Hybrid working opens up new opportunities for widening commuter belts

In a national survey of full or part-time employed people 9 in 10 workers (92%), who now increasingly divide their time between home and the office, would be willing to commute further to buy or rent their desired property or live in their preferred location

The survey also found that  69% of hybrid workers are now commuting to work for three days or less on average each week. As a result, 58% of hybrid workers said that they would commute further to afford their first property or take the next step on the housing ladder.

The legal sector is adopting a hybrid working strategy as it encourages workers to return to the office a couple of days a week. Fewer days travelling to the office means people would be prepared to commute from further away to secure their ideal property or location

  • 16% would add up to 14 minutes
  • 43% would add 15 to 29 minutes
  • 32% would add 30 to 44 minutes
  • 4% would add 45 to 59 minutes
  • 5% would travel over an hour extra.

This willingness to commute further extends beyond just those currently working with a hybrid arrangement. More than two-thirds (70%) of all national respondents said they would be open to a longer commute because of remote and hybrid working and 88% would be prepared to commute further if it meant finding the right property or location for them. Furthermore, 60% said they would commute further to get on, or climb up, the property ladder.

And while the changing workplace is one factor in any decision to extend the commute, the rise of house prices, the need for more space and the shortage of new listings coming to market are likely encourage people to widen their property searches. The latest Halifax House Price Index reveals that after three months of decline, the average house price now stands at a record breaking £267,587, 7.4% higher than this time last year.

Commenting on the survey Richard Eagling, Senior Personal Finance Expert at NerdWallet said,

“The main purpose of our research was to find out if the move towards more flexible ways of working has impacted how people conduct their property searches.”

“It is clear from the results that spending more time at home and fewer days in the workplace is making people more open to a longer commute. Hybrid working combined with rising house prices seem to be compelling reasons why many individuals are prepared to travel that little bit further in order to find their desired property or live in their preferred location.”

Interestingly, the survey also found 51% of hybrid workers think that the financial benefits of remote and hybrid working, such as reducing their monthly outgoings through spending less on travel and other work expenses, could improve a mortgage lender’s perception of a person’s ability to afford a mortgage.

Richard Eagling added:

“It’s great to think that working from home more often could help some people to fulfil their dreams of owning a property or moving to a home that is more suited to their needs or preferences. By commuting to their workplace less and reducing their monthly outgoings, it could allow them to better save for a deposit and improve their mortgage affordability; a definite positive of the hybrid model.”

1 Comment

  • test

    Any indication as to whether a greater acceptance of commuting time is prompting commuter belt planning authorities to adjust thinking as to where starter homes should be built?

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