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Vendors warned not to jump the gun on ditching London for the sticks

A leading buying agency is warning sellers and buyers not to jump the gun and abandon London in the belief that it will never be the same again following the pandemic.

Charlie Rearden of Stacks Property Search says there has undoubtedly been a move out of the capital and other major cities, with sellers selecting greener locations.

“We would sound a note of caution; this pandemic has triggered a great deal of lifestyle re-evaluation, but temper the grand plans with sense-checking and a good dose of reality” he says.


Rearden believes many sellers have chosen locations that were either once their holiday destinations of choice, or are at least much further from London before in the belief that working in an office rather than from home will be no more than a two or three day a week activity in future.

“If London has been your life and your base for years, be wary of ditching it all together. London life will return. If your part time commute is too far away, you’ll find yourself missing out on the social and cultural aspects of the city that you used to enjoy.

“If you’re expecting to be in London for a couple of days a week, be realistic about where you’ll stay; it may seem acceptable to do a longer commute two days a week, but the reality may not look so appealing in cold dark January if you don’t have anywhere to sleepover between office dates.

“Swapping a two-hour commute five days a week for a four hour commute twice a week makes sense mathematically, but don’t just look at the figures, try the commute on for size before you get carried away. Don’t stretch too far, if your journey becomes wearing as life returns to normal, you may regret your far-flung destination. And don’t just consider the time on the train, factor in getting across London too.”

In particular he warns that people who choose a former holiday favourite as their permanent base need to do careful research that it “doesn’t turn into Ghostville for six months of the year.”

Other factors which may have been relegated in recent months will become primary activities again at some point in the post-pandemic future, Rearden reminds sellers and buyers.

“Ignore at your peril vital factors such as schools, childcare, commuting cost, frequency of trains and broadband speeds” he cautions.

Stacks says it anticipates that locations offering “a sustainable stretched commute” will perform exceptionally well against the backdrop of the wider market over the short and medium term.

  • Rubens Brotto

    Well said! Besides, life goes on. The compromises you push in today most likely will turn into opportunities in the near future, for yourself, or for others for that matter. London will always be appealing and strong for all sorts of living needs.

  • Richard Copus

    Unless Brexit proves to be a disaster, London will always be a great city in which to live and work. It was the "fifth French city" until a couple of years ago and the City is still set to stay as the World's major financial centre jointly with Wall Street. The density of population is amongst the lowest of any capital city in the world and there's loads to do there. The public transport system is actually pretty good and comfortable, although everybody likes to moan about it British style. You can also earn a decent income there. Come down to the West Country and you'll find some of the lowest wages in the country, superfast broadband at 15 mgs (if you're lucky), towns which goes to sleep after 6 in the evening and you'll have to drive everywhere!


    Agree there is loads to do and I visit often to go to theatre museums sports events etc

    Transport comfortable? A tube in rush hour? ! its disgusting and scandalously expensive. Added to which the rail unions go on strike every year and cause chaos.

    Broadband - personally I could not care less I do not live on my pc or mobile

    I used to live in London - could not wait to get away - young kids killing each other every single week because they live on a different council estate - drugs everywhere - litter in the streets - an infestation of apartments - insane traffic

    Delighted to get away from that slum


    Jan Byers this is the usual tripe you get from people who don't cut it in the Capital.

  • icon
    • 19 August 2020 14:36 PM

    If you can reach London with a 1 1/2 hr commute that puts most of East England within easy reach of Central London.

    Doing that say twice a week is nothing.

    Margate end of the line comfortably gets you Central London.

    If you really wish you can still enjoy what remains of London culture providing to get the last train.

    A bit like the last tube.
    So no real difference.

    I say get out of Londinstan while you can.

    Take your London profits and export to far nicer surroundings and far better properties.
    A 1 1/2 hour commute enable access to all England areas a lot on the coast.
    That or London!
    I know what I would choose and London ain't it!!


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