Property 

Londoners look north amid stretched affordability

Londoners look north amid stretched affordability

An increasing number of Londoners are moving out of the city and further afield as affordability in the capital continues to be stretched, according to data released by an estate agent.

According to Hamptons International, Londoners purchased 74,350 homes outside the capital in 2018 at a property value of £30bn, the highest level since 2007.

The estate agent found an increasing number were moving further afield, with one in five (21 per cent) relocating to the Midlands and north of England this year compared with 15 per cent in 2015 and 7 per cent in 2008.

It attributed this changing demographic to "stretched" affordability in the capital.

Hamptons International reported the average Londoner spent £398,910 on their home outside the capital in 2018.  

Despite the increasing exodus towards the north, the data showed most Londoners leaving the capital still remained in the south of England with 77 per cent moving to the south east, south west or east of England.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said historically most people moving out of London had done so because of changing priorities, such as starting a family or generally wanting a slower pace of life.

She said: "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."

Ms Beveridge added: "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."

Earlier this month an online estate agent reported the number of London properties for sale dropped by 34 per cent in November, as buyer and seller activity "cooled" amidst a wider national fall in new property listings. 

rachel.addison@ft.com