New research commissioned by Berkeley Homes has found that the increased stress of living in London has triggered an exodus to the UK countryside.
According to the study, over a quarter of Londoners are looking to leave the Capital within the next two to three years – with 51% claiming living in London is too stressful.
And the Home Counties seem to be high on the target wish list for those aspiring to reach pastures new.
Some 41% believe the move would boost their own sense of wellbeing, citing fresh air, cheaper property, green surroundings, community life, and friendlier neighbours as contributing to such an improvement.
However, there is also plenty of FOMO; the study of 1,000 Londoners found that almost half are worried that leaving the city would have a negative impact on their social life. Meanwhile, 55% feared that they would miss out on the “fun and excitement” of the Capital if they moved away.
Nevertheless, the research – carried out through OnePoll – found that over one third believe it’s still possible to have all the benefits associated with living in London without actually living there.
Deana Everingham, sales and marketing director at Berkeley Homes, said: “We have already seen a huge increase in people keen to move out of the Capital in order to achieve a higher quality of life.
“Of course, there are aspects of London they will be sad to leave behind, but the findings suggest the benefits outweigh the negatives.
“The Home Counties and beyond are becoming more appealing, with towns that previously might have been overlooked now becoming thriving epicentres in their own right.”
Following a move to the Home Counties, the survey found that a fifth of those polled would still be willing to commute back into town.
A fifth are so attached to London they would consider commuting back to the Capital upon relocating – citing that up to 90 minutes would be an acceptable length of time for them to travel to work.
Deana added: “Despite the perception, it is possible to get the best of both worlds – to enjoy everything great about London and to have the benefits of living outside the Capital.”
There are many locations which offer much shorter commutes than the one-and-a-half hours deemed acceptable.
Reading, the UK’s largest town (recently ranked the second best place to live and work by PwC), offers direct train travel into London Paddington in just 26 minutes.
Known for being the UK’s largest tech cluster, Reading offers the highest wages in the UK outside of London, and now sees more people commuting daily into Reading than leaving to travel to central London.
The opening of The Oracle shopping centre, a £900m station upgrade, and announcement of Crossrail have helped to spark growth.
Deana adds: “As a developer, we are investing heavily in Reading. By summer 2019, buyers will be able to choose from a wide range of high quality waterside homes – New England-style lakeside living at Green Park Village; contemporary waterside apartments at Reading’s first lifestyle hub, Bankside Gardens; plus a brand new riverside, town centre scheme just a five-minute walk from the station.”
Life outside London may just exist after all; and it could be perfect for those most stressed out by City living.