Multidisciplinary architecture and planning firm Urbanist Architecture has reported a surge in enquiries for homes in the countryside, a trend seen as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis, with the practice seeing a 65 per cent increase compared to Quarter 4 of 2019.

The London-based practice is renowned for helping its clients achieve remarkable extensions, conversions and new build homes in the capital, and specialises in handling projects on constrained urban sites, listed buildings or those set within the green belt.

But with the UK population confined to their homes for the majority of 2020, lockdown has caused an increasing number of city dwellers to rethink their current surroundings and yearn for greener pastures and open spaces. This is having a knock-on effect on the property market, and firms such as Urbanist Architecture, which have a proven track record of securing green belt planning permissions and delivering exceptional countryside homes, are witnessing the effects first-hand.

Ufuk Bahar, Managing Director at Urbanist Architecture, comments:

“Prior to COVID-19, around two-thirds of our projects were focused in highly desirable London boroughs such as Westminster, Islington, Camden and Greenwich, with work ranging from extensions to new build homes and flat conversions. Those working in London wanted to build a life in the city and its sought-after Zone 2/3 suburbs, and a fast commute into Zone 1 was, more often than not, a deciding factor when our clients were deciding where to live. Although our team has strong experience in delivering countryside and green belt projects, we could have never predicted the demand we’re seeing now. More and more clients are coming to us looking for large plots of land in truly rural locations, with many deciding to ditch city life and the daily commute for good in the wake of the pandemic.”