Analysis undertaken by Redfield & Wilton Strategies has underlined that a majority of those who have been working during the coronavirus pandemic have been working from home. Moreover, amongst this group, almost half have already spoken to their employers about continuing to work from home into the future. Permanent home-working will provide an opportunity for some to move away from their current location, which may have been selected for its proximity to the office or workplace. 

In polling a poll conducted on 15 July, we found that 23% of Brits (and 31% of Londoners) are considering moving and living somewhere elsefound that 23% of UK respondents (and 31% of those in London) are considering moving and living somewhere else. At this stage, a quarter (25%) of the UK public are considering moving away from where they are currently living, whether to another place within the same neighbourhood or somewhere further away.

There is limited regional differentiation in the proportion of respondents who want to move away from where they are currently living: 24% of those living in the South East are considering moving, while 28% of Londoners are contemplating changing home. Just 19% of those living in the North West believe they may move away from where they are currently living, yet over a third (34%) of respondents from the Yorkshire & the Humber are thinking about re-locating. 32% of those polled from the East Midlands are considering moving away and 27% of the West Midlands public also hold this view.

Younger working age adults between 25 and 34 years of age are especially likely to be considering moving to another place: 39% of those polled in this age bracket highlighted that they may move. Almost a third (32%) of those aged between 35 and 44 are also thinking about changing home. It may be the case that some of these younger adults are contemplating whether to move in with a partner or friends, or perhaps weighing up whether to take advantage of the Government’s stamp duty holiday and buy a home. Younger adults may also be bringing up younger children and believe that moving to a new house would provide an opportunity for their children to attend better schools. Notably, a quarter (25%) of 45-to-54-year-olds are also deliberating about whether to move to a new house, a relatively large proportion for an age group which is likely to be comparatively settled in terms of career and family. A significant proportion of the 34% of 18-to-24-year-olds who are thinking of moving away will be students who attend university away from home. 

Of those who are considering moving at some stage, 28% believe that it is ‘nearly certain’ they will move somewhere else this year. A clear plurality (38%) state that they think it is ‘reasonably likely’ they will move somewhere else, while 13% consider that it is ‘somewhat likely’. Only 21% of those considering moving away view it as ‘quite unlikely’ they will relocate within the next 12 months. Overall, resurgence in demand for buying a house has seen house prices rise 2.7% in June from a year earlier, with analysts predicting growth of as much as 3% for the rest of the year. A significant proportion of those wishing to move house (especially younger people) will be operating within the rental market, and the impact of increased demand in this sector may also boost rental prices. 


Overall, among those considering home, the vast majority are contemplating re-locating within their current region. A slight plurality (19%) of all those considering a move elsewhere are contemplating migrating tomoving to a house in London, yet 79% of this group are already located somewhere in the capital. Other areas in southern England are also popular potential destinations: 15% are of respondents are considering moving to a house in the South East, although 70% of this group currently live in the same region. Two-thirds (66%) of those considering moving to a new house somewhere in the South West currently reside there, yet a number (15%) of Londoners considering a move are contemplating heading west. (15%) and a further 15% are considering the Ssouth Wwest. Only a small minority of overall respondents are considering moving to a house in the Nnorth Eeast (5%), and the Nnorth Wwest (8%), the West Midlands (9%), the East Midlands (8%), Yorkshire and the Humber (8%), Wales (8%) and Scotland (7%) and the majority of these groups already live in the same region. while 8% of those considering re-location are looking somewhere outside the United Kingdom. Notably, 8% of those considering re-location are looking somewhere outside the United Kingdom.


A third (33%) of those considering moving to a new house are motivated by the desire to live in a less densely populated area, while over a quarter (27%) want to have more personal outdoor space, such as a garden. A fifth (20%) of those contemplating re-locating are driven by an aspiration to have a ‘better standard of living.’ A significant proportion of respondents also want to ‘live in a more spacious home’ (22%) or in a ‘more affordable home’ (16%). Notably, 14% of all respondents state that a primary reason for a potential move would be living somewhere with less air pollution. Interestingly, although some think tanks have argued that the UK has one of the worst levels of regional inequality in the developed world, just 9% of those considering a move are motivated by wanting to live near better healthcare and schooling and only 7% want to move to access better job opportunities or live in a more fun area. 

Overall, as people increasingly adopt new working patterns, it is clear that a significant proportion of the UK are now considering a move away from their current home. Younger people are particularly likely to want to re-locate, yet a notable proportion of middle-aged respondents are also contemplating moving home. Among those who are actively weighing up their options, many are focused on a move to the southern areas of England. Respondents are split on their motivations for moving, yet a significant section desire a shift to less crowded areas and more sizeable properties.

To find out more information about this research contact our research team. Redfield & Wilton Strategies is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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