The Exodus - The evacuation of urban dwellers to the countryside

Sales Director Tony Wing DipSurv MRICS FNAEA, examines the Covid-Lockdown Exodus experienced by the UK with the evacuation of urban dwellers to the land of milk and honey - the countryside!

The flight from city lockdown to a pastoral idyll has always a compelling idea for the UK's big urban area dwellers, especially now with the working practices that have changed so much in the light of the pandemic lockdowns.

But will this movement last? In a post-vaccination world, there may be a gradual drifting back to the pleasures and convenience of big town or city life. But for many, the change in lifestyle is now locked in. Roots have been put down in earth rather than concrete. Over the last twelve months, rural Lincolnshire has seen given a hearty Yellow Belly welcome to those who have decided to escape the confines of the big urban conurbations, to revel in the wonderful lifestyle opportunity we offer.

Despite the looming end to the stamp duty holiday deadline on March 31st there is little or no let-up in demand. Rightmove has report property views were up by 33% in January. So Lockdown 3 has brought even more buyers from outside of our county to look in and examine our market and consider whether this spring is the right time to make their move and buy a home/a long term investment in our land of milk and honey. Could the present shortage in the supply of country homes in the county, bolster or even push on prices this year, even in what may be difficult times ahead for our economy? We shall see.

Many exodus purchases over the last year have been a straight swap – town for country. But a good proportion of transactions have been for holiday homes with a view to longer-term permanent living through career change, altered lifestyle or retirement. This is clever thinking as any potential rises in capital gains tax could favour greater investment in principal residences, rather than second homes.

Covid19 has affected the property market in ways that we never expected, and we imagine it will continue to do so for quite a while. Unwelcome, horrifying and shattering as the disease is, for many buyers and sellers it has also unexpectedly proved to be a profound catalyst for change. If Covid19 fades in its potency into the spring and summer, we think those changes will continue to grow and become wonderful new opportunities. For many from across the UK, the land of milk and honey beckons. Welcome to Lincolnshire!

Tony Wing DipSurv MRICS FNAEA


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