Huge City bonuses to lift rural market

The majority of prime property hotspots during 2006 will be outside of London as high earners look to land rural retreats, new research suggests.

The majority of prime property hotspots during 2006 will be outside of London as high earners look to land rural retreats, new research suggests.

The survey, for Country Life magazine, expects 2006 to be a strong year for properties at the top end of the market as some of the leading city workers - who can receive seven-figure bonuses - look to invest in bricks and mortar.

City workers will be looking either at locations within commutable distance of London - which puts Norfolk firmly on the map - or may opt to work in London during the week and travel home at weekends.

Others may hang on to their homes close to the capital but seek out somewhere to get away from it all for weekends and holidays - and that could mean renting retreats as well as buying them.


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The growth of the internet had led to a new generation of high earners, such as investment bankers and hedge fund managers, being able to be based outside of London.

This had fuelled demand for property that is not within commutable distance of the capital.

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Estate agents are already reporting a surge in demand on the back of some workers' bonus expectations, with some buyers looking at properties worth three times as much as their current home - with prices running into millions.

At the same time estate agents are also predicting there will be strong demand for homes priced around the £1 million mark from so-called mid-bonus workers.

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