Londoners leaving capital to buy a house increased by 19%, with the majority heading to Epping and Slough

Nearly a fifth more Londoners are buying homes outside the capital than before the pandemic, research has found.

Londoners bought 40,540 out-of-town homes in the first half of this year, 19 percent more than the 2015-2019 average of 34,140, ​​according to Hamptons research.

While the number of homes bought has fallen on an annual basis as the housing market has cooled, the rate at which people continue to leave London remains the same.

Boroughs close to London were popular with shoppers with popular destinations, including London’s neighboring borough of Epping Forrest.

Londoners bought 7.9 percent of all homes sold outside the capital from January to the end of June this year.

This was the same proportion as in the first half of 2021, and an increase of 6.9 percent in the first six months of 2019.

If this pace continues, Londoners will buy 88,210 homes outside the capital in 2022 as a whole, Hamptons said.

This is equivalent to the total number of homes sold in Yorkshire & The Humber last year (88,506) and 18 per cent more than in the pre-COVID-19 era, when London purchases outside the capital averaged 74,980 each year. between 2015 and 2019.

However, many of those who left London did not go far. A third of the removal workers moved to Epping Forest, a district of Essex neighboring the capital to the northeast.

Choosing to go west, 22 per cent of those who moved chose Slough as their destination and 21 per cent settled in South Oxfordshire.

London has seen the slowest property growth rates of any area in the country since the pandemic, as working from home allowed some buyers to move further from their offices.

In the UK, house prices rose 12.8% in the year to May 2022, according to official figures, but properties in London only saw a growth rate of 8.2%.

Londoners have continued to leave the capital to buy their first homes as the number of people moving remains above pre-pandemic levels.

Londoners have continued to leave the capital to buy their first homes as the number of people moving remains above pre-pandemic levels.

First-time buyers are leaving in record numbers

First-time buyers accounted for a record number of purchases for those moving out of London, according to Hamptons.

They accounted for 28 percent of the total in the first six months of 2022, up from 22 percent in 2019 and just 13 percent a decade ago.

Among first-time buyers, Thurrock was the most popular destination to move to, with more than a third (34 per cent) of the group opting for the Essex district.

But many chose to stay closer to the capital with Dartford (28 per cent), Medway (20 per cent) and Basildon (18 per cent) all popular choices for first-time buyers.

By comparison, only half (50 per cent) of the properties bought outside the capital by a Londoner were bought by someone who had a house to sell, up from 59 per cent in 2019 and 74 per cent a decade ago.

Aneisha Beveridge, Hamptons’ head of research, said: “It is becoming increasingly apparent that one of the biggest Covid-related property market trends – moving from London to the countryside – could be here to stay.”

‘Despite more people returning to London offices this year, the rate at which households have upped the ante and left the city has continued apace.

“Whereas last year families moving to gain more space accounted for nearly three in five Londoners buying outside the capital, this year the figures have been driven by first-time buyers, many of whom were renting in the capital.

Half of the properties bought outside the capital by a Londoner were bought by someone who had a house to sell

Half of the properties bought outside the capital by a Londoner were bought by someone who had a house to sell

The average Londoner moved 35 miles, according to Hamptons, which is the equivalent of trading Fulham for Farnham or Canary Wharf for Chelmsford. This was one more mile than in 2021.

“The distance that those leaving London move is likely to continue to increase until at least 2024, as house price growth in the capital continues to lag the rest of the country,” Beveridge said.

There has also been a rebound in the proportion of Londoners investing in buy-to-let properties outside the capital.

Investors accounted for 19 percent of Londoners buying outside the capital this year, up from 15 percent in 2019.

The lure of higher yields further north has meant that 28 per cent of these investors bought to let in the north of England, up from just 11 per cent a decade ago.

This is reflected in the fact that the average investor has bought 102.8 miles away from their London home so far this year, up from 77 miles in 2017.

The best mortgage rates and how to find them

Mortgage rates have risen substantially as the Bank of England base rate has risen rapidly.

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, moving or remortgaging, or are a buy-to-let landlord, it’s important to get good, independent mortgage advice from a broker who can help you find the best deal.

To help our readers find the best mortgage, This is Money has partnered with independent broker L&C.

Our L&C-powered mortgage calculator can allow you to filter offers to see which ones best match your home value and deposit level.

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