Coronavirus triggers nearly one in 10 Watford residents to move house

Nearly one in 10 people in Watford have moved house because of the coronavirus pandemic, a survey suggests.

Research by think tank Demos asked 20,000 adults in parliamentary constituencies across Great Britain how the Covid-19 crisis had affected where they wanted to live.

In Watford, 9% of people surveyed in December said they had recently moved house or were planning to do so for pandemic -related reasons.

Across Great Britain, 9% of survey respondents also said the same.

The Chartered Institute of Housing said many people have re-evaluated where and how they want to live, because the lockdown has highlighted the importance of affordable, well-located, good-quality housing.

Melanie Rees, head of policy and external affairs at CIH, added: “Increasing working from home for the lucky ones means people don’t have to be within daily distance. of work.

“Moving to urban centers where house prices are high could mean people can afford bigger, better quality housing in more pleasant surroundings.

“We should think about its impact on people already living in an area who may find themselves at a disadvantage in the price of renting or owning a home due to house price inflation caused by people moving with more money to spend. ”

The survey showed an additional 7% of Watford residents are thinking about moving house because of the pandemic, even though they don’t yet have a solid plan.

However, the majority of people (68%) do not think about moving.

Demos said that adult children, specifically those in their mid-20s with lower incomes, were the most likely to move as a result of the pandemic.

Some students may return home from university prematurely, while young urban workers trying to start their careers are also affected.

The Institute for Public Policy Research, a progressive think tank, said rising house prices greatly benefited existing homeowners, while widening social and economic inequalities.

Jonathan Webb, senior research partner at IPPR, said: “The UK’s chronic housing undersupply means that when areas become popular with home movers, house prices can skyrocket rapidly.

“This can result in areas that are quickly unaffordable. The effects are often felt strongly on household incomes, who can easily see their prices in areas that may have previously been affordable.”

The solution is for governments to increase the supply of homes, specifically “truly affordable social rents”, he added.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said government -supported schemes help many people get the keys to their own homes.

He added: “We delivered more than 243,000 homes last year – the highest number in 30 years – and are investing more than £ 12 billion in affordable housing over the next five years to help councils. , housing associations and others that deliver new homes. ”

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