemic now plan to work both from home and in the office, with many companies mandating a return to work. , which appears to have led to a reversal in the real estate market.

“The dynamics that have shaped the housing market over the past five years are changing. Affordable inner-city he expects to outperform in 2023,” said Donnell.

The cost of living crisis has also contributed to this change. According to Zoopla, from an energy perspective, housing is cheaper to operate and UK house prices are on average more than twice as high as apartments, the highest in the last 20 years.

Urban areas also tend to offer more employment opportunities.

Tough environment for buyers

The Bank of England raised interest rates to 3.5% on December 15, pushing up borrowing costs for homebuyers. According to Moneyfacts.co.uk, interest rates for 2- and 5-year fixed-rate mortgages have risen by more than 3% in 2022.

The UK mortgage market plunged in September following a sweeping policy change by then-Chancellor Kwasi Kwarten. Lenders have pulled in hundreds of mortgage offers as they try to navigate the new economic climate.

Some market observers are now predicting a significant drop in the UK property market due to the UK’s weakening economy and persistently high inflation.

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