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The exodus from London is slowing as 20,000 fewer homes have been bought outside the capital

London exodus is slowing as 20,000 fewer homes bought outside the capital this year, study shows

  • Londoners have bought around 81,200 properties outside the city this year
  • The research, by Agent Hamptons, found that this was down from 100,540 by 2021
  • But affordability pressures next year could lead more households to leave the city

The great exodus from London appears to have peaked with about 20,000 fewer homes being bought outside the capital this year than in 2021, research shows.

Many Londoners have fled the city during the pandemic to move to rural areas with larger properties.

But estate agency Hamptons estimates that Londoners have bought about 81,200 out-of-town properties this year, up from 100,540 in 2021.

However, it predicted that affordability pressures could force more households to leave the city to buy a home next year, adding: “Our data suggests first-time buyers in particular are sacrificing location.”

Property agency Hamptons estimates Londoners have bought around 81,200 out-of-town properties this year, up from 100,540 in 2021

In a year when house prices outside London surged, just over a quarter (26%) of “London leavers” bought homes with at least four bedrooms in 2022, up from 30% in 2020, Hamptons found.

Londoners also tend to move further afield to get the space they need.

The average Londoner buying outside the capital is making purchases 55 kilometers away, 2 kilometers further than last year, according to the survey.

Investors buy furthest away, averaging 109.8 miles, Hamptons said.

They are followed by movers, with an average distance of 42.6 kilometers, and starters, who usually move 37 kilometers away.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “London’s displacement seems to have passed its peak.

“While 2021 was dominated by space seekers who traded the bright city lights for green pastures, 2022 marked the return to the office.

That said, the widespread popularity of flexible working has led Londoners to continue to move that little bit further out of the city to get more space, meaning emigration rates remain higher than they were in the pre-Covid era.

“Next year we expect the pace of London emigration to cool further as pent-up demand from the Covid-related trend eases.

“The pressure on affordability, and in particular the cost of higher interest rates, could force more Londoners to move further afield to buy a home.”

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Jacky

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