Why Lon­don­ers are mov­ing to buzzy Ex­eter

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

pace is start­ing to slow as the UK’s mar­ket as a whole slumps. In April the an­nual rate of growth sunk to just 2.7 per cent, a fall of al­most six per­cent­age points.

The soar­ing mar­ket is largely due to a short­age of avail­able homes, and new de­vel­op­ment in the city is boom­ing. Even mem­bers of the Ex­eter Chiefs rugby team are in on the game, launch­ing their own prop­erty com­pany, Tom­a­hawk Homes. They have started build­ing two de­vel­op­ments out­side the city.

The Brans­dons were among the 3,000 Lon­don leavers who last year set­tled in and around Ex­eter, which is cur­rently one of Bri­tain’s five fastest­grow­ing cities. In the city, ur­ban­ites can find cheaper house prices and a less stress­ful life­style, sur­rounded by nat­u­ral beauty.

“Buy­ers want a more sus­tain­able way of liv­ing, and around Ex­eter they can find ‘ for­ever homes’ that they’d only ever dream of buy­ing in Lon­don, while mak­ing no com­pro­mise on ed­u­ca­tion or em­ploy­ment,” says Louise Glanville of Knight Frank. “Many are mak­ing the move to the coun­try­side 10 years sooner than they orig­i­nally planned.”

The Met Of­fice, the Uni­ver­sity of Ex­eter and the Royal Devon and Ex­eter Hos­pi­tal are major lo­cal em­ploy­ers, while a re­port by the Cen­tre for Cities shows an in­crease of 3,000 pri­vate sec­tor jobs in Ex­eter – up 5.1 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year. The city is also home to an in­creas­ing num­ber of dig­i­tal tech jobs and start-ups, in­clud­ing CrowdCube, Bri­tain’s most suc­cess­ful crowd­fund­ing plat­form.

It is the city’s ac­cess to open space and fresh air that is the major draw for buy­ers such as the Brans­dons. Their flat in Lon­don’s Bayswa­ter, near Hyde Park and the shops and bars of Not­ting Hill, was per­fect when they were newly-weds but when their first child, Amelie, now two, was born, it be­gan to feel cramped. “Lon­don is not the health­i­est or safest place to bring up chil­dren so we started look­ing fur­ther afield,” says Brans­don.

When they dis­cov­ered that a house in Devon cost half as much as the equiv­a­lent in the Home Coun­tries, they moved their search to Ex­eter. They even­tu­ally fell in love with a fourbed­room thatched cot­tage with gar­dens and pad­docks near Thorver­ton, a

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