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Is now the right time to buy or sell your home in the country?

With the ‘race for space’ still going strong, demand for homes outside London remains high. If you live in highly desirable areas in the countryside, there’s never been a better time to consider selling your home! We speak to the property experts at Savills to understand a bit more about the current housing market and find out the most popular places to buy and sell right now.

Which areas in the country are most popular currently?

The likes of Newbury, Salisbury, Oxford and Winchester continue to be incredibly desirable locations for those looking to relocate. The strength in these markets is a reflection of their long-term popularity, coupled with something new, a fundamental shift which has boosted buyer interest in and around these towns and cities. This is great inspiration for those looking to move to the best places in the country as well as great news for those looking to sell.

How has the pandemic affected the market?

The pandemic prompted a change in priorities among buyers, known as the ‘race for space’, causing a surge in demand for homes offering indoor and outdoor space in beautiful countryside locations.

According to a recent buyer and seller survey* by Savills, the desire to move home is showing no signs of slowing down as 48% of all buyers say that they have been considering a move for over a year, with half hoping to complete within the next six months.

The number of new buyers who registered with Savills during the first three months of 2022 was 80.1% higher than the same period in 2019 and only marginally lower than last year when the country market was overwhelmed with demand. This desire to move as quickly as possible is the strongest seen at any other point since the start of the pandemic, including when the market reopened in May 2020. Over 24% of respondents stated that they are more committed to moving within the next three months, while longer term demand also remains strong with over 32% are committed to moving in the next two years.

Are lots of people still wanting to move into the country post-pandemic?

That dream move to the country is still at the forefront of many people’s minds, causing a 2% quarterly price growth in prime village and rural areas. However, as people have settled back into a more ‘normal’ way of life and hybrid working patterns are here to stay, we’ve seeing a rise in interest in towns and cities wrapped in beautiful countryside.

In the three months leading up to March 2022, prime property prices increased between 0.9% and 2.6% across Newbury (2.6%), Salisbury (1.6%), Oxford (2.0%), Winchester (0.9%) and their surrounding areas. Driven by strong demand for a limited number of realistically priced available properties, Newbury, Salisbury, Oxford and Winchester have seen prices rise by 6.2%, 9.3%, 9.9% and 8.2% respectively, over the last 12 months.

Will house prices go up or down in the next few months?

While the supply-demand imbalance remains, the lack of suitable houses on the market is expected to result in further price growth. However, the rate of price growth is expected to slow as the year progresses given economic pressures, such as the higher costs of debt, rising costs of living and geo-political uncertainty. For those looking to sell, now might be the time to get moving.

*Savills conducted the survey between 9 and 15 February and collated responses from 840 registered buyers and sellers

The long term prognosis is for a continuation of the strong market conditions, with plenty of competition for quality homes that are priced well. Now is the best time to make the most of the current market so if you’re looking to make a move this year, please contact your local Savills office.

Local Savills offices:

Liz McLean – Head of Residential, Savills Newbury
liz.mclean@savills.com, 01635 277 705

Charles Elsmore-Wickens – Head of Office, Savills Summertown
CEWickens@savills.com, 01865 339 702

Steven Moore – Head of Office, Savills Winchester
smoore@savills.com, 01962 834 010

James McKillop – Head of Residential, Savills Salisbury
James.mckillop@savills.com, 01722 426 822

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