Londoners have been buying homes outside the city in almost record numbers as part of an exodus of first-time buyers and families fleeing the main city for additional affordable options, according to new research.
Estate agency Hamptons International has reported that Londoners spent lb30bn on homes outside the city this past year.
This would be a 7.8% rise on 2022, when Londoners bought lb28bn-worth of non-London properties, and the highest estimate a decade.
Affordability is the biggest motivator for all those leaving the main city, with one first-time buyer telling Which? exclusively that owning a home in London felt as an ‘impossible dream’.
Here, we glance at the most popular destinations for Londoners buying homes and let you know that purchasing a property in London might still be possible, despite limited funds.
Where are ex-Londoners buying property?
Hamptons analysed transactions from all its offices across Britain, exploring the number of homes bought from each local authority and the percentage bought by Londoners.
More than three quarters (77%) of the 74,350 Londoners buying homes elsewhere moved to the East, The west or East of England, based on Hamptons’ research.
Someone from London purchased one in five (19%) homes sold in the East of England and one in each and every seven (15%) within the East.
Last year Broxbourne in Hertfordshire was the very best location in the East of England as nearly three quarters of homes were purchased by Londoners.
The table below shows the most popular local authority for Londoners to maneuver to in great britan.
|Region||Local authority||% of homes bought by Londoners in 2022|
|South West||Bath and North East Somerset||52%|
|East of England||Broxbourne||72%|
|Yorkshire & Humber||Doncaster||13%|
House prices in ex-Londoners’ favourite towns
You can easily see a snapshot of each from the towns in the above list, along with their average house prices (in line with the UK House Price Index), within the gallery below. The average house price working in london is lb473,822.
Why are Londoners buying property elsewhere?
Which? spoke to Kate Martin, a first-time buyer who recently moved from London after renting there for 10 years to be able to purchase a flat in Greenhithe, Kent.
The village, near Dartford and Bluewater Shopping Centre, is about 23 miles from the capital.
Kate, 35, combined inherited cash with cash she’d saved to get a foot around the property ladder.
While she ‘loved living in London and may never see [herself] leaving’, Kate felt first-time buyer schemes in London could be too costly.
Kate said: ‘My research showed the prices were way to avoid it of line using what I had been earning.
‘Even when I figured it might be achievable through shared ownership, after i checked out just how much I’d pay on a mortgage, rent, service charges and bills, it was such a huge proportion of my income that it just didn’t make sense.
‘I didn’t see anywhere where the mortgage would are less expensive than lb1,000 per month. Generally it was lb1,200, then bills, travel and ideally having the ability to venture out once in a while!
‘And so i continued to book for many years, thinking home ownership was a hopeless dream.’
Kate spent annually boosting her savings before buying her purpose-built one-bedroom flat in Kent for lb150,000.
She secured a lb600-a-month, 25-year mortgage on a fixed interest rate of two.67%.
‘It’s less than I was paying in rent for a double bedroom in south-west London,’ says Kate.
‘It’s more costly to visit and also the length of my commute is an issue but financially it’s a much, much easier situation – and paying that quantity gives me spare money to enhance the place too.’
Last year separate research by Hamptons International claimed there had been a 16% year-on-year increase in the proportion of Londoners buying outside the capital.
How are you able to still buy property in London?
Earlier this month Which? revealed where you can purchase the cheapest properties working in london, together with a lb100,000 flat in Bexley. People looking to buy a house or flat in London with a small deposit have many options, including:
The shared ownership scheme allows you to purchase a share of the property – typically between 25% and 75% – from a housing association, while paying rent of up to 3% on the remaining share.
Most buyers will have to put down the absolute minimum deposit of 5%, but only on their own share from the property price.
Our short video explains the basics of shared ownership.
95% mortgages, where you buy having a 5% deposit and take out a home loan around the rest, are becomingly increasingly popular, with more lenders offering lower rates.
You can spread the price of loan on the longer time than previously, with 35-year mortgage terms commonly offered.
London Help to Buy
The London Assistance to Buy equity loans scheme allows first-time buyers and residential movers to gain access to up to 40% of the property’s value from government.
They can purchase the house having a 5% deposit and get a mortgage for that remaining 55%.
London Help to Buy is just on new-build homes priced lb600,000 or less.
Help from a family member
Many parents lend or gift money towards their child’s deposit there are other options which require less upfront cash such as guarantor mortgages, joint mortgages and remortgaging.
Our full guide on how parents might help first-time buyers has more information.