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Wed 5 July 2017
Simon Cooper, Partner of Stags, has noted a growing desire among those searching for West Country property to live within easy reach of the local.
Historically, many buyers preferred to live in a rural location, well away from other people and, more importantly, nowhere near amenities such as shops, schools, pubs or restaurants. This seems to have waned in recent years however and today's buyers believe a better quality of life can be found within walking distance to local facilities.
Despite the boom in online shopping, buyers are becoming more and more aware of the importance of supporting local shops and businesses in order to keep a vibrant community going. In some villages where local facilities have closed or are under threat of closure, villagers have joined forces to create community-run shops and pubs.
While searching for West Country property, being able to allow children to walk or cycle to school is now a definite plus. What's more, although many buyers wouldn't like to admit it, there is a strong attraction to be able to walk down to the local pub on a Friday evening for a drink or two without the worry of driving home.
Other appealing community facilities and events might include village halls where societies and clubs host events, sports grounds such as football, cricket and tennis and places of worship.
Stags agents find that villages that boast these facilities are becoming increasingly popular, while those that might have lost thier local shop or pub are proving less desirable among buyers searching for West Country property. As a result, house prices have altered to reflect this trend.
Good examples of this pattern include the St Leonards area of Exeter, which boasts the Magdalen Road shopping area with shops, restaurants, pubs and a number of schools within walking distance. Villages with good facilities include Silverton, Woodbury, Lympstone, Spreyton and Cheriton Bishop.