Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Breath of Fresh Air; Londoners Moving out of Town for a New Start Are Bringing Style and Prosperity to Rural Areas, Says Anthea Masey

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Breath of Fresh Air; Londoners Moving out of Town for a New Start Are Bringing Style and Prosperity to Rural Areas, Says Anthea Masey

Article excerpt

THANKS to the boom in London house prices, which have tripled in 10 years, many

Londoners are now sitting on a fortune and being tempted to sell up and move to the country, where money goes a lot further. Some are turning entrepreneur, using new-found wealth to buy run-down pubs and guesthouses and turn them into lucrative businesses, or convert neglected outbuildings into studios, art galleries or holiday letting cottages.

The influx of London money may have driven up country prices but it is also bringing new prosperity and jobs to often depressed rural areas..

new prosperity and jobs to often depressed rural areas.

Mark McAndrew at estate agent Strutt & Parker says there is a constant exodus of Londoners to the countryside.

"The most popular houses are those that need work. The houses people are selling in London are usually done up to a very high standard and people want a country house on which they can impose their own style.

"We tell country house-sellers to give their houses a good tidy up and make sure the gardens look nice; but to avoid making major changes because these will often be ripped out by the incoming buyers." McAndrew says that interesting projects in the country are difficult to find. "They are few and far between, and you take a risk if you buy a house with outbuildings in the expectation that you will be able to convert them.

"Planning permission isn't always forthcoming. Most estate agents now advise sellers to obtain planning permission before they sell their property. He also warns of the possibility of a new tax on planning gains.

"The Government has recently completed its consultation on a new tax known as the Planning Gain Supplement (PGS). This will be raised at the moment only a small percentage is proposed on the increase in the value of land when planning permission is obtained. …

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