One effect of the coronavirus epidemic has been the pressure placed on many people to find viable ways of working from home, aided by technology. Where insurance, security, connectivity and any local
planning constraints allow, it’s likely that a significant number of these workers may continue to be wholly or partially home-based after the virus threat subsides. This may give them greater choice about where they live.
If just weekly or monthly visits to the office are sufficient, it becomes possible to live in a distant town or remote country cottage. No longer does home have to be within an hour or so of an employer’s premises, so priorities such as schools, other local facilities, value for money and a better quality of life may come to the fore. For sheer variety of locations, UK homebuyers are spoilt for choice.
Compare the market town
The UK’s historic market towns are widely favoured, so the ones within daily commuting distance of major cities may have higher property prices than similar towns further out. With the shackles of daily commuting broken, home-based employees may find their ideal home more affordable in a market town 100 miles or more from company HQ. Most counties, from Cornwall to Caithness and Kent to Ceredigion, have attractive market towns.
Being free of daily travel does not force you to live many miles from HQ. You could opt for the combination of town and country offered by ‘garden cities’, some of them within 30 miles of major conurbations including London, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Hull and Edinburgh. Garden cities have appeared over the past 130 years. In 2017, the government announced plans for 17 new garden villages and towns in England.
Duck pond optional
For many city dwellers and workers, the dream is a home in a quaint village away from the hustle and bustle – though not with constant lockdown-style social life. Many people believe that the complete village needs a pub, church, village hall, Post Office stores, good broadband and maybe a green with a duck pond.
So, market town, garden city or quaint village – all are among the options if you can work primarily from home.