Deurbanisation could increase demand

Property experts have confirmed buyer trends that suggest a permanent shift away from urban areas and into more spacious rural areas and properties. This could signal increased demand for heritage products and further fuel the home improvement boom for the glazing industry.

Research from Barclays has revealed that just under one-quarter of employers will not let their staff work from home after the pandemic, which would reduce demand for office space by around one fifth, they say. At the same time, there is growing demand for rural and coastal properties, according to the property tax experts at Cornerstone Tax, which also says that the London property market is falling flat, a claim supported by research from Rightmove.

Additional research commissioned by Cornerstone found that, in the past year, 10% of British people have moved away from a city or urban area (3,319,000); 44% of Britons feel that the impact of coronavirus has made living in a city less appealing (16,468,000) and 24% will no longer commute into a city for their job post-pandemic (4,297,000). This shift in demand will affect the property market for decades to come, experts predict.

“The findings from our report, as well as this new data from Barclays, confirms what we have thought for much of the past 12 months,” said David Hannah, principal consultant at Cornerstone Tax. “Living in a city has undergone a permanent shift in appeal. The clients we have advised during the pandemic have almost exclusively been looking for more space, both inside and outside the property, which usually means a hefty price tag or a more rural location. It is a trend that we see increasing in the future as it is now clear that working from home is here to stay. The fact that a quarter of workers are already planning to stop commuting shows the effect is here to stay.”