Number of Londoners leaving the capital reaches nine-year high:74,000 households move out in 2016

The number of Londoners selling up in the capital and moving out to the commuter belt - or further afield - has reached the highest level since 2017.

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The number of Londoners leaving the capital is at the highest level in nine years as new data shows 74,000 households left the city this year.

Rising house prices and stretched affordability continue to be the big drivers behind many of the exit decisions. On average, those buying outside the capital spent £388,000 on their new home, compared to the average asking price in London of £616,000.

Most London leavers stay in the South of England. The pace of house price growth in the South East, South West and East of England continues to outstrip Greater London as a result of rising demand for homes in the hundreds of commuter towns and villages within a 60-minute commute of the capital.

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 Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, bordered by the river Lea, is one of the most popular spots for home buyers leaving the capital (Alamy)

 

WHERE LONDONERS ARE BUYING OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL

DISTRICT REGION % OF LONDON BUYERS
Tandridge South East England 64%
Broxbourne East of England 64%
Hertsmere East of England 59%
Epsom and Ewell South East England 58%
Thurrock East of England 58%
Epping Forest East of England 50%
Brentwood Brentwood 50%
East Hertfordshire East of England 50%
Sevenoaks South East England 46%
Dartford South East England 45%
Source: Hamptons International

 

TOP SPOTS
​Broxbourne, Herts

This pretty south-east Hertfordshire town has long been tempting home buyers priced out of the capital, thanks to easy access to the M25 and A10 and a commute of just over half an hour into Liverpool Street.

Crossrail 2 is also set to speed up journey times into the capital, and although residents still have a long wait until the line starts running in 2033, regeneration will continue to open up new parts of the district. The scenic River Lea borders the wider Broxbourne district, which also takes in Chestnut, Hoddesdon, and Waltham Cross.

​Tandridge, Surrey
The Tandridge district takes in the popular commuter towns of Oxted, Caterham and Godstone. With trains to London taking about 45 minutes, Godstone offers the perfect combination of the village idyll and a manageable commute.

WHY THE EXODUS?
Almost 75 per cent of leavers are in search of bigger homes with three or more bedrooms, while for an increasing number of first-time buyers, leaving the capital is the only way of getting onto the housing ladder.

Johnny Morris, Head of Research at Hamptons International, says: "With affordability in the capital stretched, more Londoners are looking elsewhere to buy their first home. More too are likely to go further afield, with increasing numbers heading to the Midlands and North."

While 80 per cent of London leavers head to the South East or East, the proportion and number of Londoners heading north of the capital has been steadily rising since 2012. 

The number of Londoners buying outside the capital this year is up by 11,000 from 2015, but still 16,000 fewer than the levels recorded in 2007, according to the Hamptons International report. With the pace of house price growth tipped to slow next year, a drop in exit numbers is expected. 

"A slower housing market in 2017 will likely mean that we see fewer Londoners buying outside of the capital than in 2016," says Morris.


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