Very big house BOOM in the country: How Britons fleeing locked-down cities in 2020 fuelled rural property price rises adding up to £30,000 to homes in areas like Windsor, Penzance and Hove
- EXCLUSIVE: Property values climbed by £10,177 in 2020 taking total value of UK housing stock to £9.06trillion
- Average UK property increased in value by £27.81 per day in 2020, a substantial increase from £8.64 per day
- Towns with the biggest increase in value include the coastal locations of Penzance, Christchurch and Hove
- The total value of housing in the capital passed the £2 trillion mark this year, now standing at £2.03 trillion
- London properties increased in value by £19,609, while the average value of a London home is now £658,195
The value of properties in rural hotspots soared by nearly £30,000 last year as people fled the city for life in the country.
As people left the city in their droves and retreated to the countryside, towns including Penzance, Christchurch and Hove on the coast, and homes in rural enclaves Cirencester and Cheltenham, soared in price.
Despite repeated lockdowns and Covid wreaking havoc on the market, the average home increased in value by £27.81 per day in 2020, up from £8.64 a day in 2019 – taking the total value of the UK’s housing stock to £9.06 trillion.
Homes in Windsor in South East England ranked in first place, with an increase in value of £29,063 in 2020, equating to an increase of £79.41 per day. With its great transport links to London and royal connections, the historic market town has long been seen as a desirable place to live.
Coastal locations also featuring in the top ten include Penzance, the most westerly major town in Cornwall in third place, with the average property increasing its value by £23,437 in 2020 (£64.04 per day).
Properties in England enjoyed the highest increase in value, up by some £30.16 a day, followed by Wales at £23.79, Northern Ireland at £15.23 and homes in Scotland increasing to £12.04.
Another favourite with commuters, the affluent town of Altrincham near Manchester ranks in second place nationally.
Altrincham: This six bedroom detached home in the affluent Manchester enclave is on the market for £2,795,000. With an average property value of £536,144, Altrincham property owners have enjoyed their houses increasing in value by £23,772 in 2020, equating to £64.95 a day.
Hove: Homes in coastal locations have shot up in price, with this three bed flat in Hove on the market for £525,000
Penzance: Coastal locations also featuring in the top ten include Penzance, the most westerly major town in Cornwall in third place, with the average property increasing its value by £23,437 in 2020 (£64.04 per day). This four bed terraced property in Penzance is on the market for £280,000.
Windsor: This three bedroom terraced house is up for sale for £600,000. Homes in Windsor in South East England ranked in first place, with an increase in value of £29,063 in 2020, equating to an increase of £79.41 per day
Despite repeated lockdowns and Covid wreaking havoc on the market, the average home increased in value by £27.81 per day in 2020, up from £8.64 a day in 2019 – taking the total value of the UK’s housing stock to £9.06 trillion
According to the study by Zoopla, other locations that feature in the top ten and are within a commuting distance to London include Winchester in Hampshire, St Albans and Bishops Stortford in Hertfordshire.
All three locations are famed for their quality of life and have direct train links to London with a journey time of one hour or less.
With an average property value of £536,144, Altrincham property owners have enjoyed their house increasing in value by £23,772 in 2020, equating to £64.95 a day.
Hove, in East Sussex also features in the top ten, as does the coastal town of Christchurch in Dorset with value increases of £21,660 (£59.18 per day) and £21,782 (£59.51 per day) respectively.
When it comes to rural locations, the market town of Cirencester, as known as the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’ ranks in eighth place, with the average property in the town increasing its value by £20,178 in 2020 (£55.13 per day).
Cheltenham in Gloucestershire and right on the edge of The Cotswolds is ranked just behind Cirencester, with an increase in value of £20,006 (£54.66 a day).
The total value of housing in the capital passed the £2 trillion mark this year, now standing at £2.03 trillion.
The average London property increased in value by a substantial £19,609 in 2020, while the average value of a London home is now a hefty £658,195.
Kensington: The biggest increases in London were found in the Royal Borough Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where homes increased by some £49,812 last year
Winchester: This four bedroom detached home, complete with private garage and driveway and a huge garden, is on the market for £575,000
St Albans: This three bed detached home has a guide price of £625,000 – and is within commuting distance of London
Bishops Stortford: Buyers can snap up this five bedroom semi-detached home in Bishops Stortford for £500,000
The biggest increases in London are found in the Royal Borough Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (£49,812) and Westminster (£47,882). The London Borough of Merton, which encompasses leafy Wimbledon ranked in third place (£35,179), while the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (£34,097), and the City of London (£30,839) make up the top five.
With an increase in the value of housing across all London boroughs, there is a strong indication that despite many homeowners reassessing their priorities and considering leaving the city, there is still a significant return on investment to be made for those who own homes in London.
In England, the best performing regions outside of London reflect areas with higher property prices. The South East ranks in first place, with the average property in the region increasing in value by £12,552 in 2020.
It was followed by the South West (£11,671), the East of England (£10,108), the East Midlands (£9,470) and the North West (£9,059).
Properties in Wales ranked in sixth place with an annual increase in value of £8,706, higher than those in the West Midlands (£8,567) and Yorkshire and The Humber (£8,331).
Meanwhile, properties in Northern Ireland (£5,575) performed better than those in the North East of England (£5,084) in 2020.
Cheltenham: This three bed terraced house has gone on the market with Zoopla for £375,000
Christchurch: A three bed detached house boasting a huge driveway and private garage is on the market for £400,000
Cirencester: This three bed home set in a private road has gone up for sale for £439,500
Gráinne Gilmore, Head of Research at Zoopla, said: ‘The housing market has been one of the bright spots of the economy in this otherwise uncertain year.
‘The ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ reassessment among a large cohort of homeowners around how and where they want to live has led to strong levels of demand since the end of the first lockdown.
‘The data reflects an increased demand for additional indoor and outdoor space, and some rural locations have seen a rise in activity levels as those no longer constrained by a daily commute look for a different style of living.
‘These factors, coupled with the stamp duty holiday, has led to one of the busiest Christmas housing markets in a decade, and has underpinned price rises of nearly 4% this year.’
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