A third of UK households to move home as COVID-19 set to change where Britons live



Millions of us are set to move home permanently, as a consequence of the pandemic, citing remote working as the facilitator and quality of life as the ambition, according to new research by property developer Romal Capital.

The national survey1 of 2,000 households found that nearly a third (31%) are planning to change their living arrangements following successive lockdowns and remote-working experiences. This is a staggering increase as only between 4% to 5% of households, typically, move homes in any given year2. The need to move is slightly higher in the 25-34 years age category (32%) compared to slightly less in those over 60 (28%). One fifth (20%) will have aimed to move within the next three months.

The ability to combine working from home and in the office in a hybrid working environment influenced more than a quarter of respondents (26%) to consider relocation. Remote working aside, over a quarter of those surveyed (26%) mentioned the need for suitable jobs in the local area.

“We’re seeing a paradigm shift in how this country wants to live and work,” says Romal Capital’s CEO Greg Malouf. “Hybrid working options and lifestyle changes are two key elements driving this change in behaviour. Moreover, the temporary stamp duty holiday and the desire to cash-in on significant property price increases in 2021 have also empowered decision making. In fact, in the same period a 16% property price-hike in Liverpool alone, underlines this very bullish market. The current UK housing market simply does not match this new reality, and with these changing demands, there needs to be a country-wide rethink on meeting housing needs.”

While still considering location, 29% said that a good standard of living will be the most important factor in deciding their future location. It seems however people do not want to go completely remote with almost a quarter of respondents (23%) citing road networks and connectivity as two important criteria, with areas perceived likely to increase in value (10%) and locations near hospitals (9%) closely following.

People ranked Waterfront living, whether by the sea, lake or canal, as the top “X-factor” draw for their new living location followed by substantial green spaces and good community feel. Of these, over half (51%) of 35-44 year olds selected community feel in contrast to 41% of the over 60’s who opted for waterfront living (61%).

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