Londoners are on the move.
In the first half of 2018, Londoners bought over 30,000 homes outside the capital; a 16% rise on the same period last year and 61% more than 10 years ago. In monetary terms this equates to £12.9 billion worth of homes – the highest level in four years.
While most London leavers head to the South East (38%) closely followed by the East of England (30%), an increasing proportion are moving further afield and setting up home in the North or Midlands. In the first half of 2018, one in five London leavers moved to the North or Midlands (21%), up from 6% a decade ago.
Quality of life, affordability and increased space remain the greatest drivers of these moves, but buyers are increasingly leapfrogging the more expensive areas of the South to buy a larger home sooner. By doing this they’re able to future-proof additional costly moves while saving on stamp duty too. The average Londoner buying outside the capital spent £424,610 on their new home, more than 1.6 times more than a buyer from elsewhere.
London buyers are an important driver of local markets. Londoners bought more homes than existing residents in seven local authorities, most of which border Greater London. Broxbourne, Slough, Harlow, Thurrock, Brentwood, Dartford and Wokingham saw more homes bought by a London leaver than by a local resident this year. Other popular destinations further afield include Bath and North East Somerset where 42% of homes were bought by Londoners and East Dorset (25%).
However, not everyone is leaving the capital. In the first half of 2018, 31% of Londoners buying their first home moved out of the capital, but this represents a 2% fall on the same period last year. Stamp duty relief and Help to Buy have acted as a support to those first-time buyers wanting to stay and make London their home.