Spotlight: Prime London & Country

Prime London and Country
More country, more space

26 September 2017, by Lucian Cook

The number of people moving out of London continues to rise, taking the capital’s housing wealth to more affordable and spacious locations


According to migration data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of people moving out of the capital is on the increase. For people in their 30s, for example, the migration figure has risen by 27% in the five years to the end of June 2016.

By leaving London, movers are taking advantage of a significant house price gap. Our analysis shows that, across the housing market, the average house price in the areas they are moving from is as high as £580,000, while the average value in the areas they move to is £333,000.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest recipients of migration flow from London among the over-25s are those areas closest to the capital. The most popular destinations are the ones that offer more affordable locations. However, Elmbridge, Surrey, where the average sale price of all properties in the year to the end of April 2017 was £750,000, comes in sixth on the list. Elmbridge is also the most popular location for people moving out of Hammersmith and Fulham.

People living in Islington and Camden are most likely to move to St Albans, whereas homeowners in Richmond and Wandsworth look to Spelthorne, and Epsom and Ewell respectively.

People moving out of the central London boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea, tend to move further afield, with Cambridge and Oxford the two most popular locations.

Other higher-value locations that have bucked the trend in terms of the demand they attract from London relative to their distance from the capital, include Brighton and Hove, the Bournemouth-Poole conurbation, and neighbours Bristol and Bath – which have become as much of a magnet as the Cotswolds.

In each case, the level of demand from London has contributed to the relatively strong house price growth in prime urban markets. But, as we report in our analysis of what can be bought for £1 million (see The million pound questions), these locations continue to be attractive to those leaving the capital in search of more space.

The movement out of London is likely to continue to underpin demand in these locations, even though the slowing down of the London market may temper that demand in the short term.


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