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Brits on the move as remote working becomes the norm

6 October 2020

Nearly two-thirds of Brits have thought about moving since their daily commute has been replaced by home working, according to new research.

A poll of 2,000 Brits by OnePoll for MoneyTransfers.com has found that 63% have considered living elsewhere since the COVID-19 lockdown brought in widespread remote working; 46% have thought about moving within the next 12 months.

The idea of moving is most appealing to younger people, with three out of four of Gen X and 70% of millennials saying they have considered a move due to changes in their work environment. This compares to 54% of Gen X and 46% of Baby Boomers.

Reasons for moving cited by respondents include:

  • For a better quality of life (52%);
  • Because they can work remotely (49%);
  • To reduce the cost of living (38%);
  • To reduce housing costs - both renting and buying (29%);
  • For a slower pace of life (29%);
  • For better weather or scenery (28%);
  • For adventure (22%);
  • To be closer to family (21%);
  • Because of COVID-19 (16%).

The findings indicate that most people would choose to stay in the UK - just 12% said they want to move overseas while 74% want to relocate within the UK; 14% remain unsure.

London remains a popular destination (for 19% of those that want to stay in the UK) although a significant number (12%) are attracted by a rural life in the South West of England. Other popular destinations are: the South East (11%), Scotland (8%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (7%).

For those looking to move abroad, Spain came top, followed by Canada, the United States, Australia and Greece. For the Gen Z demographic, English-speaking countries are more popular, with Australia and the US being the most popular choices. Baby Boomers prefer Italy and Portugal.

The poll findings also reveal something of a gender divide, with 68% of men saying that they would consider moving if remote working continued to be available, compared to 50% of women. "Missing family and friends" was the main reason that women didn't want to move (for 46%), with the high cost of moving preventing 41% of men from making a move.

Jonathan Merry, ceo of MoneyTransfers.com, said: "With many working from home for an extended period of time, the general public [have] questioned whether they could be rid of their commutes, large rents, or mortgages for good, and instead, live and work from somewhere else … I believe that this on-going experience will ultimately provide the public with more freedom to live and work remotely in the future, with digital being at the forefront of this movement."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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