Property prices in rural parts of the UK are rising fast driven by the digital revolution, recent Covid restrictions and historically low interest rates. According to information published on the 14th of July 2021, property prices have risen sharply across the United Kingdom, increasing by more than 15% in the year to May in the Northwest of England including North Wales, Lancashire, Cumbria, and Cheshire.
Official figures obtained by Lancashire digital marketing agency, Piranha Digital reveals property prices also rose at a rapid rate across Scotland, throughout Wales and other desirable areas of Northeast England. According to publicly available information, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the average UK home cost £255,000 in May. That was £23,000 more than the typical value a year earlier. The 10% rise was the fastest rate for 14 years.
According to Paul Airey marketing director at piranha digital, the steep rises in property values have been driven by 3 very distinct factors. firstly, the work from home guidance from the UK government has forced many employees to adopt home working and many of these have enjoyed the ability to work from home and avoid the daily commute. In many cases, this has meant that homeowners are looking to move to larger properties with an extra bedroom that can be converted into an office. This jump from a typical 3-bedroom home to a 4-bedroom house naturally pushed up the average purchase cost of a home. This has been reflected in the new build strategy of many regional builders who have turned their attentions from builder inner city apartment blocks to 3- and 4-bedroom rural houses.
The second factor is low interest rates. With money earning nothing in the bank, more and more investors are putting their money into the UK residential property market. Specifically, first time investors are buying properties in holiday hotspots such as the Lake District, Cornwall and North Wales and renting out homes to holiday makers as self-contained holiday rentals. In recent months over 80% of properties purchased in parts of Cumbria have been bought for either the holiday letting market or for second/holiday homes. Weekly income for a holiday home in parts of the Lake District can average over £1,000 per week which is over five times more than the typically £700 pcm for a residential let for the same property.
The final factor pushing up prices so fast is the acceleration of the digital revolution. The ability to work from home has never been easier and occupations such as digital marketing, website design or consultancy work does not have to be done from a city centre office. The government and tech companies have pledged to spend more on providing high speed internet connections to rural communities opening up areas of the country not traditionally thought of as destinations for website design services. When you combine the work from home guidance, low interest rates and the digital revolution its little wonder that city dwellers are leaving our southern cities in search of more space and freedom in areas such as Preston, Cumbria or North Wales where house prices have traditionally been significantly lower due to lower wages and poorer career prospects, something not affected if it doesn’t matter where you work from anymore.