But that trend has gone into overdrive during the last year, first speeding up in May 2020 as the property market opened up again following the initial coronavirus lockdown, and seeing a fresh boost with every subsequent raft of Covid restrictions.
Last summer, Rightmove published data showing that enquiries from city residents about village homes rose by 126 per cent on the previous year in June and July; city-dwellers in Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham and London topped the list of those dreaming of a rural life.
London in particular is seeing something of an exodus. A year ago, 39 per cent of house hunters in London were inquiring about properties outside the capital. This has since jumped up to over half (52 per cent), and London is no longer the most searched-for location in the UK, having been overtaken by Cornwall.
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Whatever your reasons for wanting to live in a farmhouse – and wherever you’re from – there are plenty of them in our area, although not many of them are currently on the market, and those that are are attracting plenty of interest.
The following properties, which are all in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are three of the few, and agents say they have been “flooded” with interest in them, so if you want one, you’d better act quickly.
Roundhill Farm is a 17th-century Grade ll listed country house on Greenhow Hill, above Pateley Bridge. It has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen and breakfast room, laundry room, three reception rooms, music room, and large media room. A self-contained leisure wing in a converted attached barn has an entertainment room, bar and large bedroom upstairs, above a kitchen, gym, swim-spa, shower, and changing rooms. Outside, there’s detached garaging with workshop and greenhouse, plus 40 acres of land, with lake and extensive woodland.
For more hands-on buyers, Knott Farm is a productive small farm of around 50 acres, near Kirkby Malzeard. The farmhouse has three bedrooms, a bathroom, entrance hall, kitchen, utility room, two reception rooms and attached, potentially convertible, stone-built barn. There’s parking, gardens and outbuildings for livestock and storage. The surrounding farmland is all registered with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).
Finally, Birka Carr Farm, near Risplith, has roots dating to 1280. It has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, hall, open-plan kitchen/sitting room, utility room, study and three reception rooms. Along with three barns, one of them Grade II listed, it sits in over two acres of gardens, woodland and paddocks with un-spoilt views over open countryside.