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Numbers of Londoners buying homes outside capital reach 10-year high

Hamptons International says that in 2016 the number of Londoners buying a home outside the capital reached the highest level since 2007. 

Some 74,000 Londoners bought outside London, 11,000 more than in 2015 and just 16,000 fewer than in the highest year on record, 2007. 

The average Londoner, buying outside the capital, spent £388,000 on their new home, a total of £29 billion – in 2007, when 90,000 homes were bought, the total was £32 billion. 

The majority of Londoners leaving the capital stayed in the South of England. Some 80 per cent of those leaving London bought in either the South East, South West or East of England. 

One in every six homes sold in the East of England and one in every seven in the South East, was sold to someone from London. In percentage terms this equates to 17.3 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively.

Of the 17 local authorities which border the capital, more Londoners bought homes than existing residents in 10 of them. 

But as price rises across the South of England (up 9.1 per cent year on year, says Hamptons) outpaced those in London (up 7.7 per cent year on year), both the proportion and number of Londoners heading further north has been steadily rising. 

In 2016, 20 per cent of London leavers bought in the Midlands or the North, compared to 12 per cent in 2014 and 10 per cent in 2012.

In 2016 the number of homes bought by Londoners in the Midlands rose by 21 per cent compared to 2015, while in the North it grew by 13 per cent. 

“A move out of London has generally had more to do with changing priorities as people get older and start forming families than the housing market. But with affordability in the capital stretched, more Londoners are looking elsewhere to buy their first home” explains Johnny Morris, head of research at Hamptons International. 

“It is likely 2016 will be a peak for London leavers. While overall the year saw growth in Londoners buying outside of the capital, in recent months the pace has been slowing. A slower housing market in 2017 will likely mean that we see less Londoners buying outside of the capital than in 2016” he forecasts.

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