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London exodus gathers pace as first time buyers flee high house prices

Research by Hamptons International reveals more Londoners leaving the capital and travelling further afield to find value.

Nigel Lewis

The capital’s crazy house prices are forcing more Londoners to look further afield when buying their first home, it has been revealed.

Last year they bought property worth a combined total of £30 billion outside of the capital, the highest level since 2007. This includes 74,350 homes, 3.8% higher than in 2017, the research by Hamptons International shows.

It also reveals that one in five Londoners moving out of the capital chose to settle in the Midlands and North. This compares to 15% in 2015 and just 7% in 2008.

But three quarters of first-time buyers escaping London’s high house prices stayed in the South of England, where the most popular town was Broxbourne in Hertfordshire.

This was followed by Sevenoaks in the South East, Bath in the South West and Daventry in the Midlands.

The allure of moving out of London for first time buyers is easy to see; while the average price of a home in London is £629,012, according to Rightmove, the average price of a home bought by fleeing Londoners outside its borders was £398,910 in 2018. But this is 37% higher than in 2007, despite considerable softening in house prices within the capital recently.

“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,” says Aneisha Beveridge, Head of Research at Hamptons International (left).

“But increasingly as affordability in the capital is stretched, more households are looking beyond the confines of London to buy their first home.” 

December 26, 2018

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