Mak­ing the most of ru­ral liv­ing

Essex Life - - ESSEX PROPERTY -

Vil­lage life has never been more pop­u­lar with home­buy­ers. The world might seem fo­cused on ur­ban­i­sa­tion, but over the past five years, Strutt & Parker’s Hous­ing Fu­tures re­search has ob­served a grow­ing trend in buy­ers’ de­sire to move back to amenity-rich, ru­ral lo­ca­tions.

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 gath­ered pace in the UK, a num­ber of neg­a­tive traits have be­gun to ap­pear, such as a rise in in­ad­e­quate hous­ing pro­vi­sion, ur­ban sprawl and in­creased pol­lu­tion. Many of the re­spon­dents to the Hous­ing Fu­tures sur­vey said they were choos­ing the coun­try­side in search of the ‘Good Life’ – in­cor­po­rat­ing neigh­bour­hood safety, green spa­ces and a strong com­mu­nity feel.

The in­flu­ence that tech­nol­ogy is hav­ing on shop­ping, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and work­ing habits is help­ing to trans­form the de­sir­abil­ity of ru­ral vil­lages too, as well as the type of peo­ple who want to live in them. It seems that the same fac­tors that once drove ur­ban­i­sa­tion – im­prov­ing eco­nomic and so­cial con­di­tions – are now in­spir­ing the vil­lage re­vival.

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