Lockdown living fuels Exeter homeowners’ desire to move

The impact of lockdown restrictions on the lives of Exeter homeowners has made more than two thirds (70%) of people living in the city claim they want to move to a new home, according to the latest data released today by Zoopla, the UK’s most comprehensive property destination.

The data, which studies the impact of lockdown restrictions on the views of homeowners in Exeter towards their current property, highlights a strong desire for a new home for many local residents.

Out of office

When asked about the chances of returning to an office environment once lockdown restrictions have been lifted, two fifths (43%) of homeowners surveyed said they will continue to work predominantly from home, highlighting the need for additional, flexible space.

This need for space extends to both the indoors and outdoors, illustrated by data from Zoopla in early 2021 that revealed demand for ‘gardens’ topped the list of Zoopla search terms for buyers in Exeter in 2020. In fact, six of the ten most searched-for terms by property hunters in Exeter during 2020 related to increased indoor and outdoor space. 

Time after time

While lockdown has been tough for many people, the Zoopla research highlights that it has also brought some benefits for Exeter homeowners.

Two fifths (41%) of those surveyed by Zoopla said that as a result of the restrictions, they no longer had to commute to work.

Of the Exeter residents who still commute to work, over half (51%) said lockdown has reduced their commuting time thanks to the addition of home working.

Cut in commuting

The benefits of a decrease in commuting has also impacted homeowners’ finances. The research shows that two thirds (62%) of Exeter homeowners have saved more than £100 per month on travel costs during lockdown, while almost one in 30 (3%) is saving more than £500 per month.

Roger Wilkinson, Managing Director at Wilkinson Grant & Co, an estate agency in Exeter, said: “There’s no question that lockdown has really dialled up the desire for Exeter homeowners to find a new property. In many regards, lockdown has unleashed latent demand for more space across the city.

“Whether it’s looking for additional space for a home office, a bigger garden for family time or an annexe for a child to return home or a parent to move in, the desire for new property has skyrocketed since April 2020. We expect this trend to continue as lockdown restrictions look set to stay in place for the next few months.”

Gráinne Gilmore, Head of Research at Zoopla comments: “With the daily commute looking very different for many and all but gone for over 40% of homeowners in Exeter, it opens opportunities for homeowners to reassess their property needs, and also their location. This is driving an increased desire to move. The savings on offer from less frequent commuting for work can also transform people's budgets, meaning some homeowners may be able to afford a bigger move than pre-lockdown, further propelling their dream of finding a new home.”   

For inspiration for your next move, here are some of Exeter’s best listings.

4 bed detached house for sale

Henry Holland Park, Old Rydon Lane

Exeter, Devon, EX2

Price: £700,000

3 bed semi-detached house for sale

The Fold, Home Farm, Exeter, EX4

Price: £315,000


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