Onlien estate agent Yopa has revealed its top 10 places to buy a property in the UK when taking into account the general public’s renewed outlook on where they live.
As lockdown restrictions finally begin to ease across the country, estate agency Yopa has updated its Love Where You Live Guide, revealing the best places to buy in the UK when taking into account new key considerations for property buyers.
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Whilst house prices, quality of local schools and low crime levels will likely always remain high on buyers’ lists of priorities, Yopa has determined that buyers are now placing greater emphasis on access to green spaces and the coast, job opportunities, and proximity to local amenities when deciding where to live. This shift is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic and resultant lockdowns.
The Love Where You Live Guide is a free tool created by Yopa to help Brits identify the best places to live to meet their individual needs following more than a year of uncertainty and upheaval.
Aberdeen in Scotland tops the list for 2021, knocking Cheltenham off the top spot.
London commuter towns tend to dominate lists such as this but, with the emphasis on office working now reduced, Yopa’s Top 10 includes a mix of areas across the country.
The Top 10 places to lock down a property, according to Yopa:
Crawley, West Sussex
Sale, Greater Manchester
Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Yopa analysed a number of economic and quality of life metrics to determine the Top 10 - including job opportunities, access to green spaces, proximity to schools rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, average local salaries, proximity to the coast, and crime rates.
A survey of over 2,000 British adults commissioned by Yopa and conducted by Censuswide asked people about how their relationships with their homes, families and communities have changed since the start of 2020.
When asked whether the pandemic had urged them to reconsider where in the country they live, 1 in 4 Brits said ‘yes’. This increased to 1 in 3 among those who are now working from home, meaning commutability is no longer of prime significance.
Lockdowns had people dreaming of greener pastures, with 1 in 4 people stating that they now feel more inclined to move somewhere with greater access to green spaces and the same number of people wishing they had more garden space.
A strong sense of community is also more important to buyers than it was prior to the pandemic, as are broadband speeds - a result of the shift towards remote working.
'Commutability has become less important'
Yopa’s Chief Property Analyst Mike Scott said: “After more than a year of upheaval in all of our personal and professional lives, many people are reconsidering where they live now that life is beginning to return to normal. Everyone will have a different set of move motivators when it comes to choosing an area in which to look for a new home, but Yopa’s research proves that certain factors have shot to the top of buyers’ priority lists this past year.
“Commutability has become less important as the country has embraced working from home, whilst proximity to both green spaces and the seaside is now vital as people have been forced to consider day trips as opposed to long-haul holidays. Job opportunities and salary levels are also of greater importance in a tumultuous period that has been marred by furlough, redundancies and job losses.
“Deciding where to move can be difficult and time-consuming at the best of times, not least whilst things in the UK remain so up in the air. We’ve decided to take some of the stress and worry out of this with our comprehensive, easy-to-use Love Where You Live Guide.”
Jon Sambrook, Local Yopa Agent for Bognor Regis: "Bognor Regis is best known for being a great family seaside resort on the south coast with extensive sunshine hours and vintage English coastal holiday charm. The town centre and promenade have and are being upgraded and the residential areas around Bognor, including Aldwick and Middleton, are really popular with buyers at the moment, so it’s no surprise to see it on the list.
"Bognor has historically been very popular with retirees migrating from London and other cities, but recently there has been huge demand from younger families with parents who work in Chichester or even London."