Comment: Lockdown leads to spike in interest in country living

Homes in villages such as Westmill in Hertfordshire have become increasingly popular.Picture: Getty

Homes in villages such as Westmill in Hertfordshire have become increasingly popular.Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s been brewing since we went into lockdown back in March, and now every other property-related article is telling us how brilliant rural living is – and how increasingly popular it’s become.

The experts agree that the enforced spell at home has left many of us wanting more from where we live, with space – or lack thereof – often proving the biggest issue.

And with so many of us now commuting less, plenty of movers are taking their searches out of the cities and into the countryside.

According to Savills, 90 per cent of their agents reported an increase in demand for homes in rural locations during the second quarter of this year.

Their country offices also saw a spike in interest from London-based buyers, with 32 per cent of new applications coming from the capital compared to just 21 per cent a year ago.

Personally, I think the countryside is overrated. Having grown up in a semi-rural area, where the last bus left at 6pm and the nearest shop was two miles away, I’d say the rural dream can be a bit of a nightmare.

In fact, as unfashionable as it may be to admit it, I’m all about the ’burbs. We’ve got all the things we need in our particular branch of Herts commuter-land, surrounded by gorgeous countryside should we need it, with the buzz of London a quick train ride away.

There’s a lot to be said for having shops and amenities within walking distance, and all the convenience of a (relatively) reliable public transport network.

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Aside from rural idylls, another thing we’re all (always) talking about is house prices – particularly in the current climate.

So, which is St Albans’ most expensive street? Last year’s biggest hitter was a £3m pad on Cunningham Hill Road, but that place had nothing on Wick House on Marshal’s Drive, which sold for £7.1m back in 2017, making it the most expensive home sold in the whole of Herts that year.

See what our Secret Estate Agent has to say on the matter here...