Rural renters may target 'happy' hotspots

by Gary Whittaker

For a range of reasons, a home in the city is more likely to be rented than out in the country. While urban dwellers include more young professionals and students finding their way in their late teens and early 20s, the countryside has an older population, with more properties likely to be second homes or tied with certain jobs.

Nonetheless, where landlords are involved in renting in the countryside, it pays to know which places could attract plenty of people seeking work or simply the good life. Such decisions may be influenced by research, such as the Halifax 2018 Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey.

It put the Orkney Islands at the top of the list of good rural places to live for the second year running, thanks to factors like a high employment rate (87 per cent) and very low levels of crime and anxiety. 

While the Scottish archipelago is not suited to those who would like to rent a home in the countryside and commute into major cities for work, other leading areas on the list will fit the bill. 

Rutland, within easy commuting distance of Leicester and Peterborough, was second on the list, while third was the Worcestershire district of Wychavon, which includes towns in easy travelling distance from Birmingham, such as Droitwich and Evesham. 

The happiest place listed was the district of Craven in North Yorkshire, retaining top spot from 2017. It includes towns like Skipton and Settle, with direct rail links to Leeds and Bradford.  

In the case of Craven, the need for rental accommodation may be more acute than most rural areas, because the district also covers a large part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Around ten per cent of properties within its boundaries have been bought up by second-home owners.

The national park authority recently tried to clamp down on this by levying a higher rate of council tax on second homes, but this could only occur if all eight local authorities whose territory covered part of the national park agreed to the measure.

In the event, Richmondshire - which includes Hawes and Aysgarth - voted against the measure, effectively vetoing the scheme.

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03-April-18Marketing News