View more on these topics

Urban homebuyers seeking rural retreats

Figures from, 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.”


Optoma Broker Solutions appoints Platform to mortgage club panel

Optoma Broker Solutions has appointed Platform Homeloans to its mortgage club panel. Optoma has been packaging for Platform for the last 18 months and will continue with this arrangement. It says since 2003, business has increased 230% with Platform. Andrew Seymour, chairman and chief executive at Optoma, says: “We are thrilled that we can now […]

Lighthouse Group to offer Select & Protect products

IFA firm Lighthouse Group has agreed terms with Select & Protect to offer its products across the Lighthouse company. The deal is effective immediately. Select & Protect&#39s products will be delivered through LighthouseLoan, a new service which provides Lighthouse Group&#39s advisers within Berkeley Woodhouse Associates, Temple Financial Planning and Lighthouse Practices with streamlined access to […]

Capital Home Loans launches buy-to-let tracker

Capital Home Loans has launched a buy-to-let tracker mortgage at Bank base rate plus 0.65% with a completion fee of 0.5%. The lender is targeting the tracker, which is tied to base rate plus 0.65% until June 2007, at landlords who may have been involved in buy-to-let for some years and who require LTVs up […]

Consumers say house prices will carry on rising

The Woolwich yesterday released May figures on consumer confidence in the housing market. The percentage of consumers who expect house prices to increase has soared by 11% already this year from 56% to 67%. These figures are close to the peak levels ever recorded by The Woolwich – when in 2002 confidence peaked at 68%. […]

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Pension freedom: wish you were here?

Out there lies a warm ocean of desert islands, sun, sand and palm trees, where individuals can choose how and when to tax-efficiently access their pension fund and realise the retirement dreams they have worked so hard for.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up