Cheshire: Who Stays, Who Goes?
PUBLISHED: 12:10 29 May 2015 | UPDATED: 11:37 14 July 2015
What goes on, and who goes where?
In the last musing Cheshire: A County for Life?, I delved into the history of this wonderful county and the reasons as to why people might want to move here. Whilst sitting on a train meandering past canals, fields of cows, tractors at work and pockets of both red-stone and black-and-white timber framed houses, I began to wonder about who really lives here? Had people handed property and farmland down through the generations, or was Cheshire a hot-bed of buyers coming in from all over the UK and ‘snapping up’ property and living the bucolic dream with second homes away from the cities? What jobs do people do, and how far do they travel? If they want to move away, where to they go? Who moves in, who moves out? Where do they come from: down the road, from the other side of the county - or from the other side of the country? Are buyers young and sellers older or is it the other way round? What kind of houses do people have on their wish list here? Have I always been this nosy?
So many questions and how was I going to find accurate – and interesting - answers? I thought I could try a straw poll on the streets of Cheshire towns – but really: who stops for somebody with a clipboard in a town centre… I went where I should have gone at the outset, to our Research Team. At the flick of a button, I had reams of relevant figures and the core of this month’s writing.
I have a confession – I do like a survey that gives results as charts and percentages! So at the time of writing, I am in heaven… and the first fact that emerges is that Cheshire is such a fantastic place to live that essentially once people are here, they don’t really want to go anywhere else! The bulk of the figures show most people stay in their houses for over 10 years – and 17% of them for 30+ years.
This is backed up by the results shown for the age of people selling their houses – a whopping 61.8% are between 50-70 years old. This may explain the percentages given for the reasons people put their homes on the market – the top two are downsizing and sadly, probably linked to this, death.
And where do people go once they’ve sold in Cheshire: do they go to experience life in another part of the UK? Do they move abroad to sunnier climes? They – on the whole – do not! Over 70% of those who sell a Cheshire property stay in Cheshire, and who could blame them! We have culture and we have countryside, we have shopping and we have Sandstone trails, we have horse racing and we have history.
Over half the people who want to buy in Cheshire come in the 30-50 year old bracket. Their jobs are a mixture of Finance, Public Sector, Tradesmen and women, and Professional Services (consultancy, legal, marketing, advertising) and, of course, Agriculture. Over three quarters of homeowners look for – and find – a home local to their place of work. But even if you do have to commute, the scenery is stunning!
What really is fascinating is how many people who are moving are coming to look at properties in the same area in which they live already - 37% of our buyers. They are mostly looking for a house, or a house/farm with land, with 91% of purchasers making it their primary home. I think that those who live in Cheshire would agree that the community spirit in the picturesque villages in which we live is high – we are lucky in that our county is not one full of cottages full during “high days and holidays” only. There is plenty of building going on in our fair county and developments on the go in our towns – but there is history to be found in the gorgeous period properties that we can – only on a bad day – take for granted, just because we’re lucky enough to be able to see so many of them.
From our office, we can see typical Tudor black & white buildings, the Sandstone walls (if you’re looking out of the top floor window with your head at a slightly peculiar angle admittedly), new brick buildings and renovated period properties – and that is just in one street of Chester. Where else would we rather be?
I know “The Chester Office of Strutt & Parker” is not your typical ‘buyer’ – but just to emphasise the point: we have moved about 3 times in the last 65 years… all within 15 miles of where we first started: we, like most Cheshire-ites, wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!
Open House Day 10am-4pm Saturday 13th June 2015
Strutt & Parker, 37 Lower Bridge Street, Chester CH1 1RS 01244 354855