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Urban homebuyers seeking rural retreats

Figures from SmartNewHomes.com, the online new homes specialist, has revealed a strong pattern of exodus from the UK&#39s built up areas, as homebuyers increasingly look to move to rural regions.

SmartNewHomes&#39 Demand Index and Migration Monitor shows large numbers of homebuyers are looking to move out of London and the South-East and into the South-West and East Anglia. Other areas experiencing migration include the North West and west Midlands &#45 regions characterised by industrial centres such as Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool. In contrast, Yorkshire and Humberside and the East Midlands are seeing an influx of homebuyers, with similar numbers moving into Wales, Scotland and the North.

SmartNew Homes says homebuyers heading out to the South-West, Yorkshire and Scotland may be looking for a rural retreat but they are tightening their purse strings as they do so, as demand prices in these areas decreased by around 3% from a year ago. The South-East is now the most expensive area in the country, as East Anglia joined its neighbours London and the South-East at the top of the price chart. Prices in East Anglia rose by a massive 19.4% over the last year, matched only by the 26% seen in Wales.

The index also looks at the average price homebuyers are willing to pay for new properies, rising 1.4% to £219,193 last month, an increase of 4.7% from the same time last year. Demand prices in the second quarter of 2004 showed resilience in their recovery from the seasonal dip at the start of 2004, indicating that buyers are still finding the means to fund more expensive homes, underpinned by full employment and growing incomes. Excluding the peaks at the end of 2003, homebuyers are now willing to pay more than ever before for a new property.

David Bexon, chief executive of SmartNewHomes, says: “This month&#39s index clearly shows that more people are valuing quality of life in their life decisions. We are seeing more homebuyers moving out of the cities to escape the daily grind of urban exhaustion for the benefit of their families and their health. Additionally, as the demand price for new homes continues to increase, it is clear that homebuyers are willing to pay more for a quality new home.”

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