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Race for space is reversing – claim

The race for space is reversing as more employers are calling staff back into the office.

Research by agency brand Jackson-Stops has found that prospective homebuyers looking for their next location are willing to spend on average 38 minutes commuting into work.

Jackson-Stops said the survey results among 500 active house hunters last month may be fuelled by a return to office norms, in which 35% now commute to their place of work more now than they did six months ago.
As businesses mandate more in-person working days, 31% of respondents said that they now commute to work five days a week or more. 


According to the research, those in London and the South West were the most likely to commute five days a week or more, at 45% of respondents respectively.
This return to the office follows wider research indicating businesses wish to see workers back in the office more regularly. 

Figures released by the Department for Transport last week showed national rail passenger numbers have now reached more than 100% of pre-Covid levels for the first time since March 2020. With numbers doubling in a year, especially during the Monday to Friday working week, it’s clear commuting is once again back on the agenda for workers, the agent said.
While 38 minutes was the average commute time that workers would be happy with, Jackson-Stops’ research showed there was a vast amount of variation in what people would prefer. 

One in 10 would only be willing to commute for 15 minutes or less. By contrast, just 3% said they would be willing to commute for more than two hours.

Delving further into the ideal commute by region, residents in Northern Ireland on average favoured the shortest commute at 27.5 minutes, whereas those in the East Midlands would be happy to commute the longest at 47.6 minutes. At nearly double the time, over a four-week period of commuting five days per week, this is equivalent to those in the East Midlands spending an extra 404 minutes or 6.7 hours commuting.

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “Calls for people to get back to the office more regularly have once again put a manageable commute back on the radar of prospective buyers. We have much faster train links than we did even five or ten years ago, bringing those peripheral town locations with fantastic transport options back in vogue. Urban living remains popular as buyers strike the balance between convenience and commutability.

“While there are a number of pros and cons to weigh up when considering a property purchase, it’s clear that commute times can make or break a buyer’s decision to put in an offer. It could be argued that since the pandemic, we simply value the time with our families far more so than ever before, keen to not feel beholden to long travel times and slow commutes. 

“We should also keep front of mind that there are many professions that simply cannot be done from home and will always require a daily commute. For those able to invoke more flexibility to their working patterns, looking further afield has provided opportunities that, just three years ago, would have felt impossible. Striking the balance between a manageable commute and the perfect property requires local knowledge and expertise of the market, presenting options that buyers themselves might not have considered before.”

Race for space is reversing – claim


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