As I understand it, there is now something called hybrid work. The way this works is that on some days you go into the office and on some days you work from home, or from some “third space” near to your home. As a result of this, there are now more people, at least for the time being, that seem to be willing to live further out from large urban centers. And this is reflected in the data that the Financial Times recently published in an article about “how the pandemic transformed Britain’s commuter towns“:
In-person spending in the City of London has yet to fully recover. It remains below 2019 levels. Whereas a number of places that I am generally unfamiliar with (see chart) are now above where they were pre-pandemic. This, again, makes intuitive sense: more decentralization, more time at home, and less time in the City of London. Though we could also be seeing some low base effect here. Either way, my gut continues to be that a lot of people are still underestimating the stickiness of cities and the importance of in-person interactions.