London was 2021’s most searched for destination by potential buyers, property site Rightmove has shared.
The capital beat Cornwall, which had piqued buyers’ interests earlier in the year.
However, a desire to escape to the countryside was clear in the difference in total number of searches between London and Cornwall. The difference was just three per cent, compared to a gap of 2 per cent in 2020, and 49 per cent in 2019.
John Ennis, Foxtons managing director for central London & new homes, said it was “not surprising” that at the start of the year, during a “lengthy lockdown,” people were looking to escape to the coast and countryside.
He added: “As restrictions fell away and the vaccine roll-out provided reassurance for international buyers, momentum returned to London with buyers and sellers exhibiting a strong appetite to transact.”
Investment and regeneration in London is expected to boost London’s market, with Ennis pointing to “Vauxhall and Nine Elms through to the areas surrounding the Excel, City Airport and soon-to-launch Crossrail.”
The market would also be boosted by growing demand for “well-located houses with vertical living and private outside space,” Ennis explained.
“London has never really lost its appeal in the first place,” Guy Gittins, CEO of Chestertons told CityA.M.
“No doubt, there are former Londoners who left the city altogether and are now eager to return to the capital but, based on our observation, this demographic hasn’t been the driving force behind the capital’s buoyant property market,” he added.
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, added: “The pandemic induced trend whereby homebuyers left London for greener pastures has been largely romanticised over the last 12 to 18 months, but it was never going to prove a long term lifestyle change once restrictions eased and we moved back to the workplace.”
Rhos On Sea in Wales was named 2021’s buyer search hotspot, with searches for the coastal town increasing more than nine times (up 858 per cent) compared to 2020.