Searches on Rightmove by Londoners for homes outside the capital were up to 51 per cent compared to 42 per cent this time last year according to the Evening Standard’s Homes & Property pages.
As the property market surfaces from lockdown – albeit socially distantly, with speculative viewings theoretically banned and all internal doors to be left open before prospective buyers arrive – we look at the impact of Covid-19 on our capital city through the prism of the CADA studio.
Remote working has been adopted wholesale by employers and employees who are able to deliver their product or service to the right standard without being in the same physical space at the same time. Twitter has just announced that its people can work from home ‘forever’, if they so choose.
If we don’t need to be within daily commuting distance of a city office, who would still choose to live here?
We conducted some highly unscientific research, by asking our studio and found that:
Family, friends and local connections matter most of all:
It’s less about the space or what I could ‘get for my money’, more about wanting to be nearer my loved ones.
If I didn’t have kids with a school and friends they love and a lovely, family-friendly lifestyle here then maybe we’d consider moving out.
Where we’re close to family or with children at primary school, rooted in our local community, we don’t see a move out of London making sense, even if more space does have surface appeal. This is an especially interesting observation at a time when we’re all on top of each other, at home together all the time. First-time buyers are weighing up proximity to family against the lure of the city.
Attitudes to out-of-London are changing, however, from:
Why would I move THERE!?
That’s a place I’d only go for a short break
to preferring the balance that the suburbs and greenbelt offer and even ruminating on the perennially romantic appeal of a rural idyll:
A little cottage in the countryside with a little studio in the garden will suit me down to the ground…!
Equally, we see a yearning for a return to the city, to the hustle, bustle, noise, spontaneity, freedom of choice and options that it alone can offer. To Deliveroo, plays and exhibitions in real life, eating something different every night and seeing friends regularly and easily. We’re missing the familiar rhythms:
Longing for a wee drink in a dingy London pub with a group of friends after a long week of work…
…and sincerely hope that our city will come back to life in one shape or form:
It would make me so sad to see the city change too much. It’s the only place I want to live!
Ultimately, we think young people will still want to be within easy reach – that’s 30 minutes, by our studio’s standards – of friends and places to socialise. Assuming the city adapts to survive and thrive in a post-C-19 world, it will still pull us in, provided we can afford the rent: I’m still a London girl at heart, I still want to do EVERYTHING in Time Out.