June 30, 2020 / 10:41 AM / 4 days ago

Builder Redrow says Britons want bigger houses, access to parks

June 30 (Reuters) - British people are interested in buying bigger houses with gardens and nearby parks after the coronavirus pandemic, according to one of the country's biggest housebuilders, in a trend that could weaken the draw of big cities.

Redrow said on Tuesday it was scaling back its operations in London to focus on one major development. It will look for future growth in the regions and its larger Heritage properties.

Britain's lockdown, introduced in March and being lifted gradually, forced millions of people to stay at home to suppress the virus.

In London, where many people live in apartments with limited outdoor space, the easing is hampered by restrictions on the number of people who can use public transport, making it harder to get around the city.

"Recent studies have highlighted that the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted home movers' priorities. In particular, there is a desire for more inside and outside space, wanting to live closer to green spaces and having better home workspace," Redrow said.

The company has its headquarters in Ewloe, a small town in north Wales.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to invest in the regions of Britain to help drive a recovery from COVID-19, a strategy he has dubbed "levelling up".

The pandemic has forced companies around the world to rethink office life, with some firms willing to let their employees work from home even after the crisis, making access to central business areas less vital.

In one of the highest profile examples, Facebook said in May it would permanently embrace remote work even after coronavirus lockdowns ease. (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; editing by Kate Holton and Keith Weir)

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