February 8, 2016
We’ve reported before on the flight of tech firms and other startups from the UK’s cities to the countryside. Now it appears that 2016 will see an acceleration in the exodus, as a consequence of the perfect storm of expensive rents in the cities, falling rural land prices and a growing number of people using technology and improving digital infrastructure to live somewhere they feel they have a more balanced life. That is the striking conclusion of a new survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Royal Agricultural University (RAU) indicates. Over the second half of 2015, non-farmers, such as those starting-up cottage industries, accounted for around 25 per cent of rural land sales. This figure was up from just 18 per cent in the first half of 2015, according to the RICS/RAU Rural Land Market Survey H2 2015 and the trend was strongest in South East England where non-farmers accounted for 32 per cent of all sales.