Londoners have remained loyal to their city throughout the coronavirus crisis, with the bulk of people in the capital pledging not to leave the city despite fresh Tier 2 restrictions and work from home orders, according to new research.
Just seven per cent of Londoners plan to pack up and flee the capital in the next year as a result of the financial toll of the pandemic, according to a new survey by the Centre for London think tank.
Over-65s and homeowners said they were least likely to move elsewhere, while more than two-thirds of Londoners currently unemployed said they would not ditch the capital in the next year.
The figure comes despite concerns over high rent in the capital, after 44 per cent of more than 1,500 Londoners surveyed said rent is currently unaffordable for them.
More than a quarter of Londoners reported that they are currently struggling to make ends meet, according to Centre for London.
Landlords have scrambled to slash rents by up to 20 per cent in recent weeks, as the Prime Minister’s orders to “work from home where possible” and wide-scale job losses have squashed demand for property in the capital.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Mum and Dad returned in full force over lockdown, after young Londoners flurried back to their parents’ houses as redundancies rippled through the lower ranks of businesses.
The Centre for London said 25 to 44 year olds, BAME Londoners and self-employed people in the capital were the most likely to have taken a financial hit from the pandemic.
However, fears over job security and future career prospects appear to have done little to dampen young people’s desire to stay in the capital.
Separate data published earlier this month by PwC showed that young people’s commitment to London remained largely unchanged despite the pandemic, with three quarters of 25 to 44-year-olds saying they were not planning to leave.
Claire Harding, research director at Centre for London said: “Londoners continue to be divided by their experience of, and response to, the pandemic.
“Our recovery from the pandemic needs to work for all Londoners in all neighbourhoods. The mayor of London and the government should focus training and skills development, especially for Londoners who are furthest from the job market — this way, we can prevent a crisis turning into lifetime economic scars.”
It comes after London saw a swathe of new restrictions come into force over the weekend, as the capital moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2 under the new local lockdown system.
The fresh measures mean Londoners are now banned from meeting anyone outside their household indoors, while further restrictions could join the current 10pm curfew and order to work from home where possible if they fail to quell a recent spike in infections.
Business bodies have warned that the new restrictions will “decimate” businesses in the capital, warning that a ban on household mixing could reverse slight economic recovery sparked by the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August.
Leading trade body UK Hospitality has warned that tougher Tier 2 Covid restrictions will put up to 250,000 jobs at risk in London’s hospitality sector, sparking demonstrations from the capital’s chefs, waiters and pub landlords in Parliament Square earlier this week.
Meanwhile, City of London chair McGuinness last week told City A.M. it was “absolutely critical that London moves as one in tackling this wretched virus… [and to] keep the economy running as much as saving lives”.
“A blanket recommendation to work from home risks stalling the capital’s recovery and damage long-term competitiveness. Hibernating through the winter is not an option for our economy,” she added.