Property website Rightmove has revealed London is 2021’s most searched for destination by buyers looking for their next home, just pipping Cornwall to the post.

London is historically the most searched for location on Rightmove, however in January and February 2021, Cornwall replaced London for the highest number of searches.

After being overtaken again by London in March and April, Cornwall again led buyer searches from May to September, after which London led for the rest of the year.


The difference in total number of searches at the end of the year between London and Cornwall was just 3%, compared to a gap of 24% in 2020, and 49% in 2019.

This smaller gap reflects changed buyer preferences in 2021, where more people looked for homes near coastal areas for reasons such as changed living priorities, or the ability to work from home, while the reappearance of London to the top of searches later in the year highlights its returning popularity.

Coming in at number 10 is Dorset, following a trend of increased interest for properties in rural and coastal locations.

Rightmove’s most searched for areas 2021

  1. London
  2. Cornwall
  3. Devon
  4. Bristol
  5. Glasgow
  6. Sheffield
  7. Essex
  8. York
  9. Edinburgh
  10. Dorset

Increased interest in coastal and countryside properties

Rhos On Sea in Wales topped the list of buyer search hotspots – areas that saw the biggest increase in buyer searches compared with 2020. Searches for the coastal town increased more than nine times (+858%) compared to 2020.

Hove in East Sussex came second in the list of hotspots (+680%), and Chadlington in the Cotswolds was third (+211%).

All of this year’s buyer search hotspots are either villages, or located near the sea, a sign of the increase in popularity this year for homes in coastal or countryside areas.

Buyer search hotspots 2021

This list shows the top 10 places with the largest increase in searches in Rightmove, compared to 2020.

  1. Rhos On Sea, Conwy, Wales: +858%
  2. Hove, East Sussex, South East: +680%
  3. Chadlington, Oxfordshire, South East: +211%
  4. Breage, Cornwall, South West: +109%
  5. Isle Of Man, Isle of Man: +95%
  6. Frizington, Cumbria, North West: +65%
  7. Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland: +54%
  8. Millport, Ayrshire, Scotland: +52%
  9. Thorpeness, Suffolk, East of England: +51%
  10. Allonby, Cumbria, North West: +45%


2021 in Rightmove searches

Rightmove’s whole of market data on buyer and seller activity regularly tracks spikes in searches coinciding with topical or cultural events.

In December, Marazion in Cornwall saw a nearly triple fold increase in weekly buyer searches (+198%) and more than double the number of searches compared to last year (+148%) following its bid to become the UK’s smallest city, as part of a competition for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Chadlington, in the Cotswolds, is third in this year’s list of buyer search hotspots. Searches for the area have soared this year following its profile in the hit Jeremy Clarkson TV Show, ‘Clarkson’s Farm’ – peaking in June where searches for the area were 511% higher than last year.

In the week leading up to the release of the thriller film ‘Last Night In Soho’ in October, buyer searches for Soho doubled (+100%) compared with the same week in October last year.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data said: “Having 95% of the UK property market located in one place means Rightmove is the destination that curious and prospective buyers turn to first when beginning their journey of deciding where to move to.”