This state of affairs has been building for a while, with 2017 seeing a sharp uptick in London leavers. Analysis from Knight Frank in 2018, using Office for National Statistics data, showed that migration out of London to other parts of the UK reached its highest level in 2017 since data records began in 2011.
The first half of 2017 alone saw more than 106,000 people leave London for pastures new. This represented increases of 14% and 55% over the same periods in 2016 and 2012 respectively. When looking into why so many were leaving London, the analysis focussed on high property prices and a desire to live in homes which offered more space – concerns that are particularly prevalent among the age groups most likely to rent.
In the time since this data came to light, the trend for people leaving London has only strengthened. New analysis from Rightmove published this week shows that 42% of Londoners looking to buy a home in the next 12 months are planning on doing so outside of the capital.
Of those Londoners looking to leave, almost half cited the cost of buying a home as the main reason and 28% said the cost of day-to-day living was simply too high. A further 31% were motivated by the desire to live in the countryside.
It is no real surprise that the cost of buying a home in London was considered unreasonably high by many. Rightmove says the current average price of buying a home in the capital is £617,208 – a figure which rises to £761,724 in Inner London. This is clearly out of the reach for the vast majority of people.
Miles Shipside, commercial director and housing analyst at Rightmove, said: “This research shows that despite the spate of recent price falls in London, the majority of those intending to move in the year ahead still find London prohibitively expensive. For over half of London’s movers either the cost of property or the cost of living is driving them to move further afield, with perhaps a view over fields being the goal of nearly a third who are looking to move to the countryside. The reward of cheaper living and a better lifestyle means that some are willing to face a longer commute back in to work.
“With a maximum of an hour travel being the limit for six out of 10 of those, locations within that commuting distance look set to have their property prices driven upwards by an influx of migrating Londoners who may be nicely surprised how much they can get for their money. Those commuting back in must not forget to build in additional transport costs, but those totally breaking free of the capital could be feeling quite flush for a change. There has always been substantial movement both inwards and outwards of the capital, though if there is an imbalance of movers out exceeding movers in, then it can exert downward price pressure.”
Of those Londoners looking to leave in the next year, 44% say they will leave the capital for good and are not interested in commuting there for work in future. There are a great range of popular destinations for these people, with the North West and Yorkshire being among the favourites.
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