One in seven want to leave London because of coronavirus

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A third of Londoners want to move home because of the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey has revealed.

And almost half (46%) of those planning to relocate now want to leave the capital, according to London Assembly polling.

That means one in seven people want to leave London because of the virus.

Three in ten residents said they will definitely move in the next year, with almost a quarter (24%) more likely to move than stay where they are.

Covid-19 has shifted Londoners’ priorities when it comes to choosing a new home: almost a fifth (19%) now want a garden, and 17% want easy access to parks.

More space (12%) and an extra room for a home office (11%) were also high on the wish list of residents in the capital.

Londoners also want to be close to shops (9%) and to friends and family (9%), the survey found.

For those dreaming of a move but pessimistic about their chances, the barriers varied.

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Financial uncertainty during the pandemic was the biggest obstacle (27%), along with the cost of moving and distance to work (both 25%).

Fewer Londoners were worried about losing community ties – just one in ten said this was their biggest concern when planning a move.

Murad Qureshi, who chair the London Assembly housing committee, said he had “serious concerns” about the impact of many people leaving the capital.

“If this exodus from London actually materialises, it could have a huge impact on the city, the economy and the housing market,” he warned.

While fewer residents could mean less overcrowding, there might be negative consequences for local communities and the economy, he said.

With more people keen to move house within the city, gardens and parks have clearly become a “major priority”, and new housing developments should include green space, he added.

The survey was conducted online from mid July to early August: 450 Londoners took part, and results were weighted to represent the demographics of the city.

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