'South West is best' says dream home poll
The South West has topped a wish list as the place most people would like to live if money were no object.
The lure of the longest coastline in Britain and vast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty accounting for more than a third of the region has proved too tempting a proposition for 3,500 homeowners.
A survey by the Internet site Primelocation.com revealed that almost one third of people questioned want to up sticks and move West.
And even if finance were no obstacle, the majority suggested they would be satisfied with a "modest" four or five bedroom property.
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Lawrence Hall, spokesman for Primelocation.com, said: "Forget sprawling mansions or flash penthouses, the quintessential English country house with enough room for a family is what the majority of Brits view as their dream home.
"A quiet rural retreat is preferred to city life and with numerous chocolate-box villages spread across the South West it's little wonder the majority of Brits would position their ideal home there."
For all its problems of low wages, high property prices, poor transport links and a scarcity of highly-skilled full-time jobs, the region continues to score highly in polls measuring well-being and desire to relocate.
The greater region stretching as far as Bristol measures some 9,000 square miles and is home to around five million people.
Datmoor and Exmoor National Parks account for 7% of the surface area and Cornwall alone contains 300 beaches.
The findings of the recent poll suggested that in an ideal world, most people would shun the bright lights of the city, with half of people surveyed aspiring to live in a rural village or a country town and around a fifth choosing a seaside town as the perfect place to live.
They come as the Sunday Times named Topsham and Totnes, in Devon, and Truro and Wadebridge in Cornwall among its Best Places to Live in Britain. And The Times named Totnes as one of the 30 "coolest places in Britain".
Just one in seven of the 3,500 homeowners surveyed said they would live in London, despite house prices holding up relatively strongly.
Victorian and Edwardian homes are seen as the most desirable properties and a multi-car garage and walk-in wardrobes were also high on people's dream lists.
The website also found that problem neighbours would be the biggest turn-off for people house hunting for their ideal property.
The South West topped the wish list at 30%, followed by the South East, at 25% then London's suburbs and the City, at 7%. These were followed by London's West End and centre, and the East of England, at 6%. Few were drawn by the wild beauty of Wales, at 4%, and the Scottish Highlands and Islands at 3%, with the North East the least attractive proposition, at just 1%.