How the cult of working from home will depress house prices for good

“I worked remotely so it didn’t really matter where I lived and the house prices were so much cheaper,” he said. “It was a no-brainer.”

They paid around £250,000 for a two-bedroom terrace – substantially less than what it would have cost them to buy in Bromley. He said they had been looking in London but could only afford a one-bedroom flat.

“The quality of life is a lot better,” he said. “Rather than spending time commuting, we can spend that time actually enjoying breakfast and going out in the morning for a walk. Luckily where we live now is a 10-minute walk from farmland. So we can actually enjoy a bit more of our free time than we would have been able if we were stuck commuting.”

He said his staff are dotted around different parts of the country because they have no offices – including one who lives in rural Norfolk.

Mr Smith plans to keep working remotely for the foreseeable future.

‘Employers begin calling staff back to the office’

Predictions about the impact of working from home on house prices are based on the assumption that it will remain a permanent feature of the labour market, but some employers are demanding a return to the office.

The investment bank Investec wants its staff to return to the office for four days a week, up from three, The Telegraph revealed earlier this week.

Lloyds Banking Group, JP Morgan and BlackRock have all told their employees that they must return to the workplace more frequently.

But Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, said most companies expected to retain some form of flexible working.

Fewer than one in ten companies have told staff they must come back to the office full-time, according to a survey of 120 companies by estate agent CBRE.

The majority of businesses said they expect to push for a return to more regular office life in the coming months, but just 6pc are planning to enforce full-time commuting.

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