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High house prices accelerate London exodus



Soaring house prices have accelerated the exodus of young families from London, according to a new report.    

The Financial Times says the capital's population has been on a consistently upward trend, with data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing it increased six per cent in the four years to mid-2015 to hit 8.7 million.

However, an analysis of the internal population movements by estate agency Savills found every age group apart from those in their 20s has seen a net departure from the city, meaning more families and older households are moving out and only those in the early years of their careers are moving in.

Were it not for "births and international migration", the population would actually be decreasing, the FT says.

In 2015, the net number of 30-somethings leaving London was 66,000, up 30 per cent from 51,000 in 2009. Among people aged 35 to 39, the number leaving rose 18 per cent in the past two years alone.

"In total, 283,000 people, or the equivalent of 3.2 per cent of the population, left London for elsewhere in the UK in the year to June 2015," the FT adds.

Savills blames the rampant house price growth seen in the capital, with the average property having risen by 85 per cent in the past five years. The typical home in London costs 488,000, reports Business Insider, but is 216,000 elsewhere in the country.

More homeowners are leaving Kingston upon Thames and Richmond upon Thames, close to the border with Surrey, than anywhere else, perhaps explaining why the borough of Epsom and Ewell in the county is the most popular choice with leavers. It has seen the equivalent of four per cent of its population moving in each year.

However, Savills says that falling house prices in the capital as a result in part of the Brexit vote, together with a slower overall rise in the coming five years, will increase the city's "stickiness".                                                                                         

It adds London house prices will rise by 11 per cent by 2021, compared with a rise of 19 per cent and 17 per cent in east and south-east England respectively. Prime London housing has already fallen five per cent in the past year.

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