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Are More People Really Moving out of London?
The world has certainly changed in the last 12 months. Since Covid hit, pretty much everything we took for granted has been turned on its head, and it's probably fair to say many of us are feeling a little shell shocked to say the least.
One of the many consequences resulting from all the mayhem, was that businesses had to quickly reorganise their workforces into working remotely. With this came the realisation for many employers and staff alike, that they could be just as productive working from home.
There's nothing new about Londoners questioning the daily grind of getting to work and all the other pressures associated with living in a mainly concrete metropolis, but the Corona debacle with the ensuing lockdowns and furlough threw in a wild card confirming for many that escape from the city to a more rural location was actually possible.
As a result, there have been claims that for the first time in er.. a very long time, more people are actually moving out of London than moving to London. But how true is this, and does it represent a permanent shift or is it just a temporary blip that will fade along with the pandemic once 'normality' returns.
The dream of rural living
When you've been stuck in London for a few years / decades, it can sometimes feel like the walls are literally closing in on you. The need to escape the concrete jungle for green fields, more space and let's face it.. less people, can become overwhelming.
So you start planning your escape, calculating the costs, the location, local property market and job prospects etc. Is your new home going to be a clean break from London like deepest Cornwall, or just far enough to be able to get a fast train back in less than an hour.
Covid has certainly set the trend in motion for remote working, with many businesses now questioning whether they actually need their expensive busy office space when most of the staff can work just as efficiently from home. A lot depends on the specific type of work you do, but if you're fortunate enough to be in an industry where you can work from anywhere then why not take advantage of that.
It doesn't suit everyone though.. some people need the social interaction with colleagues that comes from working together in a physical location. So the jury is still out on whether this proves to be a lasting trend, but it's definitely going to suit some people.
Risk of boredom
There's no doubt living in London is interesting and fun, there's always something to do and see, you can be whoever you want to be and as anonymous or social as you like. Living in the countryside or small town is going to be very different experience, and whether it is going to work out or not has a lot to do with what stage in your life you're currently at.
To put it bluntly once the novelty of being surrounded by trees and cows starts to fade a bit, are you going to have a lifestyle that keeps you occupied and fulfilled. It's important to properly think it through before making the move, because leaving London tends to be easier than returning.
London is a magnet
It's clear that although we're all living in a period of rapid and profound change, London remains the geographical centre towards which most things gravitate. Art, culture and all that goes with it has been attracted to London for 100's of years, and with a population heading towards 10 million if you count Greater London it may be premature to write it off as a dwindling city based on the events of the last 12 months.
We're not entirely sure if all the reports of a mass exodus of London paint a true picture or are somewhat exaggerated. There certainly seems to have been a lot of anecdotal articles about more people than usual moving out of London to take up surfing in Newquay etc, but is that any real surprise given the enormity of what happened.
Also, many of those leaving London during the pandemic would have been young professionals in rented accommodation who've chosen to return to their family homes outside of London, either for furlough or to work remotely for a while and ride things out.
We haven't particularly noticed any significant increase in people wanting to move out of London, but as per our FAQs we only provide that type of long distance service for large family size moves, so it may be happening more than we're aware.
In short we think it's too early to say what is going on for certain, and only time will tell if Covid has ushered in a permanent new shift in the way more people locate away from the city to live and work, or if the old lure of London will eventually prove just as strong as before.