Londoners are on the move: where’s your next home?

The UK’s been adjusting to a ‘new normal’ and we’ve all discovered some important lockdown lessons along the way. For many London-dwellers the surprising feasibility of working from home is a big one – along with the joys of a decent garden. If your quarantine experience has you rethinking your London pad, you’re not alone...

The property market has always seen a modest exodus of ‘London leavers’, but midlife couples looking to downsize are now being eclipsed by a new generation. A growing number of thirtysomethings are all looking further afield – especially since working remotely has proven itself such a thoroughly practical reality.

 

In fact, the age of buyers looking to leave London is falling just as fast as their numbers are rising. Today, the average London leaver is just 39 years old, down from 49 a decade ago. Last year, 73,000 Londoners upped sticks to find a home outside the capital. And as the property market picks up again, the key question for all this year’s wannabe out-of-towners is – where should we be headed (and where’s got decent broadband)?

Our recent report reveals that many of the most popular areas for relocation combine the best of both worlds – far enough from London to get more for your money, but near enough to pop back to town for the occasional meeting or night out. While London leavers are looking for a better quality of life for themselves and their families all across the UK, the South seems to be the favoured choice, with nearly 1 in 5 London-based applicants registering with our Southern offices in May.

See for yourself where London leavers are moving to in our infographic:

Of course, the more popular the destination, the higher the price – but there are gems to be found that offer both high living standards and ample local culture. Our top three locations in the South combine modern infrastructure and quick links to London with the beauty of rural England and maximum bang for your buck. Get the best of both worlds with these alternatives to the capital:

Bath

Great rail connections from London put Bath little more than an hour from the capital by train, or a bit more by road. Dating back to Roman times, Bath is one of the UK’s most historic cities with the only natural thermal spa. Two universities, famous architecture and plenty of museums, restaurants and sports events makes Bath an ideal city for families looking for a bit of culture. No matter what type of property you’re looking for, you’ll find a great selection – from stylish flats and waterfront homes on the River Avon, through to high-end town houses on the iconic Georgian Royal Crescent.

Hamptons estate agents Bath

Brighton and Hove

Fancy a spot of seaside sophistication within easy reach of London? Brighton’s a property treasure trove, from its classy Regency squares, to the pretty cottages of The Lanes or Hanover, and the good-sized family homes of Hove. Factor in first-class road and rail connections, plus Gatwick airport within easy reach, and no wonder Brighton is such a perennial favourite with London leavers.

Hamptons estate agents Brighton

St Albans

Although the speed and frequency of the rail connections make it hard to realise, the pretty medieval city of St Albans is a world away from the bustle of London. Property options are appealing too, with everything from spacious Victorian terraces, to smart townhouses and peaceful satellite villages, all with easy access to the countryside.

Hamptons estate agents St Albans