Countryside rents soar by up to 74 per cent as city dwellers flee Covid – with some even facing interviews to see if they ‘are the right sort of people for the village’ amid surging demand
- Survey by Zoopla saw rent prices in Surrey’s Mole Valley rise by 74 per cent and Elmbridge rise by 63 per cent
- Nationwide has seen rental property prices rise by 20 to 30 per cent in villages in the Cotswolds since March
- In September Office for National Statistics found one in ten city people working from home planned to move
Rental prices in the countryside are continuing to surge as more city-dwellers flee to rural areas across the UK amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a survey carried out by Zoopla, the real estate company found that interest for rental properties in Mole Valley in Surrey had increased by 74 per cent while Elmbridge, also in Surrey, had seen the demand for its homes grow by 63 per cent from September to November 2020 compared to the same three months last year.
Meanwhile villages in the Cotswolds have seen their property prices rise by 20 to 30 per cent since March as more office workers left their built-up areas for a life in the countryside, figures from Nationwide revealed.
The figures come just months after data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that one in ten city dwellers who were working from home were planning to move to rural areas or the coast amid the coronavirus restrictions.
Mark Shephard, 38, who has put Hedsor House in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, up for rent for £52,000 a month with Knight Frank, said he had seen ‘a lot of interest in taking the house’ amid the pandemic.
Hedsor House in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, is currently up for rent for £52,000 a month with Knight Frank, as more people flee the city for a life in the countryside amid the coronavirus pandemic
The Georgian mansion, which sits just a stone’s throw away from the River Thames, comes with a principal bedroom suite that covers more than 2,500 square foot on the first floor of the property and comes with a hand crafted four-poster bed
The mansion was put up for rent by its owner Mark Shephard, 38, who said he had seen ‘a lot of interest in taking the house’ amid the pandemic
The Georgian mansion, which sits just a stone’s throw away from the River Thames, comes with 13 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms five reception rooms and a drawing room that overlooks the sprawling South lawn.
Originally designed by Sir William Chambers, the architect of Somerset House, with the help of King George III and Queen Charlotte, the lavish property is approached down a private kilometre-long rhododendron lined drive and is set within 100 acres of green parkland.
A step inside the country property also reveals a principal bedroom suite that covers more than 2,500 square foot on the first floor of the property and comes with a hand crafted four-poster bed.
The property was once the home of Dowager Princess of Wales – the mother of George III and the founder of Kew Gardens.
Mr Shephard told The Times: ‘There’s been a lot of interest in taking the house, which has been fantastic for us. It still doesn’t quite touch the sides of what we would have made, but that’s long gone.’
Speaking on the rental boom, Alice Protheroe, Head of Lettings at Strutt & Parker Banbury told MailOnline: ‘Supply and demand are what drives the market; this year in the country, the surge in city dwellers heading into the country has meant that available properties on the rental market have been snapped up quickly.
‘We’ve been inundated with requests from relocation agents and private individuals for properties to rent – from weekend lets, holiday homes, short term and long term lets, all with the opportunity to commute back to London.
‘Around Banbury, we’ve witnessed a big impact on prices which is natural when you have multiple parties in competition for the same property: demand outstripping supply puts upwards pressure on asking rents.
‘For example, one property close to Soho Farmhouse and Daylesford, available in the summer this year achieved an asking rent that was 20 per cent higher than its rental value in 2017. We held two open days here and had multiple offers on the table.’
In Mole Valley, where the demand for properties has soared by 74 per cent, one four bedroom-detached house is now up for rent for £3,500 a month with Keller Williams Aspire.
The detached cottage, which is arranged over two floors and covers 2715 square foot, features an entrance hall, a large open plan kitchen and dining room and a sprawling rear garden.
The property is situated close to Reigate town centre and Dorking and also features a balcony that provides views of the fields, a detached double garage with a large office space on the first floor above.
Elsewhere in the Cotswolds village of Bourton-On-The-Water, which has seen demand for its homes soar by 63 per cent, another property is now up for rent fo £3,750 per month.
The five-bedroom Grade II Listed cottage features an entrance porch with cloakroom, sitting room with window seat and fireplace and a kitchen/breakfast room that has been remodelled using Silestone quartz worktops.
It also boasts a patio area to the rear of the house and a master bedroom that has a large re-fitted natural stone en-suite bathroom.
The countryside property in Buckinghamshire also comes with 12 bathrooms, five reception rooms and a drawing room that overlooks the South lawn
The property was originally designed by Sir William Chambers, the architect of Somerset House, with the help of King George III and Queen Charlotte
The mansion, which was once the home of Dowager Princess of Wales – the mother of George III and the founder of Kew Gardens, sits within 100 acres of private parkland
Another property, Eynsham, Witney, in West Oxfordshire, which has seen demand for rental properties surge by 69 per cent, is now on the market for £3,995 per month.
The Grade II listed period property, which has been extensively remodelled, comes with eight bedrooms, two home offices with several reception rooms and a mature garden.
Sitting in the centre of the village and just a stone’s throw away from the A40, the house also features a boundary wall.
Freelance copywriter Brochan Watts, 37, said he and his wife Claire left their one-bedroom flat in Stockwell, south London to rent a cottage in Kingham in the Cotswolds
Strutt & Parker, one of the largest property consultants in the UK, said they had also seen an influx of people forced to rent in the country over the summer after they ran out of properties to buy.
Head of regional residential, Kate Eales, said one couple from London, who offered to pay £100,000 a month, were even called in for an interview to ‘check they were the right sort of people for the village’ as workers left their lives in the city for England’s rural spaces.
Elsewhere freelance copywriter Brochan Watts, 37, said after he and his wife Claire left their one-bedroom flat in Stockwell, south London, to rent a cottage in Kingham in the Cotswolds and they ‘never want to go back to London’
The couple are currently renting a four-bedroom barn conversion in Tackley, Oxfordshire, for £1,750 a month.
Mr Watts told The Times: ‘We never want to go back to London after experiencing country life,’ Clare said. ‘We’ve got friends who’ve come out here too — I call it an Oxodus.
‘It’s the best decision we’ve made for a long time.’
In September, a report by the Office for National Statistics found that one in ten city dwellers who are working from home were planning to move to rural areas or the coast.
The report, made up of surveys tracking the impact of Covid-19, found 29 per cent of adults in employment had ‘changed their work location during the pandemic and are planning on continuing to work from home at least some of the time’.
It added: ‘Among those planning to work from home all or part of the time, 12 per cent said they have considered moving to a different location in the UK, most commonly to rural or coastal areas.’
Meanwhile about 1.15million were debating leaving city residences to escape to the country or coast, with an estimated 60 per cent of them looking to move to rural areas, while 40 per cent wanting to live by the sea.
In November, a Zoopla report revealed that the average rents in London are now 5.2 per cent lower than they were a year ago – while those in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh are also dropping.
The Zoopla report said: ‘The rental declines in the capital reflect the changing picture on working and commuting patterns and tourism.
‘At the start of lockdown there was a shift from short lets to long lets, especially in the centre of the city, pushing up supply in the sector which is still being absorbed.’
In Mole Valley, Surrey, where the demand for properties had soared by 74 per cent, this four bedroom-detached house is now up for rent for £3,500
The detached cottage features a large open plan kitchen and dining room that provides views of the sprawling garden outside
The house, which is situated close to Reigate town centre and Dorking, also comes with a spacious kitchen fitted with wooden flooring and white cabinets
This Grade II Listed cottage in Bourton-On-The-Water, which has seen property demand increase by 63 per cent, is now available to rent fo £3,750 per month
The property, which has recently been renovated while keeping and exposing all original futures, comes with a spacious living room fitted with a fire place
The cottage, which is arranged over two floors and covers 2715 square foot and features an entrance hall, also comes with a spacious living room that opens up towards the dining room
Some of the most drastic cuts included a two-bedroom flat in central London’s Baker Street which was down from £4,312 a month in May to £2,600 in October while rent on a four bedroom flat around Bloomsbury dropped from £3,476 in June to £2,210, the Times reports.
Earlier this year home buyers’ reacted with joy after Rishi Sunak announced that he would freeze stamp duty.
The Chancellor said he would immediately raise the threshold on stamp duty to £500,000 until March 31 2021.
The measure, which temporarily increases the ‘nil rate’ band of stamp duty from £125,000 to £500,000, will reduce the average stamp duty bill for a main home from £4,500 to zero. Buyers can potentially save up to £15,000.
The move means that if you buy a property over £500,000, then you can still save money and can take off £15,000 what you would have paid prior to the announcement.
Property experts said the step could encourage some ‘missing movers’ back to the market.
This Grade II listed period property in Eynsham, Witney, in West Oxfordshire, which has seen demand for rental properties surge by 69 per cent, is now on the market for £3,995 per month
The house, which has been extensively remodelled in the last few years, comes with a spacious kitchen that is fitted with white tiles and a central island
The large house also comes with eight bedrooms, two home offices with several reception rooms and sits just a stone’s throw away from the A40
He announced he had decided to cut stamp duty, telling the Commons: ‘Right now, there is no stamp duty on transactions below £125,000.
‘Today, I am increasing the threshold to £500,000. This will be a temporary cut running until March 31 2021 – and, as is always the case, these changes to stamp duty will take effect immediately.
‘The average stamp duty bill will fall by £4,500. And nearly nine out of 10 people buying a main home this year, will pay no stamp duty at all.’
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