Demand for rural lifestyles will boost buyers and builders in 2021, says boss
- 18 Dec 20
A housebuilding managing director with more than 30 years’ experience in the industry says he is expecting even higher buyer demand in 2021 as more people look to move out to rural locations – which is good news for both the local housing markets and economies. Dave Farley, of Vistry Western – which includes Bovis and Linden Homes – said the company was well-placed to meet demand for out-of-town locations, green spaces and properties with space to home-work and raise families, with several sites around the edge of Bristol and Bath, plus rural locations in Somerset and Wiltshire. Vistry Group has seen higher demand for new-builds with home offices and good-size gardens over the past six months and locations like Orchard Grove in Comeytrowe and Longhedge Village in Salisbury are ideally placed to continue to meet this demand. Dave, who lives near Wells, said: “We’re really well placed at Vistry Western because we have a lot of locations out-of-town or just on the edge of town. People seem now to be looking to work and live outside of towns and cities and they want to be in more rural locations with their families. But they may also need to commute into the city and so don’t want to be too far away. “We’ve got four or five sites around the edge of Bristol and Bath and they couldn’t be better placed to deliver for our customers in that regard. The same goes for our Taunton location when that starts, on the edge of town within commuting distance. We’re in a really good position to take advantage of that trend and we’re definitely seeing people wanting home studies and decent gardens, to enjoy an out-of-town lifestyle. “Our new location, Comeytrowe in Taunton, will also be both Bovis and Linden Homes branded. From a business perspective I always get excited about big sites that are going to last a long time. Combining that with a couple of other large locations, like the one in Salisbury, gives us a strong foundation in the region. When you have developments which have an eight to ten-year lifespan, people can build a career in Vistry by being part of the business. “There’s a massive number of people involved in our industry, not just ancillary colleagues, but the subcontractors and suppliers, and so if we can keep delivering as a housebuilding business, it will help to drive the economy and investment. Vistry will always be a business that pushes forward and keeps investing and performing.” Work started on Orchard Grove in September, kicking off a project that will span the next decade and see new homes, amenities and public green space created. The vision behind the 2,000-home development is to create a unique new ‘garden community’, with two vibrant neighbourhoods connected by shared amenities and abundant outdoor space. Responsible for delivering this vision is a consortium of leading housebuilders – including Vistry, which will be working on this project as a joint venture with South West housing association, LiveWest. Dave joined Bovis Homes 15 years ago and is a qualified chartered accountant. He lives with his wife Jacky and two daughters Jess, 13, and Ellie, 11.