Tag Archive: counterurbanisation

Moving to the Country?

When we move house, what are we really looking for… is it a place to live or a place to work, a house or a community, a home or a lifestyle? It’s probably all these things and more.

Understanding the needs of rural communities and their businesses is a key priority as the nation emerges from the worst impacts of COVID-19. George F. White are pleased to be supporting researchers at Northumbria University and the University of East Anglia who are investigating what attracts people to smaller towns and rural areas. Plenty of what we have around here! Watsons, based in Norfolk but with offices up the east coast is also partnering with the project to encourage local homebuyers to take part.

If you are searching for a new home, or you have moved within the last year, you can assist in this ground-breaking research by completing a special survey designed to help you think about what you really want from your new home.

It should take about 10 minutes to complete and you can access it here: https://northumbria.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/move-to-the-country

Researchers are investigating how changing migration choices are influencing these rural communities. Analysis of data from the past decade shows that rural areas which attract new residents in their 20s and 30s also see more business start-ups. This suggests that the recent growth in demand for rural living and new ways of working in the wake of the COVID pandemic might launch a new wave of rural businesses – but which areas are best placed to benefit? The research seeks to understand what makes different rural places attractive and how we make housing choices from the information available to us.

So-called “counterurbanisation”, the movement of people from cities to rural areas, has been part of the UK housing market since the middle of the last century. In other countries, the lure of rural living has ebbed and flowed but here in the UK, it has been a continuing trend. The countryside holds a particular place in British culture. We cherish the timeless landscapes, natural beauty and traditional virtues of rural community life, but can this romantic vision of the countryside also offer a dynamic location for new businesses?

The attractiveness of living in the country has increased commuting, increased rural house-building and pushed up rural house prices in many of the more accessible and picturesque rural areas, but the impact of population growth for local economies has been mixed. In rural Britain today we have some of the wealthiest and some of the poorest people.  We have well-connected, well-served communities with diverse business populations but also internet “not-spots”, pockets of hidden deprivation and villages and towns that are losing their business centres.

The survey is part of an England-wide research project but the study has focused on case studies in County Durham and Norfolk. George F. White with offices across the North has been helping individuals and families buy, sell and rent properties across the region for over 40 years. Assisting with this study will allow us to understand our customers and their motivations better.

If you wish to find out more information, please contact Professor Gary Bosworth directly https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/about-us/our-staff/b/gary-bosworth/

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