Pandemic triggers sharp rise in design and build projects, as Londoners flee to the country

Design and build firm Oakbridge Bespoke has reported a significant rise in enquiries from families looking to create their own properties, rather than buy existing homes. Many of those seeking to escape to their own bespoke country pile are fleeing London, as the pandemic continues to make life in the capital far less desirable than it used to be.

Knight Frank has reported the country market delivering its best performance in over six years. As buyers prioritise space, solitude and greenery like never before, London is losing out to the surrounding countryside in a major way. The number of offers accepted outside the capital were 37% up on the five-year average at the end of 2020.

The top end of the market has seen the strongest levels of activity, with Savills reporting that sales of properties costing £1 million and above were up by 48% compared with 2019.

Designing and building your own home can deliver some serious savings when compared to remodelling an existing property.

There’s no VAT payable on new build homes, creating plenty of scope for savings. Add to this the fact that buyers can add in anything they wish from wellness areas and entertainment spaces, to dedicated home working suites and the design and build process becomes increasingly attractive.
For Oakbridge Bespoke, what has been interesting of late is that the age of those looking to exchange city life for the space of country living has jumped down. The firm used to work largely with clients in their 40s; now, it is families in their 30s who are increasing looking connect with the natural environment and raise their young families in an environment that counters our intense digital connectivity.

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