With the Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns causing people to seek more spacious homes, coupled with the reduced need to commute to a workplace every day, demand for country-living is on the up.
But does a rural property purchase mean you can’t benefit from buying new?
Research from Warwick Estates has uncovered the best rural UK locations for homebuyers wanting to combine a life in the country with a new-build property.
While new-build developments are far more prevalent in urban areas there are several rural living locations that also benefit from a healthy stock of new-build homes – nowhere more so than Bishop’s Waltham in Hampshire.
The Medieval market town has one foot in the South Downs national park, making it an ideal location for rural living. At the same time, 25% of its available properties are new builds, making it the most generously populated new build rural area in the UK.
Second on the list is Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. The Welsh housing market is experiencing a significant boom at the moment, and with new builds accounting for 22% of the Cowbridge market, it’s an ideal location for those wanting a rural life in a new build home.
Next comes Ripon, North Yorkshire, where new builds account for 18% of the current stock, followed by Wallingford, Oxfordshire and Ledbury, Herefordshire, in both of which new builds make up 17% of the market.
At 16% was Chichester in West Sussex, Wells in Somerset, and Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, while Alnwick in Northumberland and Leamington Spa in Warwickshire new-build stock accounts for 14% of properties currently on the market.
Meanwhile, in Woodbridge, Suffolk, 11% of the market is made up of new builds, and in Beverley East, East Yorkshire, it’s 10%.
Bethan Griffiths, chief operating officer of Warwick Estates, comments: “Demand for country living has incentivised many developers and local authorities to create more homes in places where historically there have been few.”
“We saw this trend beginning before the pandemic, but now the process has been expedited and more new-build developments will be popping up in rural areas in the coming months and years.”
She adds: “As of today, though, there is already a good choice of a new-build purchase in some very popular and very beautiful rural locations across the UK. For a stunning spot like Bishop’s Waltham to have new builds accounting for 25% of its housing stock is remarkable and offers buyers a great level of choice.”
“It shows that, when designed tastefully, and located tactfully, new build developments can help small regional economies thrive without jeopardising the beauty and serenity that makes these places so desirable in the first place.”