Higher proportion of London home movers heading north, analysis finds

A growing proportion of Londoners moving out of the capital to buy a home are heading north, analysis suggests.

Hamptons International, which carried out the research, said stretched housing affordability in southern England has resulted in more London leavers moving to the Midlands and the North of England.

It estimates that in 2019, one in seven (13%) of those moving out of London to elsewhere in Britain bought homes in the North of England, including the North West, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber.

This proportion of London movers heading north is up from 8% in 2016 and just 1% in 2009.

Just under seven in 10 (69%) London movers are estimated to have moved to elsewhere in southern England in 2019 – including locations in the South East, East Anglia and the South West.

This is down from 77% in 2016 and more than nine in 10 (92%) in 2009.

The report estimates that one in six (15%) London movers headed for the Midlands in 2019, up from 12% in 2016 and one in 20 (5%) in 2009.

Meanwhile, an estimated 1% of London movers headed for Wales and 2% moved to Scotland in 2019 – figures which were unchanged from 2016.

Overall, the report estimates that London leavers bought 73,000 homes outside the capital, marking a 4% fall compared with 2016 when 75,690 Londoners left the capital.

Despite the recent fall, the figure is still much higher than a decade earlier in 2009, when 41,090 homes were bought by people moving away from London.

The average age of someone from London purchasing a home outside the capital fell to 39 – down from 47 in 2009.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of those who moved out of London in 2019 to buy a home were first-time buyers, the report said.

This is an increase from 22% in 2016 and is considerably higher than the 14% recorded in 2013 who were first-time buyers.

The average London leaver spent £358,650 on their home outside the capital.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said: “The number of Londoners purchasing a home outside the capital has fallen by 4% since the most recent peak of 2016.

“2016 was the prime time for Londoners to cash in on their property and move to the country.

“This was when the price gap between a home in London and one elsewhere in Great Britain was at its widest.

“However, since then house prices outside of London have risen faster than those in the capital and this has resulted in more London homeowners staying put.

“Historically, most homeowners leaving London did so for life-stage reasons and to take advantage of being able to buy a larger home, but for others, leaving London is the only way of getting onto the housing ladder.

“As a result, the average age of someone leaving the capital to purchase a home has fallen to the lowest level on record – just 39 years old.

“For many first-time buyers it also means moving further afield to areas such as the Midlands and North where they can get more for their money.”