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The over-60s are retreating to rural areas

Results of a Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) survey of tenants who moved during the pandemic have suggested that older people have become more likely to move to the countryside whilst younger people are more often choosing to live in towns. 

Of the 1,300-plus tenants who said they moved during the six months up to January 2021, the proportion of respondents aged between 60 and 75 now living in rural areas increased by 9 percentage points (pp) (from 30% to 39%).

The proportion of tenants in the same age group living in towns decreased by 7pp (from 45% to 38%) and in city centres by 4pp (from 7% to 3%).

Conversely, the proportion of 18-35 year-olds saying that they are now renting property in towns increased by 5pp (45% to 50%), with the proportion falling by 2pp in rural areas from 15% to 13%, and the number of 18-22 year-olds living in rural areas falling the sharpest (from 13% to 6%).

Matt Trevett, managing director at The DPS, said: “The lifting of Government restrictions on house moves following the first 2020 lockdown led to significant shifts across renting demographics as respondents reassessed their needs during the second half of the year.”

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