Swindon house searches on the up as more people work from home

Swindon house searches on the up as more people work from home

Estate agents suggest that the move towards working from home means buyers are increasingly moving out of cities like London and Bristol to get better value for money.

Since the pandemic happened, employers have become more comfortable with allowing staff to work remotely when possible.

Becky Burke is an accountant who sold her three-bedroom terrace in London for a five-bed detached property in Swindon.

She told the BBC: “Covid has provided an opportunity that I wouldn’t have had.

“I’m really lucky that my company supported my move – they let me do one day in London and it’s an hour on the train so perfectly achievable.

“My company wouldn’t have supported this had Covid not happened – but they realised it is feasible.”

Ms Burke added that she does find it “quite isolating” sometimes working from home, adding there are definitely “pros and cons”.

Josh McHugh, director at Richard James estate agents in Swindon added: “Within the local area, Zoopla are saying that 40 per cent of buyers are coming from out of area and showing that 30 per cent of all searches outside London are searching for Swindon.

“People are realising the value they can get in Swindon if you’re on a Reading, Bristol, London salary but you can live here and get a house that is so much bigger.”

He added that there has been a “huge amount” of people from London and other cities looking at property in the area since the pandemic.

David Burns, chair the UK Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, moved from near Leeds to Swindon because he could work from home.

He said: “Swindon is not the most exciting town in Britain but it’s convenient and we wanted to be somewhere which is affordable, decent houses and access to things.

“We do go to nearby towns like Bristol, Reading, and Bath a lot.”

David Plaister, managing director of David Plaister Ltd, a North Somerset estate agent, said the same thing is happening in Weston-super-Mare, where people are relocating from Bristol.

He said: ” Our stats say we sell eight out of 10 properties to people from Bristol, which had been growing pre-Covid, and certainly after Covid, people are looking for more space to work from home.

“You get more value for money, better space, better accommodation for your square footage of pound, and good commuter links.”

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