Estate agents have gone on the record to say the flow of purchasers from London to country and market town locations is still going on, despite the pandemic now appearing to be in slow retreat.
This week Guy Robinson, head of residential agency at Strutt & Parker, has admitted: “The demand for new ways of living will drive the market for many years to come.”
And his colleague Louis Harding, head of London agency for the firm, adds: “While activity levels here have been strong and have outperformed many predictions, we have not yet witnessed the record high our counterparts outside of the capital have seen.“
Yet another Strutt & Parker spokesperson, research and insight director Vanessa Hale, adds: “There is still global economic uncertainty around the pandemic. In the UK, uncertainty remains over unemployment and the return to office working, all of which could impact buyer behaviour. However, this increased activity is expected to continue for years; as there has been a permanent shift in behaviour and lifestyles, and the market will take time to adjust to that.”
Now a Cheltenham estate agent - Gavin Wallace, director at Perry Bishop - says the so-called race for space outside of the capital is still going on.
He’s told business magazine Gloucester Punchline: "We're now seeing that flexible working post Covid has changed the way that we all work and live, on a permanent basis.
"As summer continues and the remaining restrictions are lifted, we are continuing to see increasing numbers of people still looking to move from cities like London and Birmingham, wanting to settle in and around Cheltenham, where demand still outstrips supply.
"People want better value for money, a higher standard of living, a home with separate office space, a larger garden...Workers are looking to leave the 'rat race' behind for good. They're making permanent relocation moves, which they could have only dreamt of before."
Wallace adds that employers are aware of talent exodus from cities like London.
"This migration of talent is meaning that employers have to broaden the geographical scope of their workforce solutions, and re-evaluate where top talent is now located. As a result of its proximity to urban centres like London, Bristol and Birmingham, Gloucestershire and Cheltenham has attracted many large corporations and multinationals looking for a UK base.”