For much of 2020, the property market was seemingly dominated by trends in urban dwellers seeking to move away from the cities. With government guidelines and restrictions on movement in place, the desire for more space at home increased. While this has been a prominent mainstay across the UK, another interesting trend has developed. Data released from Aviva has highlighted that in fact rural or semi-rural dwellers are more likely to move elsewhere than their urban counterparts.
Rural vs Urban
According to the research compiled by Aviva, 52% of UK adults living in rural areas would move to different surroundings. To put it in perspective, 39% of people in urban locations would look to move in the opposite direction. The 13% difference is enlightening, and poses interesting questions as to how this has developed.
Location is everything
The biggest indicator to provide context to this trend, is the desire to live near more facilities. A domino effect of moving closer to an urban setting has transpired. For people living in a rural area, 31% would look to move to a semi-rural setting, while 30% of those living in the latter wish to move to a suburban location.
The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated society’s remarkable ability to adapt, with increases in remote work/life a prime example. Nevertheless, convenient access to more facilities and better transport links, both at 22%, has been proven to be a significant motivation behind this trend.
How a particular location factors into the quality of one’s life also has played a significant role in Aviva’s findings. For many, rural (42%) and semi-rural (36%) areas provide a better quality of life for families. This can be partially linked to benefits such as lower pollution levels.
Furthermore, the pandemic has led to an increase in the demands for pets. An interesting number of people (11%) have stated that their home requirements have changed as a result of getting a dog.
Similar to 2020, this current year is afflicted with uncertainty. Nevertheless, what we have seen develop, across the past 10 months in particular, is a shift in the status quo. More residents in urban settings are looking to move more rurally. In contrast, those in rural locations are looking to move to more populated areas.
People’s reasons for moving can vary significantly, but the process of moving will remain consistent. It is for this reason that the property market arguably could look to 2021 with a heightened sense of cautious optimism.
However, as the crisis continues, property managers must continue to be attentive and adaptable. Communication still is a crucial cornerstone across the tenancy journey in order to minimise the likelihood of costly mistakes and delays. The growth of technology in the sector represents opportunities to adapt and achieve much-needed operational efficiency.