Many older metropolitan homebuyers are looking to move away from the towns in which they live in search of the rural idyll, the latest survey from property website assertahome.com has revealed.

According to the survey, 27% of homebuyers in UK towns are looking for property away from larger urban areas, and 10% are moving into the countryside, or ‘greenshifting’.

The research showed that buyers moving from cities to the country are, on average, 40 years old and have well above average incomes, while younger people are less keen on rural life, with half as many under-30s claiming to live in the countryside as over-30s.

Birmingham, Glasgow and London are the least popular cities, according to the survey, with inhabitants looking to move either to a small town within commuting distance, or to entirely rural areas.

People in the West Country are most likely to leave their region, assertahome.com said, because the poor infrastructure, few large population centres and highly seasonal tourist industry make the area a difficult place to start a career. Furthermore, prices in the southwest are currently high compared with the rest of the country, due in part to increased demand for second homes, which is pushing local buyers away.

Jim Buckle, Assertahome’s Managing Director, said: ‘The greenshifters have reached a stage in life where they no longer want the stress of city living. These are wealthier households, where careers are well-established, and for whom quality of life and open space are more important than nightclubs and fifteen types of latté on every street corner.’