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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Londoners quit the capital earlier to afford a home elsewhere

There’s been a long-term trend of growing numbers of Londoners quitting the capital to afford a home elsewhere - and typically the leavers are now younger than ever before.

Data from Countrywide’s upmarket Hamptons International brand shows that Londoners left the capital and purchased 73,000 homes elsewhere in 2019 - far higher than the 41,900 who took that route a decade earlier.

The average Londoner spent £358,650 on their new home outside the capital, equating to a collective total of £26.2 billion over 2019. 

This is actually a decrease from £29.6 billion in 2018 and less than the £36.6 billion recorded in 2007 when the number of homes bought by London leavers reached a record high - but the overall trend is much higher than a decade ago. 

Hamptons also says that affordability barriers in the capital mean people are leaving London at a younger age - and is now the lowest on record.  

The average Londoner purchasing a home outside the capital in 2019 was 39 years old, some eight years younger than in 2009 and four years younger than in 2015. 

While many take advantage of being able to buy larger homes for their money, for others leaving London is the only way of getting onto the housing ladder.  

Some 24 per cent of Londoners who purchased a home outside the capital in 2019 were first time buyers.  

This is an increase from 22 per cent in 2016 and is considerably higher than the 14 per cent recorded in 2013.

Most London leavers stay in the South of England, but the trend is that they are moving further from the capital.  

Some 69 per cent of Londoners purchasing homes outside the capital in 2019 bought in the South East, South West or East of England - the South East was, predictably, the most popular.

However, affordability barriers in the South have resulted in more London leavers moving to the Midlands and North of England.  

In 2019, a record 13 per cent of London leavers bought homes in the North of England.

The proportion of Londoners heading to the North East, North West or Yorkshire and Humber has been rising at a significant rate over the last decade: in 2009, by contrast, just one per cent of London leavers bought homes in the North. 

The Midlands has seen a similar increase in London buyers. Last year, 15 per cent of London leavers bought a home in the Midlands, up from 12 per cent in 2016 and five per cent in 2009.

“Historically most homeowners leaving London did so for lifestage reasons and to take advantage of being able to buy a larger home, but for others, leaving London is the only way of getting onto the housing ladder” explains Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International.

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