Tenant exodus hits London as tenants look for lower rents

New research shows 40% of renters in London who decide to move will leave the capital for other areas.

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An exodus of tenants leaving London has accelerated in the last year as rising rents persuade many renters to move out.

Four in 10 renters who chose to find a new home left the capital, according to new research from Hamptons.

The number of renting households who left London was 90,370 with many saying that the cost of renting was too high. This figure has doubled since 2012 and is now higher than the total of homeowners who left, at 62,210.

Tandridge in Surrey topped the list with more than 52% of tenants in the area moving from London.  However, tenants leaving the capital still tend to move further than homeowners, with 38% heading to the Midlands or the North of England.

Just 22% of leavers in 2022 left for work related reasons, down from 32% five years ago.  Leavers increasingly keep their job in the capital while working remotely or commuting back occasionally.

Instead, tenants are leaving to make their rent go further and renting larger homes in nicer neighbourhoods.

Record numbers

The pace of rental growth in London eased slightly, but was still 9.1% as inner London rents completed their catch up to pre-Covid levels, slowing the headline rate of growth across the capital as a whole.

We expect the number of renters leaving the capital to continue rising for the foreseeable future.”

Link to Hamptons news
Aneisha Beveridge, Head of Research, Hamptons

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, says: “The rapid recovery of London rents over the last year has left record numbers of tenants looking around for cheaper options.

“While the commuter belt is often prohibitively expensive for would-be first-time buyers, low yields mean renting remains relatively affordable compared to buying.

“We expect the number of renters leaving the capital to continue rising for the foreseeable future. London leavers are generally in their mid to late 30’s, seeking more space for a family or simply for a quieter life.”

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