With it being almost a year and a half since the prime minister announced the first lockdown in March 2020, we have now reached ‘freedom’.
It was presumed that as many were forced to work from home, the majority would opt to permanently leave London in favour of quieter, more peaceful, outdoor friendly surroundings but more importantly, cheaper areas outside of the capital. Whilst many did make the move away, the majority are sticking with London.
Regardless of the situation, London will remain the centre of the UK economy and the place to be. It’s the capital of the UK for good reason, and people will continue to flock to it. It has everything you need to live a truly cosmopolitan lifestyle.
New developments in communication and video-conferencing have meant that working from home is much easier and more logical than it ever was before. However, the fact of the matter is that the office cannot be replicated. That in-person interaction that is needed in business, to really acquaint with each other and build trust, cannot be re-created through video.
Office occupancy in London has now surpassed 50% since May, according to data from sensor provider Metrikus. It is clear that people still crave the collaboration and creativity that comes from being physically present in the workplace. Humans are inherently social beings.
In the most expensive areas of London housing activity reached a record 86% higher than the five-year average in June (Knight Frank), as the easing of Covid restrictions attracts people back to the capital.
This is not to say that London hasn’t and won’t change in response to the pandemic, it will for sure adapt. Lockdowns have made us re-evaluate our behaviours and our priorities and think about how our cities can be improved. We are witnessing one behavioural shift here at The ZEUS App. More and more people initially opting for virtual home valuations rather than physical ones.
Quality of housing has also been highlighted during the pandemic. It is essential we now focus on building homes of a higher standard and across a range of price points.
The pandemic has also revealed just how many people live in cramped spaces with little or no outdoor space. This has led to a new emphasis on developments with outdoor and green spaces, with access to nature and fresh air being the forefront in residential design.
London is a melting pot of nationalities, ethnicities and languages unmatched anywhere else in the world. It’s one of the most multicultural cities globally. It’s a forward-thinking, innovative city that still doesn’t forget its sense of the past, and this is evidently going to continue.
While the pandemic may have forced us to reshape the way we live and work, the city’s character has not been compromised.
Major events such as Brexit and Covid-19 will simply be a catalyst for the city to reinvent itself, as it has always done throughout history. For all these reasons, London is still the place to be.
Credit: Dean Clifford, Great Marlborough Estates.