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Londoners move away from the South East to buy first home

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Increasing numbers of Londoners are having to move away from the South East altogether to afford a house.

While commuter towns such as Sevenoaks in Kent continue to be popular with homebuyers who are priced out of the capital, many are having to go further afield to buy their first home.

According to Hamptons International, in 2018, one in five (21%) of Londoners moved to the Midlands and North.  This is compared with 15% in 2015 and just 7% in 2008.

In total, 74,350 Londoners bought homes outside the capital, 3.8% more than in 2017 but, 39,290 fewer than in 2007.

The average price of a home bought by a Londoner outside the capital has also risen and now stands at £398,910.

Most Londoners leaving the capital stayed in the South of England.  More than three quarters (77%) moved to the South East, South West or East of England.  One in five (19%) of homes sold in the East of England and one in every seven (15%) in the South East was purchased by someone from London in 2018.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International said: “Historically most people moving out of London have done so because of changing priorities, such as starting a family or generally wanting a slower pace of life.  But increasingly as affordability in the capital is stretched, more households are looking beyond the confines of London to buy their first home.  For many this means moving further afield to areas such as the Midlands and North where they can get more for their money.

“Despite a rise in the number of London leavers this year, 2018 is likely to be a peak.  A slower housing market in 2019 will likely mean that we see fewer Londoners buying homes outside of the capital than in 2018.”