TWO Scottish suburban towns have become the most desirable places to live in the UK for the post-Covid commuter, a new study reveals.

Research found that Giffnock and Kirkintilloch were the best areas in the UK for the 'new normal' involving more working from home as the UK tries to ease out of lockdown.

The research takes into account a combination of high broadband speeds with a “wellbeing score” made up of four criteria - air quality, open space, access to green space and residents’ happiness.

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The ranking carried out by Garrington Property Finders, comes as lockdown living has changed what the nation want from their homes with some 41% of UK workers still working from home.

It found that among househunters whose priorities have been shifted by the Covid pandemic, 37% are now more likely to want a garden. A fifth also said they want a bigger home (20%), a less urban location (20%) and faster broadband (18%).

Garrington pinpointed 15 locations across the UK with most to offer the post-Covid commuter, able to work from home at least some of the time with the Glasgow commuter communities coming out on top.

All those analysed were within half an hour of a major regional city or 90 minutes from London, and all have high broadband speeds – with at least 55% of homes having access to ultrafast broadband.

Garringon said the affluent Glasgow suburb of Giffnock which triumphed was famed for its golf courses, stately villas and red sandstone houses. The town, which had an average family detached home price of £405,393 had "the best blend of fast broadband and a fast commute", said Garrington.

At just 16 minutes from the centre of Scotland’s largest city, it edged out historic Kirkintilloch – the Canal Capital of Scotland – into second place. The typical family home was priced at £377,431.

Edinburgh and Linlithgow are also in the Top 15 with average detached family home prices quotes as £576,521 and £290,888 respectively.

England’s star performers both boased a world-class academic pedigree. Third-placed Cambridge is 49 minutes from London by train, and pips its Boat Race rival, fourth-placed Oxford – which is 57 minutes from the capital – thanks to its higher wellbeing score.

Jonathan Hopper, chief executive of Garrington said: “Shrinking journey times, faster broadband speeds and the rise of home-working were reshaping the property landscape even before the pandemic hit. But Britain’s national confinement has turbocharged the change; an evolution that might have taken years is now happening in weeks.

“Three months of lockdown have led many of us to reassess what we want from our homes. Our research shows more than half of would-be buyers have changed their requirements since March, with gardens, open space and faster broadband emerging as top priorities.

“Two out of five workers are still working from home, and many of us may never go back to a daily commute. Post-Covid commuting is likely to look very different, and we’re seeing a stream of digital commuters – who are less tied to the large cities and able to work from home some of the time – explore new areas offering better value, more space and a better quality of life.

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“The Covid crisis has pushed the property market into a hard reset. New commuter hotspots will emerge, where quality of life and broadband speed are as important as the speed of the commute. While some traditional favourites will continue to thrive, our research confirms the arrival of a new set of professional, mobile buyers who need expert intelligence to identify the areas with the greatest potential.”

The hotspots survey emerged just three weeks after Scottish finance secretary Kate Forbes announced a temporary cut to the transaction tax on house sales and extra support for first-time buyers.

The starting point for land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) was to rise from £145,000 to £250,000.

Ms Forbes said this meant eight out of 10 house sales in Scotland would be exempt from the tax.

The move follows in the footsteps of a stamp duty holiday on transactions in England and Northern Ireland.

The change will not come into force immediately for "administrative reasons", although Ms Forbes said it would be implemented "as soon as possible".

The government is also to spend an extra £50m on the "first home fund" scheme which helps first-time buyers with their purchases.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a stamp duty holiday on transactions in England and Northern Ireland of up to £500,000 as part of his summer statement of measures to respond to the coronavirus crisis.