The number of Londoners moving out of the capital, buying homes in other parts of the country, surged in 2015.
Research by Hamptons International - using data gathered by Countrywide - shows that in 2015 Londoners bought 63,000 homes outside of the capital spending an average of £375,000. This adds up to a total of £24 billion – the highest number since 2007, when 100,000 homes were bought, totaling £32 billion.
Eighty eight per cent of those leaving London bought in the south of England, buying a total of 53,000 homes - up from 33,500 in 2014.
However, the highest growth was in areas further from the capital, particularly in relatively more affordable markets in the Midlands and the north. In 2015 the number of Midlands homes bought by Londoners increased by 165 per cent, while in the north it increased by 90 per cent.
“As the gap between prices in London and the south east has grown, so has the temptation for Londoners to cash in on record house prices and move out of the capital. With expectations of future house price growth in London easing, many have chosen 2015 to make their move out of London” says Johnny Morris, head of research at Hamptons International.
“Given the flow out of London was suppressed for many years after the downturn, it is likely that there is still pent-up demand from families waiting to make life stage moves. We will see more Londoners leaving the capital in 2016, many prepared to move further afield in search of value for money” he says.
“It is part of the natural life cycle of the capital that households move out as their priorities change. Many of those leaving London are in their 30s and 40s in search of more space and a different lifestyle. But 2015 saw a large number of first-time buyers moving out too. Affordability in London is more constrained than ever, so many who want to buy their first home are considering less expensive areas in the commuter belt.”