Friday, June 18 2004

A new report commissioned by a mortgage provider, has shown that a desire for parks, tree-lined streets and even the smallest of back gardens is now outstripping aspirations to live near trendy bars and restaurants.

The ‘Cappuccino Test’, carried out by The One account, is performed every two years to reveal what makes an area desirable or ‘up and coming’. This year’s results are a stark contrast to those of two years ago, which showed people craved a faster pace of life, wanting to live near upmarket gyms, top High Street brand names, bars and clubs.

The report also showed that the renaming of a neighbourhood to give rustic charm easily sways house hunters, and that ‘celebrity neighbours’ add up to £50,000 value to a property. 53% of those questioned said a ‘village’ tag would make them think more highly of an area.

Property guru Phil Spencer from Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location said: ‘While many people are quitting the big cities for a taste of the country, The One account’s report reveals that hardened townies, determined to stay in the big smoke, are looking for other ways to find their rural idyll.

‘People redressing the work/life balance now dream of escaping to the country – they have decided that fresh air is a commodity worth paying for. Now it’s not only retired people who escape to the country, more and more younger people are choosing to sell up and ship out.’

The One Account