Thousands of Londoners flee the capital in search of cheap homes

Jake Cordell
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House price London
High house prices are pushing people out of London (Source: Getty)

Tens of thousands of people leave London for a new life in the sticks every single year, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown.

More than 310,000 Londoners moved away from the capital between 2011 and 2015, the ONS said, with most other major cities also seeing Britons flee in search of a suburban lifestyle.

In new numbers charting population trends in the UK’s major cities, the ONS said “the cost of property in London” was driving people in their thirties and forties to head to the cheaper commuter belt in search of “affordable” homes.

Conversely, cities like Bristol and Edinburgh, which regularly top indexes and surveys of the UK’s most liveable areas, bucked the trend, boasting more arrivals from the rest of the UK than departures.

Despite the massive outflows, the capital was still the fastest growing city in the UK, with the population swelling by 469,000 - or 5.7 per cent - over the last five years. An influx of twenty-somethings from the rest of the UK along with the continued appeal of the capital as a destination for people around the world ensured London remained a popular choice for relocators.

London was the only city in the UK to record a “high net internal inflow of people aged 22 to 29, reflecting its attraction for graduates in particular.”

The capital also experienced the highest number of international arrivals. Net migration from outside the UK - the number of international arrivals minus departures - was running at an average of 95,000 a year between 2011 and 2015.

That means London alone ate up the entire government target to keep net migration below 100,000, and accounted for more than one in three arrivals over the period.

The ONS estimated the population of greater London was 8.6m in 2015, and is projected to rise to 9.8m over the next 10 years.

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