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Brits prefer country living to city life, research shows

Some 18% of relocating Brits are more than twice as likely to move to the country than the city, according to new homebuyer research from AA Financial Services.

With house prices high in London – and reports suggesting that there are currently more sellers than buyers in the capital’s housing market – AA’s research suggests that more people are bailing out of the bustling city for a better quality of life in the country.

Under-25s weres the only exception to the rule, with 18% claiming they would move to the city compared to 9% who favoured moving to the country. Some 13% of over-35s find a move to the country far more appealing, while 3% would rather move to the city.

The main factors behind wanting to move were work related, being in a good school catchment area, being near family and being in a safer area with lower levels of crime.

Such factors become more vital with age. For over-55s, 31% claimed a move to the country is the reason behind moving house, with just 1% wanting to move to the city.

As 8% of British adults are planning to move house in the next six months – with an average budget of £320,726 – AA asked people what the top reasons were behind their decision to move home. Just 11% of people were planning to move for financial reasons and as an opportune time to make money on the property.

However, work was the top factor behind a house or flat move for 22% of people, and was especially pivotal for 42% of under-25s marking a start in their careers. This was followed by lifestyle factors such as moving to the country, having children, being closer to family and the desire to live in a cheaper area.

What’s more, many people were looking to free up money through a house move. Some 15% of respondents said they wanted to move to a cheaper area and 13% were looking to downsize property in order to free up some capital.

David Searle, director of AA Financial Services, said that the UK has long been known as a ‘green and pleasant’ land, which is playing out today with the property market.

“It really is time for the industry to look beyond London and better understand what is happening in the regions,” he added. “Whilst our research shows London is the most popular place to move to, this is driven by young people, many of whom are renters or would struggle to get on the property market in the Capital.”

With many anticipating a further rise in interest rates, Searle recommends that those moving home shop around for the best possible mortgage deal.

“At AA Financial Services we have recently launched a range of competitive mortgage products that sit alongside our personal loans business and we encourage those looking for a loan to come to us to see if we can beat the deal they have been offered,” he concluded.

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