Research has found that nearly a fifth of Londoners are buying homes outside the capital than before the pandemic.
Londoners bought 40,540 homes outside the city in the first half of this year, up 19 per cent from the average for the years 2015 to 2019 of 34,140, according to research from the Hamptons.
While the number of homes bought annually has fallen as the housing market slows, the rate at which people leave London continues to remain the same.
Neighborhoods near London were popular with destination buyers including neighboring London’s Epping Forrest
Londoners bought 7.9 per cent of all homes sold outside the capital from January to the end of June this year.
This was the same percentage as in the first half of 2021, up from 6.9 percent in the first six months of 2019.
If this pace continues, the Hamptons said, Londoners are set to buy 88,210 homes outside the capital in 2022 as a whole.
This is equal to the total number of homes sold in Yorkshire and the Humber last year (88,506) and 18 per cent more than in pre-Covid times 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 two movers were taken to Epping Forest, one of the counties of Essex bordering the capital to the northeast.
22 per cent of operators have chosen to go to West Slough as their destination with 21 per cent settling in South Oxfordshire.
London has seen the slowest property growth rates of any region in the country since the pandemic, as working from home has enabled some buyers to move away from their offices.
UK house prices rose 12.8 per cent in the year to May 2022, according to official figures, but real estate in London only saw an 8.2 per cent growth rate.
Londoners have continued to leave the capital in order to buy their first homes as the number of displaced people is still far from pre-pandemic levels
First time buyers are leaving in record numbers
According to the Hamptons, first-time buyers have made a record for purchases for those moving outside of London.
It 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 of the group (34 percent) choosing the Essex borough.
But many choose 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, just half (50 per cent) of property bought by a Londoner outside the capital was bought by someone with a home to sell, down from 59 per cent in 2019 and 74 per cent a decade ago.
‘It’s becoming increasingly clear that one of the biggest housing market trends linked to Covid – moving from London to the country – could stay here,’ said Aneisha Beveridge, Hamptons head of research.
Although more people have returned to London offices this year, the rate at which households are raising sticks and getting out of the city has continued by leaps and bounds.
While last year families who moved for more space made up nearly three in five Londoners buying outside the capital, this year the figures are driven by first-time buyers, many of whom were renters in the capital.
Half of the properties bought by a Londoner outside the capital have been bought by someone with a house for sale
The average Londoner moves 35 miles, according to the Hamptons, which is the equivalent of trading Fulham for Farnham or Canary Wharf for Chelmsford. That was 1 mile shorter than in 2021.
“The distance to move those who leave London is likely to continue to rise until at least 2024, as house price growth in the capital continues to lag behind the rest of the country,” Beveridge said.
There was also a slight rise in the share of Londoners investing in property to let outside the capital.
Investors made up 19 per cent of Londoners who have bought outside the capital this year, up from 15 per cent in 2019.
The appeal of higher returns in the north means that 28 per cent of these investors have bought buy-to-let contracts 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 of his London home so far this year, up from 77 miles in 2017.
Best mortgage rates and how to find them
Mortgage rates skyrocketed as the Bank of England’s base rate rose rapidly.
If you are looking to buy your first home, move or remortgage, or are a buy-to-let owner, it is important to get good mortgage advice from a broker who can help you find the best deal.
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