London calling: Capital regains prize as most searched-for property location
The allure of the countryside during the pandemic has subsided as searches for homes in London have spiked to their highest levels since going into lockdown.
Cornwall and Devon held the most searched-for locations for several months in 2021, now Brits are looking to head back to the capital, research from online property agent Rightmove suggests.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert said: “This year people searching for their next home have well and truly returned to the capital.”
Searches for homes in London surged 9 per cent compared to last year, while property hunts in Cornwall and Devon declined by 18 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.
The search gap between the urban capital and rural Cornwall and Devon grew to 36 per cent at the end of this year – the highest since 2019 and a stark jump from the 3 per cent gap recorded in 2021.
Despite searches falling for Cornwall and Devon, both locations have still won the second and third spots for the most looked-for locations in the country.
“We started to see the tide turning towards the end of last year, and throughout 2022 a lot of our trends in the market have started to head back towards where they were in 2019″, said Bannister.
Locked inside during the pandemic, 51 per cent of property enquiries by Londoners in 2020 were for homes outside of the city, up 42 per cent recorded in April the previous year.
At the time, Rightmove analyst Miles Shipside said as Brits spent more time cooped up at home, they were “considering not just a new home but also a new location.”
Now, real estate agents are “anticipating a traditional boxing day bounce”, Bannister said.
“We’re hearing from agents that they are getting properties ready for sale to go live on Boxing Day, ready to capture the attention of those beginning their search through to the traditionally busier January period.”