London house prices contribute to highest net migration since records began

The number of individuals leaving London has soared by 55% in the past five years, with house prices likely to be a key factor.

Overall, the only age bracket that had more and more people getting into London than leaving were individuals their 20s, research from estate agent Knight Frank has found.

Which? examines the number of individuals are migrating from London, and compares house prices within the cities and towns they're moving to.


Record numbers leaving London

In the entire year to June 2022, approximately 336,000 people left London to live elsewhere in the united kingdom, based on a Knight Frank analysis of ONS data.

The figure represents a rise of 15% around the previous year.

Net migration, which means the number of people arriving without the number leaving, found 106,607 moving out of the main city. This is 14% greater than the prior year, and 55% higher than 5 years ago.

In fact, migration from London to other areas of the united kingdom is at its highest level since records began this year.

People in their 30s are leaving within the greatest numbers. The only age group that has a positive net migration is people in their 20s, reflecting the fact that many young adults move to London to study or start their careers.

Most popular places to maneuver to from London

Scotland attracted the highest quantity of ex-Londoners, based on the research, although a nearby authority-level breakdown for Scotland was unavailable.

Within England, Birmingham was typically the most popular place to proceed to, with Brighton, Bristol and Manchester also which makes it into the top 10.

This suggests people are choosing smaller, but still vibrant cities, with a comparatively affordable living costs.

The London commuter belt, including Dartford, Epping Forest and Elmbridge, was also in demand.

You can easily see the very best 10 destinations in England below.

Rank Area Number of Londoners moving there in 2022
1 Birmingham 7,604
2 Brighton and Hove 6,138
3 City of Bristol 5,927
4 Dartford 5,090
5 Epping Forest 4,806
6 Medway 4,798
7 Manchester 4,712
8 Elmbridge 4,383
9 Leicester 4,196
10 Canterbury 4,179

Are London house prices excessive?

London house prices, which until recently were on a seemingly unstoppable upwards trajectory, play a key role in lots of people's decisions to depart the main city.

For those currently renting in the capital, house prices might be stopping them from buying. The average house price in Greater London was lb484,584, as of April 2022, compared to the average UK cost of lb226,906, according to the ONS.

Even flats in the comparatively affordable south London borough of Croydon cost, typically, lb273,526, which means you'd need a deposit of at least lb27,000 and an income of lb55,000 to be considered for any 90% mortgage.

By comparison, the typical flat price of lb129,958 in Birmingham could make moving towards the Midlands an attractive option.

For those who already owned homes in the capital, house-price growth might have enabled these to upgrade to some more comfortable property outside the city.

Take, for example, a family who bought within the popular first-time buyer section of Waltham Forest in June 2013. Between then and June 2022, the typical house price rose by a whopping 72%, from lb251,846 to lb434,534.

That equity growth is likely to enable them to purchase a bigger home elsewhere in the UK.

The average price of a detached home in Birmingham is lb247,065 – only a tick over the lb204,954 average you'd pay for a flat in Waltham Forest today.

Cheaper alternatives to London

Homes within the commuter belt surrounding south-east London have crept up in price, as have those who work in major cities for example Bristol, but compared to London, they might still seem like a bargain.

Here's how house prices for detached homes and flats compare for London and the four most widely used alternative destinations of Brighton, Bristol, Thurrock and Birmingham.

Area Average price for those properties Average price for any detached home Average price for any flat
London lb484,584 lb895,301 lb425,045
Brighton and Hove lb360,166 lb655,457 lb296,588
City of Bristol lb274,145 lb504,966 lb222,839
Thurrock lb269,910 lb518,525 lb179,817
Birmingham lb177,828 lb334,928 lb129,958

Are London prices cooling down?

London house prices have been on an upward trend in recent years, but the tide may have began to turn.

March 2022 was the very first month in five years when the average house price was lower than the entire year prior, based on ONS data.

By April, growth was back up to 1% year-on-year – higher than the final month, but well underneath the 20% increase recorded in August 2022.

That said, house-price activity depends heavily on the neighborhood. Some local authorities have bucked the popularity, with prices continuing to develop strongly, while others have seen values begin to slow or decrease.

If you want to purchase a home in London, you need to investigate the neighborhood to evaluate whether prices are around the up or beginning to cool.

Help for buyers in London

While you may balk at the high cost of London properties, there is help out there for first-time buyers. Here are some options that could give you a advantage:


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