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Written by Mike Jones

Two distinct property markets are now operating in the UK, according to estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff.

There is a London and suburbs market and then there's the rest of the country where other areas are just beginning to stir.

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff, said: “London’s occupancy profile has altered significantly. Mobility is more important to young professionals who move around with work and may opt or be forced to rent rather than buy.

"People are working longer hours and want to be relatively close to their offices: they also need to be available to meet clients. Working from home for two days a week and in London for the rest of the time has become less attractive. As a result, the London influence on the rest of the UK remains weak and has resulted in a 'two markets' effect but this will change as confidence in the City improves.

“International demand will continue to underpin central London and service sector growth will continue to sustain demand in the South-east. Elsewhere, the main drivers will be regional economic growth.”

The London suburbs and places within an hour of London by train are benefiting from the rise in prices in the capital. Good transport links, excellent schools, and an appealing mix of shops, restaurants, leisure facilities and open spaces tend to be the essential characteristics for an appealing destination to move to or invest.

These apply equally to the London suburbs and to attractive towns and villages across the UK – and, according to Jackson-Stops & Staff agents across the UK, will be among the main reasons for moving in 2014.

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