Nearly a quarter will no longer commute to the city post-pandemic

Following the Government's winter plan to keep Covid at bay, many experts have called for Brits to work from home to turn a winter spike in cases. After 18 months of changing advice, many Brits have adopted WFH as the new norm, and are unlikely to return. This has left millions looking for larger living spaces, gardens, and ocean or country views, Cornerstone Tax's landmark research has found that 3.3 million people have moved home, choosing instead to settle away from cities or urban areas. This is reflected in the 10.8% house price growth for homes outside major cities in contrast to just 8.9% growth for city properties. Data from Hamptons estate agents also shows Londoners alone buying 61,380 homes outside the capital between January and June 2021, the highest number since 2006, with research commissioned by property tax experts Cornerstone Tax illustrating the sentiments behind this:

  • In the past year, over 3.3 million Brits have moved away from a city or urban area

  • 44% of Brits feel that the impact of Coronavirus has made living in a city less appealing

  • 24%, or 4.3 million Brits, will no longer commute into a city for their job post-pandemic

It is clear to see that people are leaving the cities, particularly London, but what is drawing them away? Bang for your buck Property has historically been more expensive and more cramped in urban areas, particularly in London. There is now less of a need to pay for commuting convenience, and this means getting more living space for the cost of your city flat. Analysis from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has found that the median floor space for houses in England and Wales was 99 square meters, which is about nine typical parking spaces. Meanwhile, the median floor space for a flat is 43 sqm, which is less than the size of four car parking spaces. Zoopla estimates that the average price for property in London stood at £672,051 in June 2021. In terms of property types, flats in London sold for an average of £539,148 and terraced houses for £727,444. Inversely, Rightmove's data shows that property prices in Liverpool stand at just £190,323.

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