skip to main content
Find Insight DIY on
* * *


Two In Five UK Adults Want To Move To A New Setting Following 2020 Events

House jax10289  Shutterstockdotcom1184663653.jpg
  • More than half of rural / semi-rural dwellers would consider moving, compared to two fifths of suburban and urban residents.
  • One in seven (15%) people would move because they plan to work from home and don’t need to commute.
  • But people are much more likely to move for a better quality of life / health reasons.
  • One resident in 10 plans to move because they have bought, or plan to buy, a dog.

More than two fifths (43%) of UK adults are considering moving to a different type of setting, as a result of the events of 2020.

But while many experts have predicted an exodus to the country, as city dwellers spend more time working from home, a new study from Aviva reveals a more complicated picture.

A survey of 6,000 people suggests those living in rural or semi-rural locations are actually more likely to want to move to different surroundings than those living in urban and sub-urban areas. More than half of UK adults living in rural (52%) and semi-rural (53%) locations would like a change of scene, a higher proportion than those dwelling in suburban or urban places (39% in both cases).

Where do people want to live?

While the grass may be greener for some in the countryside, many residents of rural and semi-rural locations show a desire to move to places with more facilities. Nearly a third of people (31%) in a rural dwelling wish to move to a semi-rural setting, while almost the same proportion (30%) of people in semi-rural properties hope to move to a suburban location.

Table: Where would people in different locations like to live?

 All locationsCurrently living in sub-urban e.g. residential area / small townCurrently living in urban e.g. central to city / townCurrently living in semi-rural e.g. small villageCurrently living in rural location e.g. countryside

No plans to relocate to a different type of location






Considering moving to a semi-rural location e.g. small village






Considering moving to suburban location e.g. residential area / small town






Considering moving to a rural location e.g. countryside






Considering moving to an urban location e.g. central to city / town






Why do people want to move?

When it comes to why people wish to live in a certain location, reasons differ according to the new setting. People are more likely to believe rural (42%) and semi-rural (36%) locations would provide a better quality of life for their family / children. Similarly, more people believe there will be health benefits due to lower pollution in rural (37%) and semi-rural (28%) locations.

Compared to all other types of setting, urban locations are more likely to be chosen for a better social life (23%) facilities (22%), and transport links (22%).

A relatively small number of people say they plan to move because they could work from home and wouldn’t need to commute as often. This is fairly consistent at around 15% across all location types.

A similar number (15%) say they would consider moving to reduce the possibility of infections such as Covid. Generally this trend leans towards rural (18%) and semi-rural (16%) settings, although 8% of people feel they’d be less likely to be infected in an urban setting.

Finally, coinciding with reports that demands for pets have soared during lockdown, one in 10 residents (11%) report their home needs have been influenced by getting or planning to get a dog.

Gareth Hemming, MD for Personal Lines, Aviva says: “Our research shows a disparity between what we might expect to see and the world as it actually is. As more people and businesses have adapted to home-working, this might suggest that people may want to move out of city locations. But the full picture is much more complicated and many people are hoping to move around for a wide variety of reasons, with some planning to move into more urban spaces.

 “As people move around, it’s important that they review their home insurance to make sure it covers their new circumstances. And at Aviva, as people’s home requirements change, our insurance products are evolving too. So wherever customers choose to live, we hope to have a solution to meet their needs.”

Source : Aviva

Image : jax10289 / 1184663653

For all the very latest news and intelligence on the UK's largest home improvement and garden retailers, sign up for the Insight DIY weekly newsletter.

27 January 2021

Related News

view more UK DIY News

Insight DIY is the only source of market information that I need and they always have the latest news before anyone else.

Neil Anderton - Sales Director, British Ceramic Tile

Don't miss out on all the latest, breaking news from the DIY industry