While the Covid-19 pandemic led to more people working from home than ever before, London saw people moving out of the city in veritable droves.
A report has found that 73,950 homes were bought this year by people moving out of London.
That’s the highest number of purchases by people leaving the city since 78,170 people bought homes with the intent to move outside London in 2016.
This is perhaps unsurprising given the changes the city has seen over the couse of the pandemic.
Not only are more people able to work from home, but London’s hospitality and entertainment industries have all but ground to a halt – especially since tier four was brought in.
Research from Hamptons, an estate agent and property services company, found that the average person looking to move outside London spent £372,860 on their new home.
The report also said the places which have seen the biggest increases in homes bought by Londoners looking to leave are: Sevenoaks, Windsor and Maidenhead, Oxford, Rushmoor, Eastbourne, Wokingham, Stevenage, Luton, Epsom and Ewell, Brighton and Hove, Gravesham, and Watford, respectively.
On average, Londoners that left have gone 41 miles outside the city for their move.
However, Hamptons also said that first-time buyers tended to stay a bit closer, moving an average of 26 miles away.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: ‘Despite Covid-19 closing the housing market for seven weeks, the number of homes bought by Londoners outside the capital has risen to the highest level in four years.
‘While leaving London has been a rite of passage for many – often families reaching life stage milestones – the effects of lockdown and the desire for space seems to have heightened this drift.
‘Meanwhile, the lure of a stamp duty holiday acted as an impetus for more buyers to bring future planned moves forward.
‘The prospect of home-working more regularly has also meant that London leavers are moving further than ever before. The average London leaver moved 10 miles further than in 2019 as buyers favour space over commutability.
‘We expect this outmigration trend to continue into the first half of next year too.’
‘Given the housing market has been anything but normal since the onset of Covid,’ she added, ‘We expect to see the total number of homes bought by London leavers next year hit 2016 levels.’
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