A £6m-plus collection of new homes on the edge of James Herriot country in North Yorkshire is benefiting from a post-COVID spike in demand for a blend of both home and office working.
Leeds-based Oakapple Homes started to bring to life its latest development in the village of Rainton, between the market towns of Ripon, Boroughbridge and Thirsk, amid the pandemic.
It designed and future-proofed the properties to reflect this new home-buying trend, as more city dwellers escape to the country.
As they were launched to market, no fewer than 12 of the 15 homes at Robinson’s Fold were sold.
According to David Waddington, director of Land and New Homes at appointed agents, Linley & Simpson, this is another clear signal of the increasing popularity of rural living and home working.
“All the evidence, as well as our own research, highlight that flexible working patterns are very much here to stay,” he said.
“No longer is working from home a novelty – it’s now very much a growing lifestyle choice.
“One of the hallmarks of the development is that the majority of the properties incorporate a home office and super-fast broadband in response to this.”
He added: “In Yorkshire and across the UK, COVID-19 has rebooted the property market. One of the few positives of the pandemic is that it has catapulted the idea of home-working from the edge of employment activity, into the mainstream.
“Homebuyers increasingly tell us that they are lulled by the idea of spending only seconds getting behind their desk, instead of being stuck in traffic jams.
“This has further strengthened the appeal of Robinson’s Fold and is a prime reason behind why it has been such an early sales success story.
“The fact that Rainton, close to the junction of the A1 and A168, is such a quintessential English village, complete with cricket club, village green and maypole, and pub, only adds to its attraction.”
Philip Taylor, Oakapple group chairman, said: “Recent events have made us all reflect on what is important in our lives.
“A sense of community, work-life balance, and the need for open space away from the crowd are at the forefront of our minds.
“Oakapple has responded by ensuring these houses are designed to support people who in ever-increasing numbers are choosing to limit their commutes to and from the office, and work more from home.”
The remaining three plots at Robinson’s Fold have asking prices starting at £585,000. The development is poised for completion by summer.