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Inside the booming property market in Exeter – and why thousands of Londoners are moving there

When Noel Bransdon and his wife, Beth, swapped a flat in central London for a rambling cottage near Exeter last year, they expected to forgo such urban frivolities as fine dining. Yet no such compromise has been made: in Devon they have found an array of Michelin-starred restaurants, hipster cafés and a lively social scene.

“Exeter offers the same as London but on a smaller scale, and within 20 minutes we can be back home in the middle of the countryside, or on the beach or on Dartmoor,” says Bransdon, a property investor. “And if we want to go to London in a day we can – it takes less than three hours.”

While house prices in many parts of the UK are slumping, Exeter’s property market has flourished,…