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More People Living in London are Opting to Leave the Capital

Progressively more and more people living in London are opting to leave the capital in favour of a move to the North or the Midlands according to new research. The enormous cost of homes in the capital has directly impacted on many departing resident’s decisions as it becomes financially improbable to live in London’s surrounding areas too.

The research also indicates that 2016 is likely to be the peak of the exodus as the rest of the country starts to catch up to London’s market prices.

Home owners in London purchased 74,000 properties outside the city in 2016 which is almost 11,000 more than in 2015. It is also the largest amount since 2007 and 40% of first time buyers in the capital ended up buying outside London.

£29 billion was spent on these properties outside of the capital and the average buyer spent roughly £388,000 on their new home. The last time such an incredible amount was spent on property outside of London was 2007 when 90,000 homes were purchased for a total of £32 billion.

Presumably due to employment opportunities or constraints, the majority of those leaving their London residences moved to the South East, West or East of England – some 80% of all those leaving the capital remained in the South. Unbelievably, one in every six homes sold in the East of England, and one in every seven of the South East, was sold to a buyer from London (17.3% and 13.9% respectively).

In 2016, 20% of the departing London owners bought property in the Midlands or the North compared to 12% in 2014 and 10% in 2012. The number of homes purchased by Londoners in the Midlands rose by 21% compared to the previous year and by 13% in the North.

Many of the London buyers moved into a bigger home with 74% of the leaving mass buying a home with three or more bedrooms. This has led to figures suggesting that the incoming Londoners spent an average of 18% more than local buyers to secure their new homes outside of the capital.

Despite many leaving for larger properties, many of those leaving London had no choice but to move to the outlying areas in order to get onto the housing ladder. The number of first time buyers coming from London rose from 20% in 2012 to 40% in 2016 showing it is becoming progressively more difficult to secure property in London as a first time buyer.

It is no great secret that it is incredibly expensive to try and raise a family in London leaving those with changing priorities no choice but to move out of the capital. The number of buyers moving to the Midlands and the North shouldn’t come as a great surprise; larger property is much more affordable in the North when compared to London and the South East meaning greater value for money.

The number of people leaving London is reducing over time and the projected slow market in 2017 will see the rate of departure decline rapidly according to Johnny Morris of Hampton’s International. This will likely see the rental demand increase once again in the capital but this remains to be seen.

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