Are Londoners fleeing the capital? Property money outflows reach 10-year peak

Published by Edmund Greaves on 26 December 2018.
Last updated on 27 December 2018

London house prices hit 14.5 times average earnings

Londoners have spent more on property outside London in 2018 than any of the last 10 years.

According to residential estate agent Hamptons International, Londoners spent £30 billion on property outside of the capital in 2018.

The estate agent has found that the amount spent by Londoners outside of the city has increased year-on-year since 2014.

Between 2009 and 2012 spending remained stable between £10-£11 billion. But this number jumped in 2013 and has increased steadily to its now 10-year high.

Total value of homes bought by Londoners outside the capital (£ billions)

The number of homes bought reflects a similar picture. In 2018 74,350 Londoners bought homes outside of the capital, a 3.8% increase on 2017. The average price paid for property was £398,910.

More than three quarters (77%) moving out of the city stayed in the south of England.

The most popular town for leavers was Sevenoaks in Kent, followed by Bath and North East Somerset.

Broxbourne in Hertfordshire was also popular, which encompasses towns such as Cheshunt, Hoddesdon, and Waltham Cross – ideal locations for commuting into central London.

The most popular destination for London leavers in 2018

Region Local Authority Percentage of homes bought by Londoners in 2018
South East Sevenoaks 52%
South West Bath and North East Somerset 52%
East of England Broxbourne 72%
East Midlands Daventry 17%
West Midlands Stoke-on-Trent 7%
North East Middlesbrough 16%
North West Liverpool 10%
Yorkshire & Humber Doncaster 13%
Source: Hamptons International

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, says: “Historically most people moving out of London have done so because of changing priorities, such as starting a family or generally wanting a slower pace of life. 

“But increasingly as affordability in the capital is stretched, more households are looking beyond the confines of London to buy their first home.  For many this means moving further afield to areas such as the Midlands and North where they can get more for their money.

However, Ms Beveridge believes 2018 will be the high tide of Londoners fleeing the capital, thanks to lower house prices inside the M25.

She says: “Despite a rise in the number of London leavers this year, 2018 is likely to be a peak.  A slower housing market in 2019 will likely mean that we see fewer Londoners buying homes outside of the capital than in 2018.”

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