Coronavirus: UK millennials shun city living amid move to remote working

Kalila Sangster
·3-min read
Fewer than a quarter of 18- to 34-year-olds now say that living in the town or city where they work is a priority, according to a survey. Photo: Getty
Fewer than a quarter of 18- to 34-year-olds now say that living in the town or city where they work is a priority, according to a survey. Photo: Getty

Millennials are making a “radical move away from city-centre living” as the UK shifts towards remote working in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a new study has found.

As living close to physical workplaces becomes less important, first and second time buyers are looking to get more for their money and are focusing on suburbs, market towns and villages to get a better deal and enjoy greater access to nature and outdoor space, according to new research by Credit Karma.

Half of young people (49%) now hope to buy or rent outside of the town or city that they work in, according to the survey of over 1,000 UK adults.

Fewer than a quarter (24%) of 18- to 34-year-olds now say that living in the town or city where they work is a priority.

Other factors have become increasingly important, with price now of greater significance for young buyers. Many younger employees can no longer afford to prioritise location, with nearly three in 10 (28%) forced to look for more affordable living sue to the financial impact of the coronavirus.

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Broadband speed is a deal breaker for many, as roles move online to help tackle the spread of COVID-19. Younger workers now expect to work from home for up to four days a week over the next year, the research found.

Earlier this year, 50 of the biggest UK employers questioned by BBC said they did not plan to return all employees to the office full-time in the near future, while 24 firms said that they did not have any plans in place to return staff to the workplace at all.

Access to green spaces and the cost of living in the area have also become more important to househunting millennials.

Londoners are the most likely to be considering moving out of the city, with 38% thinking about buying elsewhere after lockdown.

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Young professionals are more likely to look further afield when it comes to househunting than older people, with 37% of 18- to 34-year-olds considering moving to a different area, compared with just 26% of 35- to 54-year-olds.

Ziad El Baba, general manager at Credit Karma said: “Many people, especially those of younger generations, are no longer tied to living close to where they work. This has presented a new set of options when considering where to live and how to get the most bang for their buck. As a result, many are opting for access to the countryside and fresher air, putting a greater emphasis on technology and the quality of home broadband.”

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