Increasing numbers of Londoners now fleeing the capital for more affordable property

A record number of Londoners are fleeing the capital to buy elsewhere.

Data from Hamptons International, based on activity across Countrywide branches, has observed a 16% increase in homes purchased by Londoners outside the capital during the first half of this year, with a record 30,280 buying properties outside the capital through Countrywide brands.

This was up 16% on the same period last year and 61% more than a decade ago.

Most London leavers stay in the south of England at 38%, according to the research. The east of England was the next most popular destination during the first half of 2018 among 30% of London leavers.

The proportion of Londoners leaving for northern England or the midlands has also more than tripled since 2008 to 21%, the figures claim.

Year

Number of homes bought by London leavers

2006

29,830

2007

49,780

2008

18,840

2009

10,170

2010

15,410

2011

15,320

2012

15,150

2013

14,800

2014

37,720

2015

25,760

2016

32,360

2017

26,180

2018

30,280

It is not just home owners flocking from the capital. Increasing numbers of first-time buyers are now buying beyond London.

A third (31%) of first-time buyers living in London ended up buying their first home outside the capital in the first half of 2018 – almost double the proportion in 2013 (16%).

However, this is a 2% fall compared to last year, which the agent attributes to Stamp Duty relief and Help to Buy helping more first-time buyers on to the property ladder in London.

In the first half of 2018, 85% of first-time buyers leaving London moved to the east or south-east, while 12% of first-time buyers leaving the capital are moving to the north or the midlands, four times the proportion in 2010, according to the figures.

Aneisha Beveridge, research analyst at Hamptons International, said: “With affordability stretched, more Londoners are moving out of the capital to find their new home.

“The proportion of London leavers heading north has tripled in the last ten years. More people are making a bigger move and buying a larger home sooner to avoid having to pay stamp duty on additional moves as they trade up. But for many, this means heading further north.

“However, more first-time buyers are staying in the capital to purchase their first home than last year.

“The savings from Stamp Duty relief and the availability of Help to Buy has meant that more first-time buyers are able to remain in London than before. But raising a deposit remains a hurdle for many, which helps explain why increasing numbers of first-time buyers who leave London are heading north.”

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