House prices jump in towns as buyers choose urban living again

House prices in British towns and cities have risen sharply as buyers choose urban living again.
Analysis from Halifax found demand for homes in urban areas was the driving force behind the rapid house price inflation earlier in the year compared to that of more rural locations.
Since the start of the year, house prices in major towns and cities have gone up by 9.2% whereas outside those areas, the increase was 7.9% over the same period.
In the past two years, the impact of the pandemic on peoples’ lifestyles drove stronger house price growth in suburban and rural areas as buyers looked for larger homes and those with more outdoor space.
In contrast built up areas, smaller properties and those further from green spaces became less popular amongst buyers.
However, this trend went into reverse as people began to return to the office this year.
Sheldon Bosley Knight’s head of residential sales and marketing, James Morton said: “We’ve seen first hand how buyers during the pandemic went from being urban dwellers to favouring a more rural lifestyle with more space both in and out of the home. This fuelled demand and forced prices up in these locations.
“These figures from Halifax suggest a change in priorities for buyers now as life settles into a new normal. House price growth in more rural areas is still strong and we are certainly seeing a continued desire for buyers to have space for a home office as well as a bit more outdoor space.
“That said, now people are spending more time in the office again, they don’t want the big commute anymore and so by living closer to the towns and cities where the jobs are, has become more attractive again.
“This in turn has allowed prices to start rising in cities and towns again.”