Home offices - demand remains

Many of us had to quickly adapt to working from home - from corners of the sitting room, bedrooms and sheds, we've had to speedily adjust and find a space to call our own. We've noticed that buyers are still requesting information on whether properties can accommodate working from home, be that a dedicated extra room, existing study, a workshop or office in the garden or a separate, purpose built space. The pandemic may be ‘over’ but our desire to work from home for at least a portion of our working week is going nowhere.

Pre 2020, around 1.7 million people reported working from home, rising to 4 million in March 2022. Between 19 and 30 January 2022, 36% of working adults reported having worked from home at least once in the last seven days, demonstrating the lasting change brought about by the pandemic.

Working from home may have come to an end for some UK workers, but many have seen the merits of such a lifestyle choice, albeit one that was thrust upon us at the beginning, and those with sympathetic employers – or those who work for themselves – have decided in droves to continue to create the perfect work/life balance for them and their families.

The pandemic has most definitely changed our outlook on life, our health, our work, where we live and what we need from a home. With prospective buyers now able to consider properties further afield due to changing working patterns, an escape to the country looks to be on the cards for some and for many years to come.

Well-connected towns and villages in Cheshire and North Wales are most definitely on the radar for those looking to continue their commute from kitchen table to home office, and there are several factors at play that are aiding these decisions.

Better broadband
Better broadband in more rural areas has meant that hamlets and villages once ignored by those who need a great connection are now firmly on the priority list. Gone are the days when a country retreat meant hours trying to connect to the internet. High speed and superfast broadband is now available in some of the most far-flung corners!

Working from home doesn’t mean disconnecting from your office, and good transport links play a part in choosing where to live. We’re fortunate in Cheshire and North Wales to be connected to great transport links in the form of well-kept A roads and quick access to the UK’s motorway network. It’s possible to live somewhere rural and still be in the office for a meeting in an hour.

Bang for your buck
The dream of having more for your money is also driving prospective buyers to look further afield. More outdoor space, an extra room, a garden office or a teenage hideaway – these things may have been off the table in larger, urban towns and cities, but move half an hour out of town and you’ll be surprised how much more you get for your money.

The great outdoors
A wonderful aspect of living in the countryside is the unbridled access you’ll have to wide open green spaces – all on your doorstep. There’s nothing quite like a morning coffee, then the front door swings open and off we go on a countryside walk. It does wonders for your mental health!