COVID-19 means Londoners want to flee the capital for pastures new

People want to flee the metropolis

People want to flee the metropolis (Image: Getty)

Brighton and Hove has proved to be the most popular destination for would-be re-locators, with 30 percent naming it their top choice to move to. And one in five (19 percent) have even said they would like to live in a beach house. Margate, Tunbridge Wells, Devon and Cornwall, also proved popular with city workers looking to escape the smog.

The research, commissioned by online lettings agent Mashroom, also found 43 percent are craving cheaper living costs, as those polled are currently paying an average of £1,464-a-month on accommodation.

Post-COVID priorities also include living a quieter lifestyle (43 percent), being by the seaside (42 percent) and having better access to clean air (41 percent).

Others say they want to achieve a better work-life balance (35 percent) and be able to “switch off” at the end of a working day (31 percent).

Mashroom’s CEO Stepan Dobrovolskiy said: “As employers open up to remote working as the new way of life, millions of renters are reconsidering their living conditions.

“It’s no surprise so many are craving an escape to the coast or countryside, as London’s bright lights have dimmed over the past six months as restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues have been shut or operating at a limited capacity.”

It also emerged 40 percent of those polled would leave London if it meant they could afford a property with some outside space.

More than half said living outside of the city would make it easier to start a family (54 percent) while 56 percent feel they would have a more active lifestyle.

Forty-one percent also believe that living in London is no longer good value for money.

Where do people want to go?

Where do people want to go? (Image: SWNS)

The study also found that as 85 percent of those polled urge employers to be more accepting of remote working, 65 percent have had a better work-life balance since working from home became the ‘new normal’ for millions.

Almost three quarters (72 percent) can currently work from home, with 34 percent doing so five days a week.

The study, of 500 working Londoners aged 20-60, carried out via OnePoll, found commuters spend an average of 42 minutes travelling to their office.

But 68 percent would jump at the chance to live abroad if their work allowed with New York (10 percent), Amsterdam (eight percent), and Auckland (eight percent) topping the international destinations office workers would jet to.

Mashroom’s CEO Stepan Dobrovolskiy added: “Our research suggests an influx of Londoners to some of the most idyllic spots in the UK, marking an exodus for the capital.

“Landlords could be set for a boom in business as more affordable housing makes for a much more enjoyable lifestyle.

“London landlords will need to ensure value for money to entice renters to stay.

“Many landlords are locked into pricey management schemes, where the cost is passed on to the tenants.

“Mashroom has eliminated these, so it is a win-win for both parties.”

Read Mashroom’s guide to renting in London here.

What Londoners want from their next home

1. Cheaper living costs (43 percent)

2. A quieter lifestyle (43 percent)

3. Being by the seaside (42 percent)

4. Fresh air (41 percent)

5. Better access to country walks (40 percent)

6. Closer to nature (37 percent)

7. Better work-life balance (35 percent)

8. Quieter roads (33 percent)

9. The ability to ‘switch off’ at the end of the working day (31 percent)

10. Be part of a local community (31 percent)

Top 10 UK destinations Londoners would move to:

1. Brighton (24 percent)

2. Hove (six percent)

3. Oxford (six percent)

4. Manchester (five percent)

5. Cornwall (four percent)

6. Devon (four percent)

7. Margate (four percent)

8. Tunbridge Wells (four percent)

9. Leeds (three percent)

10. Windsor (three percent)

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