Housing Futures: The Village Revival

Strutt & Parker’s research shows growing trend in desire to move to rural locations

The world might seem focused on urbanisation, but over the past three years of its Housing Futures research, Strutt & Parker has seen the emergence of a new creeping trend in housing – the desire to move back to amenity-rich, rural locations.

Its latest survey identifies four factors that are shaping this village revival:

•           21% of survey respondents who are moving home said that they wanted to live in a village, making it easily the most popular type of location, compared to 14% for a market town and only 12% for either a big city or a suburb.

•           Broadband and mobile connections are essential to rural life. Access to broadband was a key factor for 49% of those intending to move to a village, while 38% highlighted mobile connectivity.

•           There was 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.

•           Ease of access is an important issue for respondents intending to move to a village, with 60% wanting to be able to walk to shops, 48% to local transport and 45% to medical facilities.

Stephanie McMahon, Head of Research at Strutt & Parker, said: “The UK might seem to be focused on urbanisation but we believe a new, overlooked trend is set to shape Britain’s housing market over the coming decades – the desire to move back to rural.

“Existing research would suggest cities have the upper hand over villages – by the mid-century there will be approximately 65 million people living in Britain’s cities, compared to just 8 million in rural areas. However, as the urban trend has…