Working From Home – what buyers want, and where they want to be
Agents in some parts of the country may be able to make use of data from utilities comparison service uSwitch, which has drawn up working-from-home information for buyers.
Its remote working index taps into the trend of some people seeking to move from major cities to other locations where they may get an improved quality of life, especially if they are to spend more time at home because of the continuing pandemic.
Harrogate in Yorkshire emerged as the best place to work from home, with its combination of superfast 60Mbps broadband, large amounts of green space in the area, low crime rates and good schools.
Other locations in the top 15 are Bath, the Mendips, Derry City and Strabane, Wigan, Cheshire, St Albans, York, Edinburgh and Swansea, plus St Helens, Cheltenham, Basingstoke, Stockport and Exeter.
In comparison, big cities fare poorly – Birmingham 82nd, London in 88th place, and Manchester ranked 100th out of 104.
A uSwitch spokeswoman says: “The pandemic has turned our working routines upside down and given many of us a taste for what our lives could be like if we worked from home on a more permanent basis.
“With the likes of Derry and Wigan so high up the list, it shows how different our priorities are once we are liberated from having to worry about the length of our commute.”
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When choosing a new place to live on the assumption they were working from home, 53 per cent said house prices were most important, followed by green spaces (45 per cent) and broadband speeds (34 per cent).
A fifth of people want to spend more time working from home even when the pandemic is over, and one in six employees want to work from home full time when life returns to normal.
People generally want to move from cities and larger towns to smaller towns and villages.
One in four currently live in a city of more than 500,000 residents, but only one in nine wish to do so in the future. Conversely, the proportion who live in a village is only 15 per cent but rises to three in 10 who would like to do so.