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TBS in City A.M. – Young families are moving out of London at an alarming rate but they may regret it in a few years time

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Knight Frank
London and Country specialist property buying agents
23 Aug 2018  |   Jonathan Bramwell

Jonathan Bramwell Head of The Buying Solution chats to City AM about why 30 something Londoners are migrating out of the Capital faster than ever before

Young families in their 30’s moving out of London escaping the rat race in search of better value, more space and good schools is nothing new. However, what is surprising is the rate at which this exodus in increasing. Net migration out of the Capital – people moving out minus people moving in – was 14% higher in 2017 compared with the previous year and 55% higher than 2012 according to ONS data analysed by Knight Frank. This comes at a time when the population of the UK saw its lowest annual growth since 2014. The only group who are moving into the capital in greater numbers than leaving are those in their 20’s – this is likely to be for study, work experience and to kick start a career. The flow of people in and out of London is nothing new, so why the increased momentum – especially among those in their 30s?

Housing affordability is likely to have helped sway the decision of some to leave London – many houses on the market in key family areas are experiencing price drops but even so, London still remains one of the most expensive property markets in the world. Price is one factor but the ‘new Londoner’ will be experiencing further draws. Businesses are becoming increasingly flexible about working from home. According to Regus, over 50% of workers now report that they work outside of their main office 2.5 days or more hence, a five day commute into London isn’t so pressing. The ONS data analysed by Knight Frank shows that currently Thurrock, Elmbridge, Dartford and Birmingham are the top four hotspots in England for 30 something Londoners searching for a new life. However, fast forward to 2019 when the out of London Crossrail impact becomes a reality and my prediction is that areas in the West such as Reading, Slough and Maidenhead will become even hotter, in fact, those who live in these locations might get to their central London office quicker than those living in zones 2 or 3. The gastro pubs, restaurants and bars in these areas are hotter than ever before. The new Londoner also isn’t so attached to owning a car when compared with previous generations due to the costs associated and the rise of Uber and car clubs outside of the Capital. Central town and village locations close to mainline stations in key commuter hubs are generally  seeing higher price growth than London as a whole.

The irony is therefore that Londoners in their 30’s are looking for value outside of the Capital but the competition they are experiencing for family homes in good locations is greater than ever before. They’re up against not just their peers but local downsizers, usually with cash, and bidding wars are becoming commonplace.  Over the next year or so we could see the London market bottoming out – real value will be found in London areas that may have previously been out of reach.  My view is that the 30 something new Londoner might just fall back in love with what the big smoke has to offer and although many will still migrate out, the rate might start to slow as the property market adjusts.

The full article appeared here;

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