Escape to the country: Londoners more than twice as likely to be planning to move due to coronavirus, survey finds

Millennials in capital are considering countryside moves amid economic fallout from crisis

Kate Ng
Saturday 27 June 2020 14:52
Monday will get off to a murky start with spells of sunshine to come later in the day
Monday will get off to a murky start with spells of sunshine to come later in the day

Londoners are twice as likely to be planning to move compared with other Britons, a survey has found.

Some 15 per cent of those in the capital are seeking to move to cheaper homes both within and outside the city, compared with just 7 per cent for the rest of the country.

Desire to uproot is stronger among young adults, revealed the poll by life assurance provider Legal & General, which was shared exclusively with The Independent. 

In London, 18 per cent of those aged between 16 and 34 are planning to move house as soon as they can, versus 9 per cent for 35- to 54-year-olds.

Millennials – those aged between 23 and 38 – in the capital are also much more focused on reducing their financial obligations, with seven in 10 looking for ways to cut back on their outgoings.

The survey was conducted after a white paper by Legal & General, which revealed that millennials still love the idea of marriage, owning a home and having children, but most wish to have a stable financial footing before taking on those milestones. However, taking out life insurance is not a priority for many. Four in 10 millennials with joint mortgages, equivalent to 1.5 million people, are not in possession of life insurance.

The research comes after property websites noted an increase in Londoners looking for homes outside the capital. Searches on Rightmove went up 51 per cent compared with 42 per cent this time last year.

Remote working could also be driving Londoners to seek alternative living spaces as companies begin to recognise that working from home could become the new normal once lockdown is lifted.

According to the London Chamber of Commerce, 13 per cent of business leaders said they have thought about making the shift to working from home completely and not using a permanent commercial office when the lockdown ends.

Nine per cent have already permanently closed their physical premises, including charity Action on Hearing Loss who announced this week it will no longer have a large office in London and will only maintain a meeting space.

And Escape the City, which helps people find work outside of the capital, told The Guardian that 51 per cent of new enquiries in the last fortnight were people wanting to leave London, compared with 20 per cent for the same period last year.

The organisation said on Twitter: “For the first time ever we have more people wanting to leave London than stay in it, which is a huge shift.”

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