Here, our client Hamptons share some search data insight and what this may mean for urban migration around the UK in a post-Covid world.
Big city nightlife seems less appealing in these days of pandemic? Thinking more about a spacious house within a nice walk of a good local pub? Or a country wood to take the dog and kids for a weekend ramble? You’re not alone.
Lockdown has given us all reason to rethink our housing situation – and while it’s still all about location, location, location, what we value in a location has changed. The appeal of the country is growing, with its fresh air, rolling hills and a gentler pace of life.
In fact, life under coronavirus has driven many young professionals across the country to seek more space, with nice gardens, walkable town centres and – ever-important given the recent U-turn on returning to the office – room for a comfortable work-from-home set up.
Life under coronavirus has driven many young professionals across the country to seek more space, with nice gardens, walkable town centres and – ever-important given the recent U-turn on returning to the office – room for a comfortable work-from-home set up.
Employers have grown more accommodating too, embracing flexible schedules and virtual meetings, reducing the need for workers to be close to physical offices. For those still commuting, peak travel is easier to avoid than ever before with many offices adopting staggered hours, making the journey in and out of town quick and easy.
All of this is leading to an uptick in interest in commuter towns that can offer proximity to urban centres, but with a more spacious suburban standard of living.
So if you’re looking to upsize and upgrade from city life to country living, where’s the place to be?
Online search data from Google Keyword Planner shows that already-popular commuter towns are seeing an increase in search interest – such as the cathedral city of St Albans, where keyword searches increased 60% in September when compared to the same period last year. Showing a similar bump in searches are the spa town Bath, which has gone up 59%, and the ever-popular seaside city of Brighton & Hove with search interest up 36%.
This increased interest isn’t just idle internet daydreaming, either – Hamptons have seen a stark rise in the number of Londoners registering with their regional offices in August this year when compared to 2019. For instance, St Albans has seen a 77% increase, Bath a 97% increase and the numbers for Brighton & Hove have gone up a staggering 141%.
All this suggests that changing circumstances mean changing priorities for young professionals and growing families alike – and there may be no better place to ride out whatever comes next than in your own quiet country pied-à-terre.
No one knows what the future holds – but if you’re ready for a change of scenery now might be the perfect time to take the plunge.
Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash