Lockdown house hunting reveals top ten lifestyle locations

Overgates Farmhouse

Life in lockdown reveals almost 25% are thinking of moving in the next couple of years

Working from home without the stress of a commute and time to surf the internet has revealed that almost 25% of people are thinking of moving in the next two years – with a top ten wish list that focuses on Northern England. Davidson & Robertson have been speaking to potential buyers who are looking at lifestyle properties in Scotland and Northern England.

According to a survey from online mortgage broker Trussle, nearly a quarter of UK adults are considering relocating in the next couple of years.  As house hunting became a top lockdown pastime, the Lake District has been named as one of top 10 places people are thinking of moving to – ranked number four on the list, behind Cornwall, Devon and Yorkshire.

Chris Edmunds, D&R Director based in their Cockermouth office said “The lockdown, aided by the digital age and ‘time on your hands’ has led some to reconsider their lifestyle and their future property ambitions.

“At the start of this year, demand for lifestyle property in Cumbria and the Lakes continued to be steady, especially those with manageable amounts of land and well located with good access. As a firm we have been acting for buyers and sellers of open market and privately available property and last year, saw offers averaging 28% over asking price for all properties sold.

“Row Farm at Cleator is a prime example  – the 15-acre smallholding attracted very strong interest from lifestyle buyers in West Cumbria and was sold for 15% over the guide price with a strong number of offers at closing date and a large amount of viewings.

“After these unprecedented times, new enquiries are now coming in for property that sit within a few hours of major cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle.  In the last couple of weeks alone, we’ve had calls from potential buyers looking for rural properties in Cumbria, Northumberland and Dumfries & Galloway. The desire to relocate is unlikely to be short term, and moving forward, digital connectivity is going to become more important so they can cut their commute and work from home. Connectivity is something we’re always asked about and it’s improving all the time across the Lake District, but we also check when assessing properties for sale.

“Since Covid-19 and the lockdown, some people working from home are appreciating the benefits. It’s not just reducing time and cost of a commute; it’s about reducing stress and improving the work/life balance. Working from home has significant gains and there is an enthusiasm for spending more time outdoors, with its associated physical and mental health benefits.

“It is often said that you cannot buy time however you can buy a property with the opportunity to give you more time. With a glimpse of life working from home, there are greater prospects for lifestyle properties right across the North of England and Scotland – we see that as being a key motivator for moving further afield.”

The key characteristics to consider for buyers and sellers of rural lifestyle properties in the future now include:

  • Connectivity: internet speeds, mobile phone reception
  • Office space: accommodation that provides an office without compromising bedrooms or living space. If not possible, are there opportunities to convert outbuildings or space for an outdoor office
  • Outdoor space: garden space for raised beds, greenhouse, orchard, entertaining and relaxing
  • Land: possibility to have a pony paddock and stables, hens, or sheep
  • Buildings: opportunity to repurpose old buildings for personal use or ability to convert, subject to obtaining necessary consents, to generate a second income

D&R believe the market in 2020 will remain competitive – they are already seeing the signs as they begin acting act for new buyers and sellers as the lockdown lifts.

Chris concluded “For those considering selling in 2020 but are holding off because of Brexit and Covid-19 uncertainty, we would advise to start planning now and engage with an Agent, so you are ready when the time is right. It is especially important that those looking to buy, do register interest, because, for well-located and accessible properties, competition is likely to be strong. We have a number of these lined up to bring to the market in the coming weeks and a list of requests for property appraisals.”

Chris Edmunds heads up sales and agency work in Northern England and Southern Scotland. To find out more about the North of England property market, call Chris on 01900 268633 or email CE@drrural.co.uk

  1. SOLD: Row Farm Smallholding, Cleator, Cumbria. Secluded but close to amenities, this smallholding of just under 15 acres attracted very strong interest from numerous lifestyle buyers in West Cumbria and sold last year for 15% over a Guide price of £375,000
  2. FOR SALE: Overgates smallholding, Mealsgate. A versatile small holding with traditional 5-bedroom farmhouse and wide range of agricultural buildings that lends itself to varied uses and also suited to equestrian and lifestyle buyers. Extending to approximately 12.90 acres (5.22ha) and set in an attractive rural location with exceptional views over Criffel and the Solway Firth. Located just outside the Lake District National Park with close links to Cockermouth and Wigton.
  3. FOR SALE: Broughton Knowe: A magnificent country property comprising a spacious 3/4-bedroom dwelling, traditional stone outbuildings, general purpose sheds and land extending to approximately 13.79 acres in all. Situated in the Scottish Borders Broughton Knowe is suited to both equestrian and lifestyle buyers Broughton-Knowe
  4. FOR SALE: Preliminary notice: Burnfoothill Farm, Eaglesfield, Lockerbie, extending to around 120acres including 3-bedroom farmhouse and steading with excellent access to M74.


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