A spike in Londoners looking to buy properties outside the capital is fuelling interest in the shires, and boosting prices.
Upmarket residential property specialists Fine & Country is seeing a sustained trend of Londoners looking to relocate or buy a second home.
It is driven by the twin reasons of Covid-fear and the realisation that working from home is becoming more common.
One such property attracting particular interest hasn’t even yet been built, but the plot is located in an ideal location.
The one-acre site is in Crowborough, East Sussex, and has permission for a stunning property.
Being close to London yet outside the M25 it has the necessary components that are attracting interest.
And due to the property not yet built, any new owner can fashion it how he wants, adding to its attraction.
Katie Powney, from Fine & Country, said: “There is definitely an upsurge in people in London looking at properties outside the capital.
“Some are relocating because they believe their working lives will become home-based, and others feel the need to own a second property in case they have to flee London due to a Covid outbreak.
“While we have no figures for this trend, anecdotal evidence is strong and while it doesn’t represent wide-scale flight from the capital it represents a shift.
“It also means that prices are rising due to the increasing level of demand. Properties outside London, but within an easy commute, are the ones being targeted.
“The land in Crowborough is an example of something that has attracted a great deal of interest.
“It is situated in a countryside location, at the end of a cul de sac within an area of outstanding natural beauty, next to Ashdown Forest and with views across to the South Downs.
“The railway station is close by with a service to London Bridge that takes 62 minutes.
“Plans show a three storey home over 8,000 square feet with five bedrooms and four reception rooms – and not having been built it is adaptable to the buyer’s own taste and specification.
“It is being offered with a guide price £1.5m – a value that will necessarily increase sharply when the property is built.
“Whether this trend will be short-term or long-term is hard to say.”