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House prices rise as COVID-19 sparks rural relocation

The BBC and Independent have reported that house prices in the South West of England have risen the fastest in the country in the last year as homeowners have sought to purchase properties away from big cities due to the pandemic

House prices rose by 6.4 per cent in the year to the end of September, compared with a UK average rise of 4.7 per cent, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported.

As demand has shifted, rents in London fell for the eighth consecutive month while the North and South West of England recorded the biggest gains at 5.9 per cent for the year.

The pandemic has led some people to move to more rural locations, with detached homes rose in price by 6.7 per cent in a year. The annual price rise recorded in the South West of England in September was also double the level seen in the region the previous month.

The growth was driven by rural areas which saw rents rise 5.5 per cent while rents in cities fell by 5.3 per cent. The average rent for a country property let last month was £919, while average city rents were £1,336.

The reports state that the opportunity to work from home has meant that tenants can save while paying less rent in more rural areas, and as a result, the gap between rents in cities and the countryside is closing.

Full articles:

The BBC - House prices rise as Covid sparks rural relocation

Independent - Central London rents fall 15% while rural areas rise as city dwellers seek more space

Property Wire - Demand for homes in rural areas rises due to the pandemic

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