Supermodel joins the flock of Brits heading away from the big cities

The streets of Kensington and Chelsea look set to be that little less glamorous this summer after Elle McPherson announced plans to quit the UK and move back to her native Australia.

The former supermodel, who is now a successful lingerie designer and actress, was Down Under over Christmas with her sons Flynn, aged nine and four-year-old Aurelius and now it is believed that she is determined to swap the hustle and bustle of the capital for the tranquil beaches of her homeland.

Estate agents across the city are keen to get involved in the possible sale of her seven-storey London home, which comes with a price tag in excess of £8 million, though it is lifestyle reasons, rather than financial factors, which have prompted ‘The Body’ to make a move.

"Elle has had enough of living in London. She just finds it too busy. She has decided she wants to move back to Australia for a more simple life," a source close to the mother-two told the Mail on Sunday.

"Estate agents have been round and auctioneers have been in to value all the furniture – it’s all happening."

Celebrities turning dreams of the good life into reality

Should she indeed pack her bags for good, Elle would not be the first celebrity to choose to move to escape the urban jungle in search of the rural good life.

Unlike many celebrity couples – including Victoria and David Beckham who appear to be reveling in the business of Los Angeles – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have long made public their plans to raise their families in rural France, while Johnny Depp is rarely seen on the celebrity circuit, living as he does with wife Vanessa Paradis and their children far from the clamor of Hollywood.

Though escaping the intrusions of the paparazzi may be low on the list of most Britons’ priorities when it comes to looking to the future, it would seem that making a beak for the peace and quiet of the country is not.

Indeed, growing numbers of UK homeowners are choosing to cash in on the equity built up on their urban residencies and take out a mortgage on a rural alternative and, just as with Elle, Angelina and Johnny, quality of life is the key motivator.

According to the latest Housebuyers Survey from the Yorkshire Bank, 59 per cent of the people polled at the end of the first quarter of the year felt that putting some distance between the noise and pollution of the city would be beneficial to their health and wellbeing.

In addition, 32 per cent would be willing to make the switch for the sake of their children’s education, while many also pointed to the rising cost of city living as well as crime levels and the quality of public services when justifying their keenness to up-sticks.

Gary Lumby, Yorkshire Bank’s head of retail, said: "While the idea of a slower pace of life may not fit with the image of the today’s typical young professional, it seems that even young go-getters can see the benefits of country living."

And it’s not just the English countryside which is attracting Brits and celebrities

Furthermore, as the pound remains strong against a host of foreign currencies and as obtaining a mortgage on an overseas property becomes increasingly straightforward, British workers are now going to even greater lengths to improve their quality of life, and even their career chances.

For some time now the idea of UK ex-pats living abroad being mainly retired couples enjoying their twilight years by a villa pool has been someway off the mark.

Instead, a significant proportion heading out of the British cities in favour of a new life overseas are high-earning professionals, with around two-thirds of those moving abroad each year continuing to work in their country of choice.

Recent research carried out by Natwest International Banking showed that the average worker making such a move is aged 43 and takes on a job with a salary of £67,000.

"Not only are there Brits who want to spend their latter years on a beach in the sun, it’s increasingly those who are suited and booted who want to improve their career opportunities by seeking employment around the world," explained the bank’s Dave Isley.

"Whether it is a permanent move abroad, or for a short period of time, it seems working abroad is an opportunity increasingly open to more employees."

Clearly, therefore, there are some significant incentives for people looking to relocate, both for financial reasons and for personal factors.

In light of this, obtaining a mortgage for an overseas property, has never been easier, with specialists targeting Britons through regular conferences and expositions regarding the benefits of leaving these shores for at least a little while.

And, with cheap flights meaning ex-pats don’t need the budget of a supermodel or Hollywood actress to visit family and friends back home either.

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