New research by real estate company Savills, revealed by The Telegraph, lists the most desirable villages in each ceremonial county, based on the combination of highest house prices, best lifestyle amenities, connectivity and chocolate-box appeal.
With an average house price of £1,055,250, Lurgashall, Lodsworth and the Lickfold Triangle topped the list in West Sussex.
What is the 'posh appeal'?
The survey said The Lurgashall, Lodsworth and Lickfold Triangle stands out as it is within the South Downs National Park, includes a16th-century pub and garden and has 'plenty of restaurants and pubs'.
The article read: "This corner of Sussex, in the footprint of the Blackdown Hills in the South Downs National Park, a triangle of villages, typifies all that is lovely about British country life.
"Locals are spoilt for choice for pubs and restaurants, too. In the district of Chichester, Lurgashall’s Noah’s Ark Inn is a 16th-century pub with a garden. It has a shop, church and campsite and is surrounded by farms."
Kingston-near-Lewes, which is based one mile from South Downs Way, made the cut due to its; yoga, bridge and whiskey tastings; 'green’ community; classic country pub and The Juggs, a country pub.
"Just one mile from the South Downs Way, and two miles from Lewes, this village is green in more ways than one," the article read.
"There’s a community energy project under way and a pavilion with a living roof. The calendar is packed with yoga classes, bridge nights and whisky tastings.
"There’s a 13th-century church and the Juggs makes for a great second living room."
'People want villages that have a bit of everything'
The researchers and analysts from Savills noted thatpostcode snobbery is 'nothing new' in the central London housing market, with multi-millionaire homebuyers waiting for an address to become available on Abbeville Road in Clapham, say, or Kensington Park Gardens in Notting Hill.
"But it is now rife in the countryside, too," they said.
High numbers of households are said to be 'spending a fortune' renting in lesser locations for months, and possibly years, until a suitable, 'or even unsuitable', home in the right village comes up.
Sixty per cent of estate agents working for Savills across the country reported a rise in demand for rental homes in the most desirable countryside locations during the pandemic, with 57 per cent saying that the demand was coming from those who were unable to buy where they wanted.
The Telegraph article read: "Many prospective buyers are choosing to rent in the high-end country markets while they wait for a property to become available in their chosen area so as to be chain-free when properties in the desirable villages become available.
"And Knight Frank has this week reported the highest number of sales in the country market for 15 years, with the number of wannabe buyers registering up 35 per cent last year."
Frances Clacy, analyst at Savills, said the 'traditional criteria' still applies, when asking why villages drive such high demand.
She added: “People want villages that have a bit of everything, from schools to stunning countryside, with accessibility to cities and transport infrastructure.
"Less well-trumpeted factors count too, such as the main road through the village should only lead to other villages."
The research also noted the juxtaposition of an authentic architectural aesthetic — 'the older the better' — around a green, with on-trend amenities such as yoga studios, cycling shops, running clubs and general stores that deliver homemade ready meals and veg boxes, and provide zero-waste refill stations for household products.
"History and a strong sense of identity and community spirit are important, too."