The trend for remote working could continue to influence the property market into next year, Rightmove claims.
The portal’s data shows there has been an increase in potential buyers looking to move out of cities during the pandemic, suggesting people are looking further afield as they aren’t working from offices as much.
Analysis by Rightmove found 40% of people sending enquiries on its portal were from people looking to leave a city where they live in February 2020.
This has risen to 50% as of February 2022.
The figure is as high as 55% in Edinburgh and 60% in Manchester, according to Rightmove.
The research suggests there are signs of the trend slowing though, with signs of people returning to London.
The proportion of buyers looking to leave London was below 40% in January 2020, rising to 60% by the middle of 2021, but is now dropping closer to 50%.
Tim Bannister, director of property data for Rightmove, says buyers are responding to clarity being given by employers on remote and flexible working as lockdown restrictions ease.
He says: “Whether that’s going back to the office, hybrid work or fully flexible, people are now figuring that out.
“What we can see is some of the commuter towns where there were bigger moves are very much in demand.
“There is also strong growth in central locations.
“Flats in central locations were out of favour for much of 2020 and 2021 but we are seeing buyers coming into city centres again.
“That is buyers perhaps coming to work in city centres again.
“While there is more clarity, there are changes.
“Some companies are saying we need people back in, others are saying we don’t.
“Everyone is still in a state of working that through.
“It will take a number of months and move into 2023.
“These trends will still develop and change.”