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The impact of remote work on rental property preferences in the UK

Nov 3, 2023 | Industry News, Landlords, Tenants

The world of work has undergone a profound transformation in recent years, with the rise of remote work becoming a significant game-changer. As remote work opportunities become more prevalent, the UK’s rental property market is experiencing notable shifts in tenant preferences.

In this article, we will explore how remote work is influencing the rental property landscape in the UK, including changes in location preferences, space requirements, and desired amenities. Additionally, we will provide insights into which areas in the UK are gaining popularity among remote workers and how property managers can adapt to meet their evolving needs.

Changing location preferences:
Remote work has given tenants the flexibility to choose where they live, leading to significant shifts in location preferences. Here are some key trends:

  • Suburban resurgence: Suburban areas and smaller towns are witnessing increased demand as remote workers seek more spacious, affordable homes away from city centres. Tenants are drawn to these areas for their quieter surroundings and the opportunity to enjoy larger living spaces.
  • Coastal retreats: Coastal regions have become appealing to remote workers looking for a change of scenery and a higher quality of life. The prospect of living near the coast, with easy access to beaches and outdoor activities, is driving many to consider previously overlooked coastal towns.
  • Rural retreats: Some remote workers are embracing a truly remote lifestyle by relocating to rural areas. Improved internet connectivity in rural regions has made it possible for individuals to work from picturesque countryside locations.

Space requirements and work-from-home amenities:
Remote work has prompted tenants to rethink their space needs and prioritise certain amenities in rental properties:

  • Home offices: The need for dedicated workspaces is on the rise. Tenants are increasingly seeking properties with a separate room or space that can serve as a home office, providing them with a quiet and productive work environment.
  • Outdoor spaces: Properties with outdoor areas, such as gardens or balconies, have gained popularity. Tenants appreciate having a space to take breaks and enjoy fresh air during the workday.
  • Fiber-optic internet: Reliable and high-speed internet connections have become non-negotiable for remote workers. Properties with fiber-optic or fast broadband connections are in high demand.

Popular areas for remote workers:

  • Southwest England: Cornwall and Devon have seen a surge in interest from remote workers, thanks to their stunning landscapes and improved connectivity.
  • East Anglia: Norfolk and Suffolk are becoming popular choices for remote workers seeking a quieter lifestyle without sacrificing essential amenities.
  • Northern Cities: Cities like Manchester, Leeds, and Newcastle are attracting remote workers with their lower cost of living compared to London, vibrant cultural scenes, and strong job markets.

Adapting to meet remote workers’ needs:

  • Property upgrades: Property managers can consider making renovations or additions to accommodate home offices, such as converting spare rooms or nooks into workspaces.
  • Emphasise connectivity: Promote properties with excellent internet connectivity and consider investing in improved infrastructure where possible.
  • Highlight amenities: Market properties by showcasing outdoor spaces, nearby recreational areas, and proximity to essential services.

The rise of remote work is reshaping the UK’s rental property market, with tenants prioritising location, space, and amenities that cater to their new work-from-home lifestyles. Property managers who understand these changing preferences and adapt their offerings accordingly will be better positioned to attract and retain remote worker tenants. As remote work continues to evolve, the rental market in the UK is likely to see ongoing transformation, making it essential for property managers to stay informed and responsive to these shifts.


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