Searches for homes in the Cotswolds more than doubled during the second half of 2020, according to a property website.
Between June and November 2020, searches for properties located in the Cotswolds increased by 102% compared with the same period in 2019, Rightmove said.
The area encompasses swathes of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
Within the Cotswolds, Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire recorded the biggest annual increase in buyer searches, at 109.5%, followed by Burford in Oxfordshire (82.3%) and Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire (68.5%).
Buyers’ interest in Cotswolds-based properties significantly outstripped the national average.
Buyer searches across Britain generally increased by 50% during the same timeframe, reflecting pent-up demand being released after the initial lockdown in early 2020.
Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire was also identified as the location where house sellers’ asking prices increased the most in the Cotswolds in 2020, Rightmove said.
The market town, which has independent shops and a heritage centre, recorded an asking price jump of 14.8%, or £38,290, compared with 2019.
Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “The headline market trend to emerge from 2020 was a huge jump in demand for rural areas and countryside living, and the Cotswolds ticks pretty much every box for home movers seeking an escape to the country.
“As a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, brimming with endless walking trails and tight-knit village communities, the Cotswolds represent much of what we hold dear about the great British outdoors.
“It’s easy to see why the area is a magnet for people looking for a quieter life and with remote working seemingly here to stay for many, I expect the popularity of the Cotswolds will continue to grow this year.”
With its bucolic setting, the Cotswolds has attracted many celebrities over the years, including Kate Moss, Victoria and David Beckham and Jeremy Clarkson.
Rupert Sweeting, a partner in estate agent Knight Frank’s country department, said: “The abundance of well-equipped towns and villages in the Cotswolds means that these urban buyers are able to achieve their dream countryside retreat without having to completely isolate themselves.”
He added that “having the likes of Soho Farmhouse (a hotel and members’ club) and Daylesford Farmshop” while being relatively close to London “is certainly an attraction for many buyers”.