Research from PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that despite changing preferences in living locations among certain demographics, those aged 25 to 44 still see their immediate future in the capital.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, 75 per cent of people in this age group who lived in London saw their next move being within London again. The percentage of people who give this same answer today has barely changed. Meanwhile, just over 20 per cent said they wanted to move out of London before the pandemic hit – this has now dropped to 12 per cent.
This compares to a significant change in sentiment in the 45 years and over category of people – here, before the coronavirus, 69 per cent of people living in London wanted to stay in London. This has now dropped to 42 per cent. Those stating that they want to move out of the capital has increased from 20 per cent to 33 per cent.
PwC says that in the case of the younger demographic, the existence of friends, support networks, jobs and entertainment opportunities are likely factors in wanting to stay in the city.
It adds that the proportion of people who rent being higher than it is in older age groups means that their next move may be sooner than for older people, too. The firm believes there is a chance that more vacated family properties in Greater London could result in lower house prices while demand increases in other regions. Thus, a rebalancing of house prices and talent as older workers move into other regions could be on the cards in the long term, it says, while warning that this is contingent on people not moving to already wealthy areas.
Overall, the PwC’s research shows that 20 per cent of people say they are less likely to purchase a home “over the next couple of years” in comparison to February this year, while 10 per cent are more likely.
Negative factors include an uncertain job market and house prices, with the Stamp Duty cut likely to be one of the main factors for positivity.
It says than in a ‘contained [coronavirus] spread’ scenario it sees house prices growing by 1 per cent in 2021. In a ‘further outbreak’ scenario, on the other hand, PwC offers a likely house price decline of 7 per cent in 2021.