Research suggests deurbanisation will continue

David Hannah, principal consultant of Cornerstone Tax

The trend towards rural lifestyles looks set to continue for the long term, according to research commissioned by Cornerstone Tax. The tax firm’s research findings are supported by those of the Resolution Foundation, which found that the stamp duty holiday was not behind a record average increase in house prices over the last year. The thinktank’s research suggested that other factors, including the ‘race for space’ has culminated in a frenzy for properties with more living space, both inside and out, while low interest rates and forced savings pushed up prices. This could be good news for heritage suppliers within the glazing sector, and garden room suppliers.

David Hannah, principal consultant at Cornerstone Tax, said: “The findings from our report confirm what we have thought for much of the past 12 months, that 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.”

He added: “The past year has been unprecedented in the UK housing market; prices have skyrocketed as buyers scramble for that extra bit of garden space or an extra room for a proper home office. It seems the impact of the stamp duty holiday may have been less than we expected in terms of activity but it seems likely that saving thousands on stamp duty has encouraged buyers to offer that little bit extra.

Research from Cornerstone Tax shows that millions of people have already moved out of cities, and that many people reject the idea of going back to a city commute:
• In the past year, 10% of Brits have moved away from a city or urban area (3,319,000);
• 44% of British people feel that the impact of coronavirus has made living in a city less appealing (16,468,000);
• 24% of British people indicated that they will no longer commute into a city for their job post-pandemic (4,297,000).