We surveyed 1,000 renters living in the UK about their priorities and key considerations when finding their next home. Only around one-third of renters (34% ) who took part, said living close to work was an important factor as we see renters across the UK are prioritising local green spaces over living close to work.
Living near to green spaces came out on top with almost half (45%) putting it in their top three priorities, while good transport links (38%) and access to local amenities (37%) took the other top spots.
Our Land & Partnerships Director, Mark Gratton, believes remote working has had a knock-on effect with people now wanting a flexible lifestyle, not just flexible working:
“I think many of us have realised the importance of having access to green spaces, especially during the lockdowns when exercise became key to maintaining our physical and mental health. I think it’s clear people want to be able to go for a walk in their local park on their lunch or go for a jog before work without getting caught up in the commuter rush. People don’t want to give up that flexibility.”
Our results show a potential change in attitude for what people see as important when it comes to the location of their home. In the last 18 months, the pandemic has completely transformed the way many people work, with remote or hybrid working now common for large parts of the UK workforce – making living close or within easy access to work, far less important. It’s clear that remote working is having a big influence on all areas of our day-to-day lives, including where we want to live. People have, and continue to, really enjoy the flexibility of being able to work where they work best, and it’s created a ripple effect – especially for renters who now have the opportunity to move somewhere that matches their wants, rather than their needs.
“We have seen the effect of remote working on the demand to live in more suburban areas where there is easier access to green spaces. Even during lockdowns in 2020 when people couldn’t view our homes in person, our rental properties at our suburban development in Mansfield were snapped up online within a matter of weeks and we have really high interest in our other active developments including in Wolverhampton and Boston. Although there are still people who do want to live close to work and live in inner cities, I think the trend towards living closer to green spaces will continue to grow as people realise that flexible working is here to stay.”
It’s now about living well rather than living close.
While the results pulled out three key topics that people feel strongly about, the devil – as always – is in the detail. Download your free copy of Smart, Green & Flexible: Building the future home for rent here.