House prices:soaring costs see 68,000 Londoners swap the capital for the Home Counties

Popular commuter villages in Kent, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Essex and Hampshire are the top destinations of those leaving the capital in search for good-value homes and more space, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

Many of us who live in London can't bear the thought of living anywhere else. But the desire for cheaper and larger properties, less pollution and a quieter life are sending increasing numbers out of the capital, putting it at the top of the league of biggest net losers of people moving within the UK.

Research by price comparison website Gocompare.com found that London suffered net migration of 68,000 people in a year, with good-value towns and commuter villages in Kent, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Essex and Hampshire being the top destinations of those leaving the capital.

Using Office for National Statistics figures for the year ending in June 2015, Gocompare found that 2.85 million people moved within the UK, one in 20 of the population.

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Among twentysomethings, the capital was a huge draw, with 14 per cent of all those who moved choosing London - 113,000 arrived and just 75,000 left.

However, by the time people hit their thirties, the capital proved far less popular, with just 35,000 moving in and 66,000 leaving to find more space, perhaps as they start families and need more living space.

The trend continued among those in their forties and fifties, while in the over-60s group, just 7,000 came to London and 22,000 left.

Essex, Kent, Devon, East Sussex and West Sussex were the areas with the highest net migration, and Londoners accounted for 30 per cent of people moving into those counties.

Ben Wilson, Gocompare ’s home insurance spokesman, says: “London has once again proved to be a top destination for graduates and professionals wanting to further their careers.

"While I don’t see that changing in the future, it’s encouraging to see so many people opting to relocate to smaller, up-and-coming areas across the UK in search for a place to call home.”

One of the obvious reasons for leaving the capital is property prices and rents and another survey found that a massive 87 per cent of tenants in London would definitely leave for another town or city, or consider it, in order to be able buy their own home.

In the South-East, the figure was 70 per cent, while the East Midlands had the lowest figure, at just 14 per cent.

The nationwide survey of nearly 1,000 people by the National Landlords Association found that 47 per cent said they couldn't afford a deposit, while 22 per cent could not even get a mortgage.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, says: “Homeownership is out of reach for so many people, so the idea of upping sticks and moving to a new town or city in order to buy their own home is becoming more and more appealing.

“I think people are looking at the costs of buying, especially in high demand areas like London and the South-East, and realising what they could get for their money elsewhere."


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